Alice Neel painted this evocative picture when her soon left home to marry.


At the time it was painted in 1970, “Loneliness” was the closest Neel had come to a self-portrait. Patricia Hills writes that “Loneliness” “gave concrete substance and image to the desolation that [Neel] felt when [her son] Hartley left home to marry Ginny.” The painting expresses this desolation in part by the absence of a human subject, but also visually through the separation of the composition’s various geometric shapes from one another.

Discounting the chair, which because of its coloring and angle takes on a type of animation, the painting is composed of isolated rectangular plains–the walls, the windows in the foreground and background, the shade, the molding. These distinct shapes abut one another without actually touching, creating the effect of separation, disconnection, and, most aptly, “Loneliness.” Neel acknowledged that this effect was the reason she liked the composition: “I really like the divisions in the painting. In its formal aspects, it approaches abstraction.”

For deeper insight into Neel’s self-image, it is beneficial to examine her painting, Self-Portrait painted ten years later in 1980 (see this database). This bona fide self-depiction lends greater understanding to the lonesome chair in “Loneliness,” for “Self-portrait” features Neel sitting in a similar armchair, albeit of a different color, in the same three-quarter view. In my annotation of that painting I wrote that Neel “responds to the traditional idealized female nude with her own form–one that celebrates the soul’s beauty rather than the beauty of surfaces.” This observation, that Neel celebrates the soul of a thing rather than its superficial characteristics, dovetails with “Loneliness,” a self-portrait of sorts that, despite its lack of a human subject, still manages to convey Neel’s own emptiness.

Loneliness Report Disputed: Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson, It’s On!

By Wendy Cook
Nov 24, 2007

Jennifer Aniston was looking forward to working with Owen Wilson for the first time on the family drama Marley and Me.  But of course the film was derailed when Owen attempted suicide in August.  Life & Style Weekly is reporting that they have learned the movie’s back on and will begin shooting next spring.   Some of Jen’s Oregon friends are fighting back against reports that she was ‘sad and lonely’ in Oregon while working there.

Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson, It's On!
Loneliness Report Disputed: Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson, It’s On!

The report seemed rather odd at the time as it came at a time when the local press in Oregon was reporting that the 38-year old California beauty often referred to as America’s Sweetheart was having a grand time in the state and hitting the local hot spots enjoying herself and even mixing and visiting with the locals.


According to a report from the Madras Pioneer.  Wyck Godfrey, the producer of “The Management,” countered a story in a national movie magazine that claimed that Aniston was “upset and lonely,” a report from the paper states.

Aniston, who stayed at the Inn at Cross Keys Station, along with other members of the cast, had a good time in Madras, he pointed out. “The crew has had a fantastic time,” he said. “I mean every night, they have gone to … Silverado, the bowling alley three times, eaten at Mazatlan, Ding Ho, Mexico City.”


The cast and crew enjoyed the local Mexican food, he said, and ate at Mexico City regularly. “We ate there almost every night,” he said, adding that Aniston even signed a few autographs there.

Besides visiting restaurants and lounges, the cast spent money at grocery and hardware stores, gas stations, the liquor store — all over the community.


Essential Oils Suggested for Treatment:
Suggestions for Use:

This website suggests oil of majorum as a cure for loneliness either in a bath, as a body rub for massage or as an inhalant.

Techno-Buddha by Nam June PaikThis blog gives a fascinating Buddhist perspective on loneliness and romance. You may not agree with the Urban Monk’s conclusions but his argument gives a different perspective on loneliness (at least the existential variety) and romance (as an addiction).

To put the title in Buddhist parlance, suffering is the beginning of attachment.

“When we are in the depths of our loneliness, what comforts us – what could possibly take us away from it? What, indeed? So often, it feels like there is no solace; like we are running from our own shadow. And it is true, in a way. There is no escape from being alone. We are always alone. But there is a way out of loneliness.

All our efforts at escaping loneliness are fundamentally flawed, for we don’t understand the nature of what we are running from. There is something beautiful about your loneliness. And when you see that, when you acknowledge it, learn to delight in it, that’s when something shifts inside you. When your loneliness becomes aloneness – that is freedom! That is when you can truly begin to Love!

As Osho once said – the first thing is to acknowledge aloneness. Aloneness is our true nature; we can never, ever, not be alone. We come into this world alone, we leave the world alone. And in between these two, we are alone – but we frantically hide from it, run from it, pretend it isn’t true.

Romance is perhaps the most common cover-up for the sense of fragmentation. If we are lonely, it must make sense that we need a special someone! Logical and cold, like a business transaction. A boyfriend, a girlfriend, a lover, someone, anyone! We have reduced them to a mere cover up for our sorrows – no different from the misuse of alcohol, the noise of our television, or killing time on the phone until we can next be with someone – as if we have so much time to kill!

If romance and sex, if money and fame and recognition offer no relief, what does one do? When you are in the throes of heartache and loneliness, what good are the teachings on oneness and inter-existence? Unless you can experience what they are pointing to – how do they comfort you?

A sham. That’s what the entire game of romance is. Who is our “romance” really about? Us, and us alone. We say – I love you. But what we really mean is – Please love me. Manipulation is all it is.

“You were supposed to make me happy!” you cry. And the sweetness, the smiles and the kisses begin to swing the other way. We become sad; we attack them for not making us happy; we manipulate them into giving us more. Maybe they give in, and the pendulum swings back into sweetness. Maybe they don’t, and we break up in tears and anger. This even seems normal.

But it is not their fault. No one can take away our primordial sense of separation except us. But we don’t know that, and so we go on complaining and pulling strings. We forget that the only way to be satisfied is to be satisfied in yourself.”

For the full article go to:

Sculpture by Nam June Paik 

Ville Valo and H.I.M. perform there hit song “Killing Loneliness.”

In Raymond Lloyd Richmond’s, website A Guide to Psychology, he explores the connection between social identity and loneliness. He finds that the fragility of social identity and the desire to protect it is a root cause of loneliness.

“Most of us derive identity from the world around us.

And some persons desire to be desired with such desperate intensity that you can literally see in their eyes the inner emptiness they seek to fill.

But they never can fill the void.

At best, their self-styled image is only a fraud, a feeble attempt to hide their pain from their own eyes.

At worst, their self-styled image becomes their only reality, a pathetic lie and a living hell.

Although developing a social identity has a certain short-term value, whatever you “think” you are is, ultimately, nothing but a vague approximation of what you really are. And what you really are is revealed in discrete moments of genuine encounter with your inner life.

You might be able to guess where loneliness comes from.

As long as you derive your identity from the world around you, you have to be concerned about losing it.

Like a dragon sitting greedily on its hoard of treasure, your entire being will be caught up in defending what you are most afraid to lose. Nor can you be honest with others because if you speak your mind you might offend someone, and then he or she will turn away in a huff, taking your identity in the process, leaving you empty and “dead.”

That’s what loneliness is. It’s a fear of psychological death.

Real life—not the glossy advertising-agency image of “life”—on the other hand, is an embracing of all the uncertainty of your unconscious, an acceptance of your essential vulnerability, and a willingness to risk everything to trust in something far greater than what you “think” you are.”