Archive for the ‘creativity’ Tag

06-19-2016 Journal – Weekly Update!   Leave a comment

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Summer is finally here but it’s been a little disappointing so far.  It’s the middle of June and the nights remain chilly which is doing nothing to help my pepper plants in our garden.  Very disappointing but not totally unexpected, it is Maine after all.

This week I’ve been consumed by these designs that I’ve been creating.  Each day I become more adept at using the computer software to color my sketches.  It’s an interesting process but it’s very detailed and time consuming.  I sat for almost three hours yesterday totally focused on what I was doing and when I finally finished and stood up I was suffering from eye strain and legs that went a bit wobbly. Even with all of that the results were much better than I expected.  The work will continue today and I’m actually looking forward to getting back into it.

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Most people just don’t get it. They see my time spent doing these designs as wasted but they couldn’t be more wrong.  The hours spent in these tasks are the highlights of my day.  The focus needed to complete them is something I’ve grown to need over the years and I’ve looked forward to it since I was a young child.  It’s the best addiction I’ve ever had and I hope I never lose it.

I’m hoping to breakaway for a while this week if the sunny weather continues. I could use some quiet times in the woods taking a few photographs of my favorite subjects . . . dragonflies.  They should be swarming near the swamps in large numbers by now and I plan to make the most of it. Here are two shots taken in 2011 when there were huge numbers of them in the area.

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I’ll be disappointed if I can’t get a few pictures but these cool nights may delay their arrival just a bit. I may be forced to return to the swamp a few more times before I have any success at all. Thankfully I live close enough which makes things so much easier.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

04-22-2016 Journal – Creativity!   Leave a comment

I spent the first two hours of my day today in bed drinking coffee and watching a dozen or so TED speeches. If your not familiar with TED I’d recommend it to you whole heartedly. It’s a series of speeches from experts around the world on  a diverse collection of topics. The anagram of TED stands for, “Technology, Education, & Design”.

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‘It sure isn’t the Sistine Chapel!’’

My main topics for today concerned Creativity and the Arts.  Listening to people from Bali who design green homes from bamboo or others from Europe who specialize in the creation of designs and art is exciting. It’s nice to know that Creativity is alive and well on this planet and not getting lost in the technological hustle and bustle of our societies.

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I’ve always been a proponent and supporter of anyone or anything that creates something.  The best times of my life are those spent where I’m relaxed, alone with my thoughts, and putting paper to pencil. Either writing, drawing, painting, or sculpting, it’s all good.  With that in mind I thought I’d share a quick look at my lair. It’s my oasis filled with my things and represents my life in one small room.  

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For twenty years I saved every little doodad, birthday card, and memento from places I’ve been and people I’ve known.  Then I began making a series of collages or “life panels” of those years. It started out as two  small panels but grew  to more than nine with some of them measuring 4’X4’. 

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‘This is what I call a workspace.’

I never had a sufficient amount of wall space and I had them in storage for twenty years. I moved them from place to place until I finally settled down here in Maine.  I still didn’t have the wall space for them and finally decided to make them the ceiling of my so-called man-cave.

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Now I can sit at my desk surrounded by things that make me happy. I can lean back in my chair and look up at the ceiling and see the people, places, and things that I’ve experienced in my life.  The photos in this posting are a quick peek into the craziness of that  space that I’ve had the pleasure of creating.

EVERYONE NEEDS A HAPPY PLACE

01-29-2016 Journal – A Creative Motivational Block!   2 comments

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I hate to admit this but I suspect I’m suffering from something akin to writers block. It’s a first for me and it’s puzzling.  In all my years of writing reports, letters, and thousand of blog posts I’ve never had a problem thinking of ideas and putting them to paper. That’s why this current creative hiccup is so bothersome. 

I can’t find any mentions of this malady anywhere so let’s just call it a "creative motivational block". I’m still having all of the creative ideas I could ever want or need but my ability to sit down and get them started has become more difficult.  I have of dozens of ideas everyday that are inventive, interesting and unusual but it seems to take forever to put brush to canvas or pencil to sketch book.  It’s maddening.

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The second part of my problem is really not a problem at all. For the first time in my life I’m financially able to spend the necessary money to obtain the supplies needed to do these projects.  In years past it was difficult at times to come up with funds which forced me to step outside the box a little and use materials I never thought possible. Maybe the best part of my projects in the past was that ability to overcome those challenges and still get the job done. I really don’t know for sure.

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As always the ideas keep coming and while some of them sound good in my head they’re eventually discarded. Others are easy to do and all it requires of me is to sit down and get started. That’s the bloody rub. 

I’ll be ready to start a current project when all  of a sudden more bright ideas come to me and I get sidetracked by them.  I’ll stop to write a few notes on the new ideas and the interest in the other begins to ebb.  It’s a vicious cycle that I’m trying desperately to put a stop to with only moderate success.

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I feel at times that I’m so concerned with getting my ideas exactly the way I imagined them that I’m losing the ability to adapt to changes that always seem to come along.  I’m in the middle of a project now that I’ve been fiddling with for a few weeks.  I’ve thought it through over and over again and visualized it to completion. It’s ninety percent complete but I’m lacking that final push.

I’ve always loved challenges but this one is a doozy.

07-21-2015 Journal–Strange, Weird & Creative!   Leave a comment

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All of us folks who love blogging seem to have that secret wish to be a published and recognized writer.  We read the classics as students and are told by our teachers what great and wonderful authors they were. What they failed to explain was that these same incredible writers had  private lives that were all too often a nightmare.

