It just doesn't work ... trying to force the creative ideas when you need them. It's frustrating and infuriating, which just adds more brick to the wall. This dilemma often presents itself when there is a looming deadline, or suddenly there are too many irons in the fire and you just need to clone yourself.
I paint myself into this corner from time to time and as a matter of fact, have done a fine job of it lately. The solution? Go fishing.
So, I went to the mountains. No phone, no computer, only the music of coyotes on the ridge in the night, the birds in the morning and the rise of trout on the lake. I had time to just be. And with time to reflect, I stepped into the "way back machine" to take a look at the why, where, and how this love of creating was born in me.
I recall my first "horse" which was a propane tank (before I could talk my parents into the real thing) and an imagination that took me on many adventures, outrunning outlaws and galloping across the prairie. Whatever I could imagine, I could do.
Then there were the backyard concerts and plays where I roped my younger brothers and many neighborhood friends into participation. I was the playwright, producer and director and our parents were the (captive) audience. We didn't have a lot to work with, but we had our imaginations. Though, casting one of my brothers as the villain in my production of "Dudley Doright" was brilliant, if I do say so myself!
This is the heart of creativity, the play time. There are no limits as to where you can go in your imagination and what you can create (of course bending younger brothers to your will can be difficult at times). We all need that play time to rejuvenate the creative juices.
Thank you to my creative friends who reminded me that the "dream time" is where our creative ideas are born. Now ... go play!
"Imagination is more valuable than knowledge" Albert Einstein
OK, I admit it ... I am a project junkie and yes, a bit of a procrastinator too. In direct conflict to that, I do like things organized. I guess that is my yin and yang.
Let me introduce you to my alter egos:
Project Junkie: There is such a thrill in starting a new project, the high of the idea, the tactile quality of the materials and the vision of the finished success. However, 1+2 does not always = 3. The vision sometimes fails to materialize into the snapshot I had in my head and now the interest wanes.
Procrastinator: I know there is another approach to the roadblock that I hit in the PROJECT, but I have to move it to the round-to-it-later file, cause I have a new idea. This is akin to the dog (Dave) in the Pixar movie "UP", where he introduces himself as a highly developed and intelligent talking dog, but in the middle of his speech is distracted by a ... squirrel! ... then goes back to begin his speech once again. I have those moments.
Sometimes, I am just helplessly tied to the railroad track and the train is bearing down ... Aah! But there is a super hero to save the day.
Enter (stage left) ... ORGANIZATION: When everything around me seems to have crumbled into a confusing mess, I get out the broom and dust pan and put things back in order. This clears my head, renews my enthusiasm and sometimes provides the solution to finish one of my PROJECTS.
When all else fails, box it up and give it to a non-profit art charity and take the tax write-off! Now on to the next great idea!
Growing up in a small farming community, in the absence of any formal art instruction, was in no way detrimental to my artistic development. In many ways it was a fine training ground for an aspiring artist. I learned faith, honesty, work ethic, determination and perseverance at the knee of three generations of hard working farmers and a small community that was equally family.
Creativity is nurtured in the dream time. Childhood was spent outdoors, riding horse, riding bike, exploring, swimming and boating in the summer, skating, sledding and snowmobiliing during the long winters. There was ample play time, once chores were done, which was ripe with imaginative projects and good friends who were equally gifted at fun.
My Mother and Maternal Grandmother had artistic vision and passed that to me. Many wonderful early memories were made while spending time with them in the creation of some craft or painting project. The first real paint set came from my Grandmother and I made good use of it. The fire was lit.
Though public school offered no art instruction, I managed to use my talents for school and community wherever an artistic hand was needed. College at NDSU, Fargo offered the opportunity I was hungry for, a formal art education. I interrupted my college to work and later marry. So, four kids (who were always first on my list), two jobs and fifteen years later I finished my degree at EMC (Eastern Montana College,Billings - now MSU) and finally earned my B.A. with an extended major and an emphasis on drawing and sculpture.
I have continued to work creatively by attending a weekly life drawing session (though admittedly I don't make it every week) since 1991, worked on and off for 15 years doing life size and monumental bronze, gallery sales, framing, matting and fitting, and have spent the last 20+ years as a landscape designer.
I have so much more to do. I invite you to come along on this journey with me.
I am ever grateful for the beauty around me. The landscape and sky serve to inspire my paintings and provide a little peace in my day.
I've mentioned that part of my daily routine is a walk with my dog, at his insistence. But, admittedly I look forward to those walks, even in inclement weather. You see, that is my settling time, where inspiration is sown and my mind is free to compose and invent. Just the motion of walking, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, reminds me that each task for the day falls to the same rythmn.
I'm sharing a quick snapshot of the scenery on my morning commute. I love where I live.
Upon return to my home studio, I am refreshed and ready to start my work day. I doubt that most commuters out there enjoy their commute to the office as much as I do. So, here's my recommendation for the masses; If you can't walk to work, at least start your day with a walk, a time of peaceful reflection and a few deep breaths. It just might make your day shine.
Creativity has been my life and I would like to share some of my thoughts, learning and fun facts with you.