Being Creative

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Paintings #1 and #2, not yet titled, copyright 2015 Jo Ann Brown Scott

There is something about a snowy, extra icy day that fires up my creativity. The sidewalks are a sheet of ice, the temps have plummeted from yesterday, there is thick, cotton gauze fog and no one who has a choice would be outside. And so we paint, me and my creativity. The light is perfect – bright with the outdoor whiteness, but no sun glare, no reflections in my north facing window. I always say that my most ideal conditions in which to paint, or write, are simply a good night’s sleep and a day when I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything.

I rolled out of bed about 8 am, a little late for me, went directly to the kitchen and made my famous chicken broccoli soup, eliminating any distractions about what I am going to eat today. It’s on the stove simmering, crusty Asiago bread nearby. This must be heaven.

As any artist is bound to do from time to time, I sometimes wish that I could paint a different way. It happens to the best of us; it is born not of boredom with what we are used to doing but a challenge to ourselves to accomplish a whole new look and make it sing, as if we had been doing it forever, just to prove we can. Every once in a while I give it a try. I usually paint with a confetti riot of color, and so my reaction against that tendency is to paint with a greatly subdued palette and far less action. That does not truly represent my normal joyful state of mind, (happy!) but I do have more subdued reflective moments of silence (yawn…) when I become rather meditative (almost asleep). If I can tap into that while I am standing upright painting, occasionally I get some fine results. If I try to do it twice,  I can, but I don’t necessarily like to, and I fall back into the fun stuff of going bananas with color; it seems to be the authentic me.

The second painting is subdued, for me. My version of restraint. (perhaps you are laughing now, at my version of restraint) but I kept it simple, the colors are there but not so plentiful and/or not so in your face. I wanted to do more, but I decided to eat lunch instead and let it go for a while and see if I can live with it the way it is.

With this blog I have two photos, the first abstract painting is a new one displaying my customary  expressionistic (controlled color pattern texture chaos) type of composition, and the next a much more toned down piece where as I worked I kept a lid on it. Over the holidays when I had some fun relatives over for lunch, my six year old niece, Finley, (with whom I  sometimes paint, and who calls me Great Jo because I am her great aunt) walked into my studio, saw the toned down painting on my work table and said to me, “Great Jo, this one is not finished – can I finish it for you?” Believe me, it was tempting to see what might have happened. I will file that idea away; and another time I will start something and let her finish it. It has to be a cut above elephants who paint, right?

By the way, yes it is a new year and I have not forgotten about the YEAR LONG CANVAS – she is looking longingly in my direction as we speak, jealous of my other work. She needs a fix, another session, and I will get to her soon. She reaches her one year “time up” about March 1st, and here we are in mid-January already. I have plans for the entire month of February, so my time is becoming scarce leading into her birthday. My next post will be for her, as she nears completion.

 

 

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15 responses to “Being Creative

  1. I must admit I like the painting on the left better. The right hand one *is* subdued, and not you at all. The joyous energy doesn’t flow in it. Finish it from that place, or let Finley finish it 🙂
    Alison

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  2. Jo, I love your description of the weather and how it feels to you and what it does for your creativity. I find it true for myself. This is my least favorite time of the year – not much creativity going on! No snow, no fog, no rain. Just the same temperature day after day! I love both of your paintings. Hugs Patricia

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    • Thanks to you my friend! I could write about the same kind of weather today, actually, because it keeps coming back in waves about every 3 days. Winter in the Rockies!
      And it keeps me disciplined – I’m writing a novel you know…

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  3. Pingback: Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity, edition#73 — Being Creative & Sustaining Creativity | God's Creative Gift -- Unleashing the Artist in You

  4. Jo Ann, I wanted to let you know I’ve featured your blog (this article, as well as the Sustaining Creativity article) on Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity at http://www.jodythomae.com. Also included a link to your gallery. Will also be featuring your book come October (National Book Month). Love everything you’re doing here. Hopefully I’ve encouraged others to connect to the work you’re doing here!
    Here’s the link: http://jodythomae.com/2015/04/14/create-a-day-your-daily-dose-of-creativity-edition73/

    Blessings of CREATivity, ARTistry & BEaUty, Jody Thomae
    Author, “God’s Creative Gift–Unleashing the Artist in You”

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