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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

A Man Who Loved Art

On this Father’s Day, I’m thinking (rather emotionally) of my father, a not uncommon occurrence for a day such as this.  And what I’m thinking of most is his love for all things creative. 

He collected art, Western and Native American in particular.  He pored through every issue of Southwest Art, loved the galleries in Santa Fe, and was always excited to share his latest find.   

He was passionate about live music, and it little mattered what form it took…iconic late-night jazz in a dark dive where he shouldn’t have taken his daughters, but he didn’t want us to miss a thing.  Broadway musicals, high school choir concerts, the opera, a country band at a Texas icehouse…it didn’t matter; if the music was on, he was there.

He read poetry, watched live theatre, sought every opportunity for his three daughters to learn and become a part of creative pursuits.  And while he practiced none of these things he so loved, he was monumentally proud of the wife and daughters and grandchildren who did.   

I’ve been thinking and writing about creativity lately, about how it feels to exercise it, to make something, to take an idea and coax/work/pummel it into existence.  And interestingly, I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes it’s enough – more than enough – to simply partake in the creativity of someone else.  I’ve long believed that the cycle of artistic creation is not complete until the thing created is observed by someone other than its creator.   If that is indeed true, then we’re all part of the process, whether we are the ones who birth or the ones who receive. 

My father’s love of the visual, performance, and written arts shaped who I am as surely as if he had placed a brush in my hand himself, or composed the song I sang, or written the outline for a story.  Thank you, Daddy.  I love you and miss you and wish I could have known you longer and better.

The Honorable John C. Martin, 1936-2000

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all of the ways that we creative types – whether we’re visual artists, artisans, crafters, writers, musicians – express our creativity and about how much that creativity permeates our lives. 

I’m a visual artist who spent a lot of years as a singer and songwriter and who has always been a writer of one sort or another.  I have a constant need to create in some way; for me, that translates into decorating my home (sewing all of the new draperies and bedding for my bedroom instead of buying them ready-made, for instance); making jewelry, which I’ll never do professionally, but I love making it; gardening (I’m a firm believer that most gardening enthusiasts are flexing their creative muscles); and so it goes…

I refinish furniture, I crochet a little, instead of painting I draw or felt, I make gifts for people rather than purchase them.  I go to art parties and make shrines and postcards and birdhouses and mosaics.  And I’m always thinking about something I might do, would do, should do, used to do.  A new medium?  A new story?  Sure!  It never stops…and I don’t want it to.

How do others express their creativity outside their primary medium or field?  What do you do?  And what does it do for you?

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