Friday, February 26, 2016

the urge to create

You're a kid. You have crayons and newsprint, a few coloring books, glue and blunt edged scissors, and what comes naturally? To play around with all these things, and make a mess and maybe even a picture that ends up on the refrigerator. This trend now in adult coloring books is pretty awesome - we are finally realizing how whole brained it is to just mess around with color and line.

I, for one, need to create.
I need to cut out images, glue them down, add words, more images, colors.
It really lightens my heaviness to do this, it opens up some sense of wonder and love of beauty.

We all are meant to create beauty in our lives, be it cooking beautiful vegetables and arranging them on a platter, adding some interesting colored pillows to the couch, hanging all our earrings on an earring tree, putting the spices in a pretty row, sitting on the deck and admiring the way the light falls through the winter branches on the wood, pairing yellow socks with red shoes, etc.

For me, the act of art opens up something. Deep meanings and subconscious thoughts? Sometimes it's that, but other times it's just a sense that as a human being, I have the right to create. Birds make beautiful nests, spiders spin amazing webs, their work might not be for the purpose of beauty, but it seems to work better if our efforts end up with something nice to look at.

I don't know if my dog has ever just watched the sunset, I do know he can sit outside for hours and contemplate the smells, maybe creating stories in his head of the squirrels and other dogs the smells evoke. Is he creative?
I did read somewhere that Octopi like to find little rocks and trinkets to decorate their homesteads.
We should remember this and follow their example.

Don't think.
Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.
You can't try to do things.
You simply must do things.
--Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

movement : meaning : mood : messages

Sometimes (often, in fact) I just tear and cut out pictures from books and magazines, and glue them down. The random factor is helped by the fact I use scrap paper as my journal page, and the underneath image just occurs accidentally instead of starting with a white background.

I do this because it helps remove my controlling/rational/logical left brain from the process.  I don't want to know what I am doing in advance, I want it to happen in spite of my intentions.

My random/intuitive/feeling right brain often can sneak in meaning when I work this way. When I feel pleased with the arrangement, I know I am on to something. It's not about pretty collage, it's about revelation. I felt satisfied this morning with this collage - I am not even figuring out why, although I did write the words "dance and enjoy the fruit of your labor," something I am working on in my life.

So my sneaky right brain created a message to myself through tearing out paper, cutting out images, and assembling them together on a page in my journal.

Tight control and rational thinking are so over rated in our world.  Let your journal help you break that habit.

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine.
The landmine is me.
After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”

--Ray Bradbury

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Midori scrap paper collage, part 2

I just spent two weeks in Tucson, dog and house sitting for my niece.  I love being in a new place with no distractions to hike, explore, contemplate, and work in my journal -- we hiked in Saguaro National Park, where the iconic saguaro cactuses fill the dry landscape.

I gathered some materials from the tourist office, from the gem and mineral show I attended, and from the park for journaling ephemera, and just messed around a bit.  Is there a theme?  Not really, sometimes it's all about playing around with no intention, some revelation might occur, or not.  This is an important aspect to creativity - to mess around with no goal.  Some of the collages I like, others not so much, and that's okay.  I might add more work to some of these, I might not.  It is good to let the control-oriented, rational mind take a back seat for a while.

Here are some of the results: