So…about that creativity

Where the hell does it come from? It’s not like you can buy it at a store, nor is it a switch that you can turn on. It doesn’t have to be “traditional” art related. I have friends who are equally creative and passionate about cars, photography, culinary things, gardening, wood and stone. I guess it’s more to do with a direction of that inner spirit I believe we all have-and with some people it comes out in a form of “art”. Then, you can get into the whole debate of “what is art”…but that is a topic for another day, and for someone who actually cares I suppose about putting a definitive box around that term. For me, it is as wide as an ocean and just as unfathomable; it is what it is and everyone has their own tastes regarding what inspires them, what attracts their souls and spirits to some things as opposed to others. And so be it. That’s the way it should be.

The one good lesson that I learned from a creative, artistic colleague was that just because I cannot do what someone else does, that does not make the worth of what I CAN do any less. We each have our own gifts and styles and that is what makes things so delightfully different. I could never throw a pot like my fabulously gifted Trial By Fire potter friend Ruth Gauthier does (unless hurled across the room in temper maybe). I could never paint such realistic detailed scenes or portraits like my colleague Sandi. Another colleague does pen and ink drawings,  what some might consider “doodles”. Yet, they are so complex, intricate, interesting and beautiful, they are an art form in and of themselves. Even some of the students at school, their work leaves me humbled and feeling introspective regarding my style and what I do. But, I am learning, that this is ok! It’s part of the process, to learn and identify who you are and your own style as it develops and morphs; to celebrate and respect the styles and works of others.

For me, being creative when I feel like it, is mostly of an organic process (for lack of a better, less cliched term). Sometimes, I will start with some idea in my head. Sometimes, I feel nothing in particular, just a pull to the easel and the paints. And when I sit there, the colours themselves will “speak to me” and let me know what direction I will be going in. I’ve oftentimes set out a palette of colours only to find that I don’t want to use them because today is a “blue/green” kinda day. Sometimes I will start with the brushes and end up playing with the knives. Sometimes when I have that “idea” in my head, the paints have a totally different idea and I end up going in a totally different direction. What I call “mistakes”, Sandi calls process. And so it goes…

And music…music I find helps move the brush, find the chemistry in the colours and the tempo of the brushstrokes. I think music more that anything while I am painting determines the end product, because somehow, I get lost in the music and colours, go into the zone, and then it is done…

So, what’s your creative process…what inspires you?


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