What is creativity

Creativity is the expression of one’s imagination. This applies to everyday life, setting goals for your future or doing a new piece of art. I can imagine a better way to organize my bedroom closet, see my art hanging in an exhibit or touch a velvet and see the ridges and folds of rolling hills. 

Most people can imagine this same way. It does chaff me when people say they are not creative or artistic. This is because we all have the ability to image things, to daydream, to even draw a purple tree if you want. I do know that as in everything there are levels of ability. I certainly don’t consider myself a chief but I certainly can cook a fine dinner. 

I rely on my imagination, my creativity to see things that others do not. So can I say I am creative because I imagine things differently than others? I do believe I see things that others do not. Often when picking out fabric for my art quilts I am asked what I am going to make. I point to a color or drawn line that shows a sunrise, mountain ridge or lake front. Most reply they could see it now that I pointed that out but not before. I laugh when I say I see things in fabric. 

My current work is all imagined, an underwater seascape. I have done a series of these yet each is it’s own imagined world. I start with a commercial batik fabric as a background which sets the color pallet I will use.  Here is a picture showing the back of my  current work so you can see the turquoise, green and some gold I started with. 

 I lay loose threads, ribbons, speciality yarns across the fabric, trap them to the surface with a layer of toile loosly stitching this down. I had a wonderful moss green dyed velvet that I scrunched and folded in the foreground to emulate brain coral. A dark purple silk is next in front of the velvet along with another green fabric. Then layers of burnt out ribbon, more yarn and stitching. Lots of layers to show depth and interest. 

I have more to add to mostly the foreground on this piece but really enjoy showing how I go about using what I imagine to create my art. On a side note I have never dived and have not use pictures from divers for these underwater pieces. They are all from my imagination but have been complimented for the beauty of this work by those that do dive. 


Sitting outside after a fierce thunderstorm made we wonder, how do animals and in particular birds, survive such a storm? I know not all do but as I hear them chirping in the trees I wonder if they just hang on for dear life. Hunkering down in the hollow of a tree hoping for the violence of nature to end.

Making art can be blissful or stormy at times. To commit to start a new idea can make you anxious, a little stormy but that comes with the process. You need to push through this and just start. I have to admit when I am quiet inside, no worries or distractions is when I am most creative. However sometimes the circumstances of the day are loud and stormy. I usually avoid anything creative when this happens because I feel like that bird in the thunderstorm, hanging on to dear life not knowing what is coming next. 

Usually I try to distract myself from these worries by looking at art or researching techniques. You never know what you may see from looking again at a master painting or sculpture. You may find beauty in the pattern of a manhole cover, the texture of tree bark or by exploring someone’s art. I was on a trip in late April flying out of Philadelphia International airport when I came across this amazing felt art. 



It has become the “new” thing to put art in airports. Often it is a good way for a city to promote the artists of their city to a captured audience, airport passengers. Seeing that these passengers are from a wide variety of society the art is exposed to a lot more than the normal art scene. 

This art by Heidi Bleacher is so colorful and inventive. The scale of making small things big really works. The playfulness of the bears, one on top of the other is engaging. I was caught in the awe from a 6 year old boy telling his mom that the teddy bears were having fun playing. I truly enjoyed the mushrooms reminding me of the dancing mushrooms from Disney’s Fantasia. I can just see them spinning and spinning to classical music. 

The last display includes bright ladybugs, always fun with their bright red against the grey fence and yellow sunflowers. This artist hit it out of the park and has helped me to stop just thinking about my art. I am ready to get busy with my artistic soul replenished. Can you guess my next project? 


Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them. Marcus Aurelius.

I have just come home from a short visit with family out of state. Our visit cemented the fact that my love of nature came from both my mom and dad. We canoed, back packed, swam in the ocean and camped most summers. This emersion in nature instilled a sense of beauty of that nature. Another sense, just something imbedded in my sub-conscious that I am able to draw upon to express in my art.  A wealth of subjects make this an easy style but as I have said before the depth of this subject makes this well of ideas very deep.

One of those family camping trips took my family on a hiking trip on the Appalachian trail in North Carolina. My parents with my five siblings backpacked and hiked for two weeks for a total of fifty five miles. Oh boy they were silly or courageous but we did have fun. I believe the oldest was thirteen and the youngest three or four. I myself would have been five caring the most important thing in my knapsack, toilet paper and toothpaste.

