Saturday, June 26, 2010

on art and creativity

something that came to me recently and it's one of those silly little personal epiphanies where you say "why didn't i ever think of that before?". maybe it's part of my healing and developing more self esteem and maybe it's just getting older and more capable and jaded but i find myself struck recently by the simplicity of the world. that when you understand how things work you wonder why they ever seemed out of your league and complicated. i watch workers "install" new windows and screens in my apartment and i get how it comes together and how easy it all is. perhaps it takes practice and precision, but it's not mystical or amazing. it's glass glued to metal, set into the frame of a hole in the wall with sealant to keep the water out. no mystery to it. building a house or other structure is just setting wood or metal into the ground with concrete, adding more wood and jiprock and insulation and putting a roof on top. perhaps this is one of those things that the rest of the world figured out before me and maybe it's my diy spirit but maybe the rest of the world thinks this way as well:that things you don't know how to do or create are mysterious and complicated and you should never attempt them. working in tech support and seeing first hand people's fear of technology leads me to believe such. maybe i've just had too much of this martini on an empty stomach. i find more and more that when i understand that nature of a thing it seems much simpler then i imagined and i can't fathom how i ever though it was otherwise. i find this kind of understanding and insight leads to interesting things in my crafts and art work. one of my more recent paintings is an abstract of bright tropical colours overlayed with a rough bird of paradise flower and looking at it i find myself thinking of a line out of a terry pratchet novel that talks about a rough sketch of a horse that is "not what a horse looks like, it's what it are". i feel the same about that painting. it's not what a bird of paradise looks like, it's what it IS: delicate and energetic and exotic and passionate. perhaps that's why i work in mixed media. sometimes to revel in creating something in materials where i understand their nature, sometimes in order TO understand their nature. to work with it and around it and feel my gift flowing through me and put something somewhere because 'that's just where it goes'. perhaps that's also why i'm drawn to plants and animals and all the other life around me. i can understand and work with and change all the lifeless objects around me to suit myself, i can never force a plant to grow or my cat to be happy and playful or the birds to come to my feeder. they will act according to their natures and i cannot control a thing about them. they create the world around me as much as i do and when i revel in their beauty i am also appreciating my own gifts and understanding. our talents are the goddess's gift to us. what we do with them are our gift to her.

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