Sunday, March 27, 2011


Click on image to go to my website

My husband commented recently, with a smile on his face, that I’d probably implode if I weren’t making something. Bread, a sweater, a painting...he’s right. If I don’t have at least two projects in process, I sink into the Slough of Despond.

This got me thinking about creativity. If you're like me, you know a lot of people whom you'd describe as creative. No doubt you’re a creative, too. Into the mix I include paint
ers and musicians, weavers and knitters, woodcarvers and cooks, bloggers, thinkers...the scope is as deep as it is long.

There's been lots of research
about why we feel the need to create, much of it related to our ever-increasing technologically oriented society. But my ponderings here have more to do with what creatives do with their creations.

Imagine a spectrum of creative people. At one end are what I call the quiet, introspective types. Take Linda, for example. She writes...a lot and quite well. She's observant, perceptive, an excellent listener. She has a talent for dialogue that captures a personality with spot-on accuracy. But publish? Produce? No..."I do this only for my own enjoyment," she says. And I believe her.

Mary's cityscapes in graphite are among the best I've seen. Architectural accuracy is there, but so is a sense of how she feels about the places she draws. But sell? Display? Mary's drawings stay in her studio. "I do it because it makes me happy.”

Move along my imaginary spectrum and you'll find people like me. I think of us as "noisier" with our studios and galleries open to the public. We sell but certainly not enough to make a living. So why do we do it? Melinda Kordich's answer speaks for me and a whole lot of others: "I feel wonderful when someone looks at a painting and says, 'That's my grandmother. I can smell her talcum powder and feel her hugs. Thank you for bringing back that memory." I get it. The emotional high makes it all worthwhile.

Finally there are the professionals, those whose work ethic, dedication, and (dare I say it?) talent leave me breathless. Here are three you might want to check out. I've never met them. I wish I could.

Myrna Wacknov is a California artist, teacher, blogger. Her collages, watercolor figure work and portraits speak of someone who loves people, color, and experimentation. Her blogs, "Drawn from Limb to Limb" and "Creativity Journal" are exciting inspirations. Her unique artistic voice is exhilarating and compelling.

Marlene Burns is an Arizona artist who interprets her Jewish heritage on canvas. Her work is lyrical and engaging. Her palette is strong and emotional. I want to be Marlene when I grow up.

Karin Kuhlmann takes digital fractals into a whole new realm of art. I've seen lots of fractal work. Yawn. It’s only Karin's work that creates a visceral reaction in me and that makes my heart beat faster. Luscious colors, seductive Wacknov, her work is better viewed than described. I'd like to be Karin when I grow up but there's no way I could master her computer skills.

And what about you? Are you reading this while you're planning tomorrow’s dinner? Are you in the middle of knitting a sweater or carving a birdhouse? Did you try to figure out a more efficient way to pick up the kids from school? Welcome to the spectrum, Fellow Creative! Regardless of where on my spectrum we land, I believe that what we all share is a desire to solve problems. Isn't if fun when it works?

Three others worth your time:

Kathleen Daughan: Maine seascapes
Darrell Hagan: Surrealism and erotica
Karen Kiefer: Narrative Portraiture (and a website that's just plain fun)

1 comment:

mindy said...

I am reading this with cat on my lap a coffee at hand and a kitchen surrounding me with desperate pleas to clean it...I think I will go paint now