When Creativity Visits, Part Deux

Classic literature is my favorite genre to read; My current pick is Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Mike took an interest in the title, but he’s not an avid book reader. We decided to watch a movie version, which we both enjoyed. But it got me thinking…

Jules Verne wrote that book in 1870, in French, and an English version followed in 1872. Amazing, an idea, a tale, that Verne articulated nearly 150 years ago is still reaching people – and will continue on for how many years beyond? This idea got me thinking about ideas, and creativity, and their reach.

I’ve always imagined creativity like a mystical bird,
flitting around, landing on curiously open minds
like bright flowers…

I’m amazed that we appreciate art imagined hundreds, possibly thousands of years ago – or, even that when we use a device, such as a telephone, that was imagined so long ago, we are interpreting an idea, a manifestation of creative energy. I’ve always imagined creativity as an energy in the form of a mystical butterfly or bird, flitting around, landing on curiously open minds like bright flowers. An idea may come but it won’t necessarily stick, or it may change. Some fester and die. But I like to think of the world as full of this creative energy, flowing all the time.

I think an artist’s greatest hope is that their work engages someone, touches them in some way. Even if that moment is simply to evoke the briefest happiness — like a tactile sense of appreciation, that hope is enough to finish what was started. Painting is no doubt a selfish reward, for all the intricate joys it produces. But back to Jules Verne, or Edison or anyone that receives and engages their creative muscle – you never know who that act will reach. It may not come in your lifetime. How many artists suffered penniless humiliation only to be lauded long after they’ve passed?

It’s an endless curiosity to never know, to not particularly care, who that energy reaches, but rather that it reaches someone. Create for the sake of creation, to fulfill the quest of the mystical bird, bounding through the universe.

New Artwork & New Scenery!

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We’ve just relocated to Albuquerque, NM, from Tampa, FL.

It was daunting to leave Florida: my roots: my friends and family, my love of the water, everything. But, change can be a good thing, and it will be what I choose to make of it.

Before our big move, while Mike and I were house-hunting, one of the items on our wish list was a space of some sort for my artistic endeavors. About a year ago, I decided to dedicate myself to painting, and made it a priority. I had not anticipated how much art I’d be making, and before long, one small easel was joined by two large, free-standing ones. (Being that I work in oils, I usually work on three paintings simultaneously because of the time it takes them to dry.) Well, before long, my canvases and materials took over the living room, and beyond.

 

My beloved husband has always supported my artistic endeavors, but I was still flattered that he made my art a priority in our house search. (I still have a hard time referring to myself as “an artist”. Mike’s endorsement gave me a much needed infusion of confidence.) Anyway, we ended up finding the perfect home with the most amazing loft space! A few weeks later, in the tedium of unpacking, I had an “a-ha!” moment, realizing how art has both carried and delivered me. About six months ago I learned that my artwork was selected for use in a very unique, public memorial that will debut in April of 2019. Furthermore, the loft in our new house is the most wonderful studio space! I’m beyond thrilled!

But — I didn’t set out for this — and I initially fought the change from corporate career woman to independent writer and artist. Of course I did; what foresight could have told the twists and turns to come? But alas, here I am, feeling as if I’ve found not only my groove but something that is congruent to my soul. In many ways, this journey has been a spiritual one, teaching me to believe in myself and to trust. About two months ago I heard a saying, and it has uplifted and empowered me ever since:

Let go
and Trust
that you are
Always Guided.

May it bring you the same peace. ❤

Eight new paintings have been added to my Etsy shop. A preview is above, or you can view at the Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/poeticflight

As always, thank you for visiting! – Julie

When Creativity Visits

The welcome mat is always out, inviting inspiration. I believe that the creative process is a unique experience for every person. I’ve read stacks of books advising how to nurture the artist within. One of the best is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert; Her conversational format was enjoyable to read and her advice something like practical and sisterly. I really identified with her bit about ideas coming to us by means of us inviting them – but if we don’t act upon them, they will move on to someone else. This explains how someone may have had the idea, only for someone else to bring it to life at a future date. So, when we have a wonderful idea, we must act upon it, or at least explore it, lest it be lost to the sands of time.

I gather a lot of inspiration from magazines: rich colors, glossy paper, the effort that goes into the photos with all the styling and originality. Heeding the advice of one of my favorite authors, Julia Cameron, I indulged my inner child and started cutting out photos of my favorite things and rubber cementing them into an oversize sketchbook. The result is a “diary” brimming with color swatches, extravagant floral arrangements, sweeping landscapes, photos of horses, and other creative “knick-knacks”. The result is two-fold; I find it creatively stimulating to indulge in the simple act of focusing on interesting objects; the other is a “tangible Pinterest”. These pages have inspired several dozen paintings, some successful, some tossed in a pile to be gessoed over. Either way, it has been fun. I think that’s the most important part of the creative process. Julia Cameron talks about this extensively in The Artist’s Way: she recommends that we allow ourselves the freedom to explore the fun and/or beautiful aspect of art with child-like delight, giving ourselves permission to simply enjoy ourselves.

creativity 4

I’ve employed these tactics for about a year now and my creative process has evolved from intermittent and somewhat forced into a garden bearing fruit. I’ve learned about my own creative “triggers” (I’m obsessed with color and design) and that I need a fair amount of privacy. I’ve heard this often, in various forms; contemporary artist Brian Rutenberg unapologetically stresses the requirement of aloneness in his book Clear Seeing Place.

creativity 1

This “new-school” way of thinking about the creative process is terrific in the sense that it strips away any pretentiousness about art and focuses on the why: why do we create? It’s like the cool art teacher you may have had as a child, the one that always encouraged you and saw the good about your invention, no matter the level of artist you were. It’s the freedom to dream, to put your brush to canvas without fear of flaw or failure.

Thank you for reading. I wish you that freedom, wherever you are in the creative spectrum. – Julie