Saturday, January 28, 2017

Reminiscence and Creativity......

Sometimes we aren't even aware that what we do is different, not everyone does something creative everyday and many don't look at themselves as creative, but I have been blessed to have creative people in my life.  Is it simply how we look at things, how we challenge ourselves, or is it something much deeper...harder to express.

I was speaking to a guild on Tuesday, talking about "harnessing my creativity", what I do to take note of all the ideas, inspiration that comes my way.  As I was sharing a couple of quilts in a series based on my home state of Minnesota I was thinking about the people who shaped me, guided me and I was struck by one fundamental thing....they taught me to look closely at the smallest, most subtle details in the world around me.  For example, my uncle was 7 years older, I can remember the first time he put a snake, a frog, a lizard. a fish in my hands, I was about 4.  He taught me to really study their colors, markings, shapes and the feel of their skin,  eventually he became a wildlife biologist, working for the Department of Natural Resources.  He taught me respect for the environment, to care about the world around me. Today I am comfortable in the woods, spending time in the northern Minnesota woods gives me balance and I create based on those experiences.
One of my grandmothers and my mother was/is an artist, without ever realizing it color was an everyday conversation.  Whether it was in the garden, in a painting or in a project they were sewing.  I remember having a discussion with my grandmother about the flower seeds/bulbs, why she was placing them where she was.....because the colors worked well together.  Hmmm....simple color theory without even knowing what it meant.  I can remember the first time my mother attempted an abstract painting, it was extremely hard for her to do.  Once finished, we discussed it and I can remember thinking that compared to other things she had done it didn't speak to me.  Now I don't know if I would look at it differently today, but I do know that creating abstract work is very hard for me to do, it is a challenge.  So occasionally I challenge myself by creating outside my comfort zone,  hopefully one day I will convince myself that it is not so difficult to do and just maybe I will enjoy the experience. Turns out that I am my worst critic when I'm done.  It seems much safer to work in a more realistic way even if it seems I am being quite literal as the photo I'm using for inspiration or the memory in my "mind's eye".
 I believe creativity can be learned.  It can be cultivated and allowed.  For many of us we just need to give ourselves permission.  It is hard to let go of what may block/stop our creative process.

Enjoy your creative life!

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