09 June 2014

To Creativity

**All of my alone time has led to a lot of thinking time. And since my blog is my way of keeping track of the thoughts I'd like to remember, you can expect to see a lot more random posts like this in the future.**

A few things lately have caused me to think about all the years I spent in art classes trying to discover my creativity and originality. 

I have a love/hate relationship with art.

I love the process of making something beautiful that didn't exist before. I love colors and paint. I love the feel of a brush in my hand. I love examining the way lighting changes everything about the appearance of an object or landscape. I love the way I can get lost in a piece of art.

And yet I hate that I never seem to be able to capture that like I want. I hate that as much as I love painting, I'm not very artistic. I hate that I never seem to be able to come up with original ideas of what to create. I hate that I'm such a perfectionist that I would spend countless hours trying to perfect even the smallest details of a piece so it would look exactly like the image I was trying to capture.


Art was SO much a part of my life growing up. My sister had band and teaching, my brothers had sports, cars, and construction. I had art. And yet, since I graduated high school I've done very little of it. I didn't have the confidence to take any art classes in college, especially since I so vividly remembered the self-induced stress to get something perfect. I remember more than a few all-nighters and lots of tired tears shed over various assignments.


That being said, I was a different person back then. I defined myself by my dedication to my studies. And although I LIKED art, I was still too worried about meeting the requirements of each assignment rather than just creating what I wanted. It was hard for me to artistically express myself according to the parameters of a grading rubric.
Don't get me wrong, some of the pieces I created I really do love. I have a few of them framed, and I've even given a few as gifts.

None of them demonstrate an extraordinary talent... because I don't really have that. Most of these have been buried away in a portfolio for the last 8-11 years, because I was under the mistaken impression that only my 'best' work was worth sharing. But that really is an unfortunate way for me to regard all the years of hard work I put into developing even this mediocre talent. So here's to embracing the talents I have, and the opportunity to further develop them!


But I've been able to overcome a lot of my perfectionism. Not all of it. But enough that I wonder what it would be like for me to pick up a paintbrush again. Would I still be obsessed with my creative weaknesses? 


I still have flashbacks to the all-nighters I pulled in order to complete this drawing on time. An assignment about lighting and reflection, this is of a glass perfume bottle that was obviously photographed in the vicinity of something with stripes. At least I can now laugh at the amount of tears I shed over this. 
Well, I don't really know the answer to that. But I suppose there is only one way to find out... So I need a project with a purpose. My most successful pieces were those that I was able to pour my heart and soul into. Those were the pieces which I honestly felt inspired and guided through. 

I actually don't have pictures of most of those pieces, even though they were the pieces that encouraged me to endure all the other projects. 

This still-life was sponsored by both Kenny Chesney and Celine Dion's greatest hits albums. Over and over and over again. Not sure why those particular CDs were so inspiring to me at the time, but anything else I tried seemed to be too distracting. haha
I've drawn a lot of still-lives in my time, but this might be my favorite. Perhaps not the best, but one of the more interesting visuals in my opinion. I thought that basket would be the end of me, but I survived.
Watercolor paint + dancing in the rain = the way creating art should feel!
Seriously it's SO FUN! TRY IT!!!
But I do have a picture of this one. It took me weeks. Some of my happiest and most spiritual artistic moments occurred while I worked on this piece. I love LDS church history and I'm absolutely obsessed with Nauvoo. It is perhaps my favorite place on earth. I fervently prayed that I'd be able to portray the peace I feel whenever I'm there.

This drawing is far from perfect. But I felt my limited artistic abilities magnified tenfold while I worked on this. I specifically prayed that the Lord would guide my hand, and I know that He did. I still love to look at this piece because I am reminded every time of how much the Lord can magnify my meager talents, as well as how much He loves to answer even my most trivial of prayers, such as wanting to create something beautiful to represent my love for Nauvoo.

God is an infinitely creative being, and as His daughter, I've inherited some of that creativity. And while I've spent the last 9 years pursuing other avenues of creativity--namely music, writing, floral design, photography, and various crafts--I feel it might be time to at least TRY to draw or paint again.

"The more you rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity will be to create." 
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This is one of my favorite Mormon Messages, and while I know I've posted it before 
it so perfectly goes along with this rambling of mine.

So I've determined that I will somehow include a goal to further develop my creativity as part of my Sabbatical Year... starting with an art project. 

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