My dad had taught us if we ever felt like we would fall while hiking to lean back and fall on your butt.  As we were heading down a steep hill my youngest sister kept sitting down. She was small enough not to have anything to carry so it was puzzling why she was doing this.  Seems the bushes along the trail were wild blueberries and she was eating these along the way. I can still see her blue stained hands and lips from that day. I know family memories are strong for everyone but this one shows how we were allowed just to play in nature. Thank you mom and dad.

Today I want to share the beauty I see in my daily walks and travels. As my quote for the day says I do this to dwell on the beauty of life, nature and seeing that beauty in nature is life to me. I have no idea if I will ever use any of these photos in actual art work but it is my visual context. This context becomes my springboard. Yes I too can see myself running down that hillside and stopping to eat a few blueberries along the way.




Work and fun

There is always a struggle to find the time to get art work done. When I worked 9 to 5 I waited until I was inspired and had the energy. Life, being a wife, mother along with work, it was hard to juggle my need to create. I do not regret any moment of this struggle though. It gave me time to explore ideas, methods and techniques to fit what I had in mind. To develop my style and find the best way to express this style. This occurred to me recently when someone asked how I came about using fabric and stitch in my art. 

Now that I am no longer in the 9 to 5 grind I am free to use my day as I please. This is freeing but also can become a crutch to not do much all day long. I have talked about habits, things done on a regular schedule makes things happen. It also makes one nervous to think that you may run out of ideas. This last week I have done a bit of reading but no new art. Then I read this quote “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have” Maya Angelo. 

Guess I need to stop waiting for the muse to hit me and just get into the habit of making art. I do have many ideas so I need to just get to it. I have progressed with each new piece. Will that continue? Will I run out of ideas? A couple of years ago I challenged myself to one new piece of art a month. I accomplished this while still working and it pushed my art further than I expected. 

So I will face those questions and take that same challenge one step further. Starting in June I will do 2 new pieces each month. Seeing this in writing to the world makes it real and a bit scary but I will do my best because I do believe there is no way to use up my creativity. 

Sometimes fun and work can be combined too. This last Saturday I met up with my crazy quilt group. We exchanged pin cushions with each other. We all have stitched blocks for each other but this was the first pin cushions for the group. We pulled names from a hat and had a couple of months to complete it. 

Knowing who I was making it for allowed me to customize the color and stitching to what I knew she would like. I made mine bigger than most, starting with a 11 inch square that I ended up sinching around a 9 inch circle of heavy cardboard. Below is a picture of the block while still flat. 

On the bottom of this block is a pretty vine with green leaves are some pretty purple flowers made out of trim. When I pulled it up I almost lost the flowers due to the pleats around the edge. I would not put something so close to the edge next time. 

Here is a picture of the rest of the groups pin cushions along with mine. We are very lucky to have some very talented ladies in this group. 

So I can see that creating art can be work at times but even better when you get to do something fun at the same time. I may just have another pin cushion to work up now! 


Creativity is intelligence having fun. Einstein 

Does this ring true? I often wonder if my left brain intelligence has had any affect on my right brain creativity. It always seemed two divergent things. The logical, academic thought and knowledge was one thing. The creative, esthetic, fun side was not the same. Yet once I read this comment from Enstein it just clicked. 

They are the same, how could you even think of fun without the intelligence and knowledge that it has to be based on? Most artists research a subject, do sketches, check new techniques that apply to the subject and do studies. This is the logical, intelligent way to test a theory or hypothesis as in science.  

I never linked these together until I read this quote. I work out a lot of problems with my art in my head, thinking of color, movement and texture. This is the logical side of my creative side. Then there is the fun action of creation, the habit of doing that is ethereal. I loose track of time, forget whatever else is on my mind and am just creating. 

At times it doesn’t match exactly as I planned. This doesn’t bother me. I may be led to something I had not considered, happy “accidents” that may or may not be useable. Good thing about stitching you can always take it out, just like erasing a drawn line. This also can be frustrating, something I have talked about in the past. To make the vision I have in my head to come out in my art. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. 

Take the progress on this crazy quilt block. I finished the blue turquoise vine on the bottom and really enjoy the contrast on the dusty purple. The circular movement really comes thru with the lazy dazy flowers on each stem. I decided I needed to bring the pink salmon on the left into play, thus the buttonhole stitch across the top of the turquoise silk. I have laid out some beads to top off each stitch that match the dusty purple exactly. I don’t want to obscure the fabric print on the left side so have pinned a line of organza trim on the seam. Not exactly sure if this will stay but will leave it for consideration. It is coming along but perhaps enough fun for today.