Monday, August 10, 2009

Carving time for your Muse

Why are most artists fascinated with the topic of creativity? Perhaps the answer is that we fear its loss. We examine how we come by our own ideas and how others do so, panic when we have dry spells, and attempt to furnish our physical space in ways that are conducive to the creation process. We seek inspiration anywhere we can by taking workshops, reading books and blog posts, collecting pictures and quotes, journaling, listening to music, or taking a walk in the hope that we can jump start the creative engine. Above all, we’re in a hurry to “get it right” because time is a-wasting, and we don’t want a great idea like Diane Clancy's Poetic Mountain to get away from us.

If we listen to the advice of American painter Georgia O’Keefe, however, we need to give ourselves the gift of time to develop our ideas. “Nobody sees a flower—really—” says O’Keefe, “it is so small it takes time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” Great advice! While creative thinking tools that I have written about in previous posts (such as SCAMPER or Attribute Listing) can be very helpful in generating ideas when nothing else seems to work, these methods depend more on an organized approach than on the clock-free zone of our subconscious. In a perfect world, we can take all the time we need to let our senses absorb impressions. We see and hear and feel and smell, wrapping ourselves in a cocoon from which ideas emerge—organically—when the time is right.


According to Julia Cameron, one of my favorite authors who has written numerous books about creativity, we need to set “artist dates” for ourselves to give our Muse the time it needs to percolate. An artist date is a period of time you set aside at least once a week for just a few hours, in which you use your senses to explore the world. This is not a time to take along a friend, a spouse or your grandchild. You may choose to attend a concert, visit a museum, bird watch, stroll through a butterfly garden or a field of flowers, curl up with a book in a secluded library corner, bake a rich dessert for yourself, or even meditate.


This is your time. Open your eyes, listen, taste, smell, touch—and dream, as the BBEST artists below obviously have done. In my next post, we'll explore Boomer blogs whose posts are an artist date in themselves.





© 2009 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. Please note that the images in this post are owned by the artists and may not be used without permission. Simultaneously published at http://sparklines.blogspot.com.

16 comments:

Sixsisters said...

So true Judy. Thanks for the great post.

MagdaleneJewels said...

Thank you for choosing some of the Bbest for your blog. I always look forward to seeing what painting Diane will come up with next or intriquing photo from Beth, Mystic's silk butterfly is so real looking; and of course cannot forgot Mike's unique borosilicate (did I spell that right?) pendants.
And congrats to all the other Bbest artists on our team who belong on this list!

ZudaGay said...

Great post, Judy! We really do need to take time to ourselves once in a while. Pamper ourselves a little. :) Such lovely selections for us to view! Thank you so much!

NightSky said...

I love this post. The items you chose to show are all perfect, and I'd like to own each one!

blazingneedles said...

Terrific post - starts one thinking .....

marion said...

Great to see so much lovely work. I've just finished a book on creativity, which I'm going to put in my shop as soon as it's back from the printers. I hope it'll bring inspiration to lots of people. Meanwhile, we'll just have to keep reading the BBEST blog for a regular dose of inspiration!

Mold Testing Frederick, MD said...

Awesome pictures!

<3 Lindsay

Ceci said...

What a nice surprise! I agree, we need...owe it to ourselves to be pampered.

Beth said...

I totally enjoyed this feature. Thank you Judy for including my print among all this other beautiful creations.

joon said...

Judy, this is wonderful and the timing is amazing as I have just returned to my novel ~ making time is so important and such a challenge. But once I get started I enjoy the activity so. Thanks for this boost and inspiration and for including one of my new items. Starting that last week did pave the way (habit) for my writing again.

On a Whimsey said...

An interesting post Judy, thank you. Oh so true, life gets in the way many times that we must try to set time aside to reflect and remember 'what makes it all tick'! Then the Muse can percolate and has a chance to help us create again.

MYSTIC SILKS said...

Judy,

A great topic to blog about,
"Creativity." How important that is for all of us no matter what the muses bring out in us.
Thank you for including " Her Majesty, the Monarch"
MysticSilks

Beth Anderson said...

On my profile on my blog I state "creativity is a drug I can't live without" and it is so true.
Thank you for a great topic and for sharing the loving works by such talented bbesters.

Chauncey said...

jn, a fabulous post. Setting aside some "creative time" sounds like an excellent idea.

Jill said...

Good topic. Something I've needed to be reminded of.

Pam said...

Time to oneself, allowing the creative juices to flow....what a wonderful goal! Love the pieces you showcased. So much talent! Thank you for a wonderful blogpost.