Recently I’ve been reading and thinking about ‘creativity’ and where it comes from. Years ago I purchased Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, that shows you how to access your inner creativity. I never actually got around to reading it. I was so busy working in an office and at a desk and in a library that when I had any ‘free’ time where I wasn’t dead tired I preferred to paint rather than read about it. I had little opportunity for creative expression in my job and looking at that reality would have been just too depressing. On the other hand, had I been courageous enough to examine my creative needs, might I have made other career choices?Hindsight, as we all know, is 20/20.
The assumption that we are all creative beings is fairly profound for some people who will say “Me? No, I’m not a very creative person.” or, “No, I don’t have any artistic or musical ability at all.”
But Cameron asserts that creativity is the natural order of life.
The life force, as I call it (some call it spirit, the creator, Goddess, God) is present in all living things. This week I’ve been watching my tomato seedlings push their way out of the earth and transform from round, flat, hard seeds to a tall, fragile seedlings with two leaves. That same life force energy that turns a seed into a plant is in each one of us and it not only propels us forward physically, but it also develops us emotionally and intellectually. That combination is our growth, our creativity. We can:
- ignore it
- suppress it
- use it
- postpone it
- drug it
- numb it
- deny it
- postpone it
- but we can never ever loose it
It is in our DNA and in our every breath. It is part of our being human.
Julie Cameron calls it spiritual electricity. She states that:
- creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy : pure creative energy
- there is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life – including ourselves
- when we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the life force creativity within us and our lives
- we are, ourselves, creations. And we in turn are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves
- the refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature
- our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity
Today I painted in the studio. I started a new piece that just didn’t work. The colours were wrong and the composition was weak.
I set it aside and decided to make some changes to 3 other unfinished paintings that have been testing me. Not sure about the results of those either.
Before and After 22″ x 22″
In the past, I would have felt very frustrated by this and worried that my creativity had left. But now I have that most precious commodity of any human – time.
Outside warm rain pelted the studio windows and the sound of the river tide was wonderful.
- I listened to some acoustic guitar and percussion music from Ryan LeBlanc who played for us, right here in Bear River this past weekend, to inspire my emotions
- I burned some cedar incense to please my sense of smell
- I read some more of the first volume of Upton Sinclair’s Lanny Budd series and time-travelled to 1915 to nurture my thinking
- I drank some tea
And then I planted a dozen eggplant seeds to add to the seedlings that are growing on the studio windowsills.
Tomorrow I’ll try again with my brushes and with my paint in this great incubator of creativity that is our studio. And that tide outside will keep on moving and creating.