Community and Creative Process

I have lived in artistic communities since early adulthood. I love the energy, feel it even when I am alone in my room. There is affirmation of the value of creating within an art community. There is knowledge that process is important. The energy in a community where people participate in the creative process helps generate ideas, even as we disagree  about the relative value of specific pieces or particular forms of art.
Art for me has been a means of keeping an even keel in a crazy world.
Often when I create, whether a poem, a painting or a song, I don’t fully understand the symbols and juxtapositions of ideas until much later. Art is not a way to recreate reality, but distorts reality in order to fully portray it, like a curved glass will focus the sun’s rays on a single point, and result in a fire.


photo of Baltimore rapper Wealth making a music video in Savage, Maryland.


The Creative Process on Tuesday

Tuesdays are my off-from-work day.  I love them because most people (including my husband) are at work and I get to slack off all by myself.  So I putz around the house, clean a bit, read a bit, and then make it to the pottery studio for a few hours.  Then home again, where I eat a decently cooked meal for once. Perhaps I read some more or … whatever.  It it my day of no-plan.  Next I’m likely to fuss at my small garden and do other creative projects which are at hand.  Today, it is framing a beautiful picture of Ganesha and writing this blog entry.  Somehow the solitude and time to wander around the neighborhood or just wander through my small home is highly conducive to creativity.  The gentle act of moving and observing everything outside, or wandering inside and randomly picking up a poetry book, or pulling out construction paper and scissors generates spontaneous ideas.  Years ago, a friend told me that even if I didn’t have time to execute all my ideas, I could write them down and maybe get back to them later.  It was excellent advice.  Not only does it stop me from despairing that I will never get to any of my ideas, but it empties my head so that I can concentrate on the one idea I wish to act on now.  Which happens to be…writing this blog.  Right now.  In short, what I need most to be creative is lots of time.  It is not necessarily time directly related to creating.  There must be some time to let the ideas naturally germinate and grow, away from the pressure to be or do something.  It is time to absorb other people’s ideas, which naturally leads to my own creative process.  Some ideas of projects for today (only one or two of which I will get to) are:

finish sewing alterations of clothing

executing several pottery designs that I’ve been mulling over since Sunday, when I went to the Walters Museum’s Japanese pottery show

some sketching ideas I’ve been thinking about, such as another self portrait (haven’t done one in a while) or I might just sketch the cat

I’ve also been thinking about doing some really large painting projects to just play with large brush strokes

cutting out  colored construction paper to tape onto the front door as a precursor to painting an abstract design on it

starting another short story from the several ideas written in my notebook

trying to sound out one of the Child Ballads I’ve recently heard on the guitar

Ahh, or I could just stare out the window at the crab apple tree blossoms that are just opening, turning from bright pink buds to 5-petaled white flowers.  Or I could paint them….

Tuesdays are really good.



(stoneware plate created in 2013 and painted last Tuesday)