Fall is right around the corner and students all over the country are returning to school. Taking a class or two each year not only fulfills my Florida Teaching Certificate requirements, it also motivates me. Being in a studio setting with other artists inspires me to create. Since I won’t be taking a class this fall, I will have to rely on gallery visits, long walks with Mother Nature, and my own imagination for the inspiration I crave.
“Coming Together”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
“Nature’s Finest”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
“Playing Dress Up”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
“Circles”–Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Swarovski Crystals
Someone asked me recently if I made time to paint while on vacation. Vacations are supposed to be filled with one’s favorite activities, so, yes, I paint when I travel! I have two different travel paint sets and a variety of brushes, as well as a pencil and a set of pens that are always in my travel tote. With the pressures of everyday life left behind, inspiration often appears when I’m in vacation mode. The real magic is in keeping that creativity flowing after I’m home.
“Paint”–Graphite and Watercolor
I own countless brushes, pencils, and palette knives, but the best tool in my artist’s studio is my imagination. Many artists paint from life—or paint life the way it is. I prefer to paint life the way it could be. The key to creativity is tapping into one’s imagination. For me, creativity tends to strike when I’m engaged in mundane tasks—showering, driving, vacuuming, riding my bike. The ideas start to flow—lightly at first, like a spring sun shower. That light shower quickly becomes an all-out flood that I try to outrun as I rush for the nearest pen. Once the idea is on paper, it’s mine. Next week, when I’m sunning myself on the white beaches of Castaway Cay, I have a feeling my creativity will be racing like a runaway river. I’ll be sure to pack a pen so I can catch every precious drop.
“The Key to Creativity”–graphite and watercolor–from my sketchbook
Like most artists, I grew up in a world of creativity. Whether visual arts, music, theater, or dance, I was always immersed in something from the art realm. Somehow, along the way, domestic duties pushed their way up my ladder of priorities, and ‘art’ became something I doodled on the back of a kid’s menu to entertain my daughter while we waited for our dinner.
A few years ago, I enrolled in a drawing class at Valencia College. I needed six credit hours to renew my Florida teaching certificate, and I thought it would be an easy A. It wasn’t. I worked hard for that A. My instructor pushed me so far out of my comfort zone I thought I might never find my way back. Maybe I wasn’t meant to find my way back. I unexpectedly awakened the fire of creativity in my soul that had dwindled to a glowing ember. Suddenly, passion was back, and it felt good. I would find myself lost in a drawing for hours, skipping meals and totally losing track of time. It was like my drawing instructor had handed me a map, and suddenly I knew exactly where I wanted to go.
This blog is the story of my journey back to creativity. I might have been lost for a few years, but I think I’m back on track now. And the good news is that I’m never afraid to stop and ask for directions.