I’ve spent my life hanging out with creative types and have been amazed. I’ve found myself speechless at times after really getting to know them and seeing them for what they really are, just plain old, screwed up, and faulty human beings like everyone else.  Without their creativity they’d be an average Joe with all the normal problems and complaints.  Unfortunately that creativity gene has the bizarre ability to turn normal run-of-the-mill problems into absolute disasters.  Boozing, drug use, and all too often an early and tragic death.

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With that being said I thought I’d offer up some words of wisdom from some of  our more creative celebrities. This is my lame attempt to show them as just regular folks with a huge twist.  Let’s go . . . .

  • “Listen, everyone is entitled to my opinion.”  Madonna
  • “I wish men had boobs because I like the feel of them. It’s so funny, when I record I sing with a hand over each of them. Maybe it’s a comfort thing.” Baby Spice
  • “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”  Oscar Wilde
  • “I say no to drugs. But they don’t listen.”  Marilyn Manson
  • “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”  Woody Allen

In college I found myself living in a small community of artists of all types.  We remained separate from the rest of the school for a number of reasons. First we dressed a little differently, we saw things a little differently, and we didn’t give a damn what other people thought about us. I wish I would’ve had the good sense to write down a few of the more profound quotes they offered up as we sat around drinking wine and smoking a fat one.  We solved all the problems of the world but couldn’t remember any of the solutions the next morning. How ironic!  Keep reading . . .

  • “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.”  Mel Brooks
  • “If I had a choice of having a woman in my arms or shooting a bad guy on a horse, I’d take the horse. It’s a lot more fun.” Kevin Costner
  • “It’s like when I buy a horse. I don’t want a thick neck and short legs.” Mickey Rourke, on his ideal woman
  • “My advice to you is get married. If you find as good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.”  Socrates
  • “Where the hell is Australia, anyway?”  Britney Spears

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I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.  Creative types normally spend a good part of their lives “out there” on the very edge of “the box” and occasionally fall all the way out.  I’ve been called creative for most of my life and it never seems to be all that complimentary.  It’s always “He’s very creative, but a little strange.”  For most of us that’s our badge of honor and we wear it proudly.

Long Live the Strange!

06-19-2014 Journal Entry- Being Creative!   2 comments

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Every person has the ability to create almost anything.  That’s a simple statement that I’ll bet most people would disagree with.  I can’t begin to tell you just how many people over the years have told me they have no creative ability.  To those people I can only say "I’m sorry". I’m sorry that no one ever gave you the confidence to discover those abilities that you have.  I’m sorry that people weren’t there with you when a little push was all that was needed to lead you to a life of creativity and self satisfaction.  It’s a damn shame that many really creative and talented people are sometimes convinced early in their lives that  they didn’t have what it takes. How many potentially great artists, poets, and writers have been lost to us?

Your probably asking yourself what exactly prompted that last paragraph and why I’m on my soap box about it.  Let me explain. Over the past months I’ve had the privilege of watching a small baby begin to grow and turn into a real person.  I watch him closely when we’re together and have been intrigued by his interests and curiosity.  I can see his mind working as he builds fantastic block creations without prompting from any of us adults.  He’s experiencing true creative freedom and seems to be enjoying it immensely. Fortunately for him his parents and family are people who will recognize his efforts and encourage him in any way possible.  He’s a lucky young man who in the future will come to appreciate that fact as he artfully paints, writes poetry, or sculpts a masterpiece.  Maybe he’ll be a teacher or maybe a ditch digger but he’ll always have the freedom to sit quietly and create something new and exciting and to appreciate the feeling of satisfaction it provides.

For years I’ve watched my better-half talk about creating this or that but never seeing it happen.  She’s spent many of her formative years being a Mom, raising three children, and working hard to give them every advantage in this world.  It’s paid off in a big way and she should be proud.  She’s one of those people who has immense reservoirs of creativity that up till now have been used to create three well adjusted and intelligent human adults.  She’s proud of those accomplishments but I don’t really think she’s see that as being creative.  She’s wrong!

In recent years I’ve begun to see her slowly developing a different outlook about many things.  She’s finally discovering herself.  I’ve watched her create beautiful flower gardens without giving it a second thought. 

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She has the innate ability to plant them in certain ways that is more than just a little pleasing to the eye.  She does it without thought and again doesn’t consider it being creative. Again, she’s wrong!

I’ve spent many hours with her wandering around this state taking thousands of photographs.  She has a photographer’s eye and has taken some breathtaking photos.  She doesn’t count that as creativity, she’s just taking pictures.  Once again she’s very wrong!

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Oh, I forgot to tell you she’s addicted to sunflowers.  So I have hundreds of her sunflower images in my archives and their all gorgeous.  But as she’s told me many times “I’m just taking pictures of things I love”.

She’s slowly losing that fear that other people won’t really like the things she creates. Once that fear is defeated the gates will open like never before. I watched her yesterday as she sat totally focused for over an hour and took bits and pieces of sea glass she’s collected for years and with some effort created a rather unique mosaic on a large pot. At some time in the future that pot will be filled with flowers and have a special spot on the deck.

Watching her was very similar to watching her grandson as he plays. She was in that special moment of creating and she was excited and mesmerized by the experience.  It did my heart good to see her beginning to really appreciate the talents she wasn’t sure she had.  I look forward to more of her creative projects and intend to encourage her at every turn.  She’s about to become a much happier and confident person and will grow creatively just as her grandson is.

I’m the lucky guy who gets to watch the two of them growing together.