The Vagaries of Creativity

Thinking out loud…

Something is bubbling up.  A brief but bright spot in my morning thoughts, an idea…..that I didn’t say “no” to.

I can’t say that my creativity has been dimmed over the past couple years, but I can say that it has been splintered.  Splintered into many directions—many directions, and none of them particularly stellar in the world of ART.  I’ve doubted my credibility as an artist, even though I have not really changed how I go about answering my questions.  I have still followed my curiosity.  I have still followed what gives me pleasure and comfort.  I have still questioned and searched, trying to understand.  I have experimented and studied and worked diligently, diving into new territory, or revisiting old territory.  I haven’t changed all that much, but what I have been doing has changed…a lot.

This “sea change” has been coming on a long time, at least ten years.  It began as a growing dissatisfaction with my own work as a quilt maker, a growing sense that I was going through the motions, covering territory I felt done with.  I think there is something that just IS part of my character—to “jump ship” when I feel as though I have begun to work out of what is expected.  When I have gone onto automatic, conveyor belt thinking and creating, I know I need to step off the conveyor belt.  These sea changes have occurred throughout my life, often feeling like a wrong turn at first,  but carrying me to a more satisfying path.

One thing this year of covid has given me is time…time to think, to ponder.  This sequestered year has given me time to be home, to focus on home, to focus on what is right in front of me—always my strategy when things get confused or tough, as things do in our lives.  It has been a time fraught with fear and stress, worry and doubt.  Letting my creativity find its own path, find its own level has brought me through on a jumbled and oddball journey that often puzzled me, and just as often gave me peace.

So I explored…..bread making, sock making, sour dough, wools and yarn-y things.  I let some things pile up, ignored, and kept my kitchen sink clean.  I studied the architecture of sock making, making socks as if my life depended on it.  The mythic mysteries of sourdough became a passion, and my sourdough starter (named Trevor) became my resident pet.  I pursued flat breads to tortillas to focaccia to sourdough pancakes.

And you know, the best thing has been the final feeling that I have some understanding of these things—that I understand.  And that is where I find myself.  Possibilities of quiet endeavor open up.  Ideas drop by and I am eager to see what can come of that.  I say “yes”.

I say “yes”.

4 thoughts on “The Vagaries of Creativity”

  1. So glad to receive your blog in my reader today! Just LAST NIGHT, I was cruising around in your website, admiring anew some of the quilts of yours that I particularly like. And now here you are ! ….reinventing, rethinking, on the verge of something perhaps new. I’m happy for you. It’s a good place to be. Sometimes down deep our artist knows when a change is happening, or has to happen….long before our brains catch up. And in the meanwhile, you’ve made some great socks and some delicious sourdough breads. Win win!

  2. Yay! So glad you’re back here. As always, I need to read your thoughts several times before I know how to respond. Things I can really relate to are the feeling of being ‘splintered in many directions’, and the fear & doubt, worry & stress of this past year. Long ago, when I was a student, sourdough was a hype. You know there is always more, and we used to share it with others until everyone had had enough of it. Back then it was called Herman. I’m looking forward to reading more about the thing(s) you’re saying yes to. I think it is immensely valuable for (slightly) younger peope to see that we can keep growing at any age.

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