Posted tagged ‘creativity’

By All Means Create

August 14, 2014

We’ve all had it, that voice that says we can’t do something, or that we can’t do it well enough, or we don’t have the time. Perhaps we need to listen to Van Gogh who said “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” The staff at Opus Art Supplies has made a video illustrating this quote. It was a nice little reminder for me this morning and thus I wanted to share it.

Nick Bantock’s “The Trickster’s Hat”

May 20, 2014
The Tricksters Hat by Nick Bantock

The Tricksters Hat by Nick Bantock

“The Trickster’s Hat, A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity” by Nick Bantock, was given to me recently as a birthday present. In the early nineties I was all excited about Bantock’s first huge success “Griffin and Sabine” which reflected my own love of collage, letters, found objects, and small art such as postage stamps. Then I “grew up” and life got in the way of creativity and play. I’ve become more concerned about a regular paycheque and paying the bills than I am about playing with my art materials. Where did I loose my path? I still create, but something is missing.

Even just having this book put into my hands has suddenly sparked my brain into creative drive. Like Julia Cameron’s best selling “The Artist’s Way”, which got me out of a creative and personal bump in my road a few years back, I hope “The Trickster’s Hat” will guide me down an artistic highway for some fun adventures.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/39181285″>Nick Bantock, Author & Artist</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user1686564″>Jenn Strom</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Make Good Art speech by Neil Gaiman

December 31, 2013

With my recent feelings of being a bit blocked, this was an amazing speech to listen to at the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. No, I’m not blocked, I’ve just been caught up in paying bills, and completing chores, and trying to do things that everyone else says I should do. Life isn’t always easy, but at the end of the day, or perhaps the beginning, we should do at least one thing – make good art! Thank you Neil Gaiman for your good words.

 

 

How to View The Show at Emily Carr

May 17, 2013

With over 300 Design, Media, and Visual Arts graduates this year, Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s grad exhibition offers something for everyone. I walked through the rooms for 2 hours on Monday but was disappointed with the first few rooms thinking that after 4 years of study shouldn’t there be some art that displays a little more skill and thought? But then I started finding a few artworks that made me laugh, or appreciate their technique, or think about their message.

Parcel #1357 by Shannon McKirgan

Parcel #1357 by Shannon McKirgan

There will be as many opinions about an art show as there are people who walk through it. Art is personal. What you like another person may hate. Some people like posters of puppies in their living room. Others would faint at that idea and thus spend hours at auctions trying to find the right Miro print to match their decor. I forget which artist said it, perhaps it was Christian Boltanski when he had a show at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but I remember this idea and use it whenever I view art: the artist said “I don’t care whether they love my art or hate my art, just as long as they have some kind of reaction. If they feel nothing then my art has failed.”

The next step would be to ask yourself why you love it, or hate it, or are indifferent to it. Art is a form of communication. So what is it saying to you? Sometimes the answer doesn’t come right away. I like Shannon McKirgan’s “Parcel #1357”, but I still am not sure why. It’s not a style that I normally pick out. The subject is a little depressing – a lone box of a building. For now I think it’s just the quality of her brushstrokes and the positive versus negative space, as well as the framing presentation.

Cachalot and Gray by Fiona Hawkes

Cachalot and Gray by Fiona Hawkes

With the whale close ups in charcoal by Fiona Hawkes I immediately knew I liked them because I appreciate the skill in her realistic drawings. I draw realistically, and thus whenever I see other artworks in this style I am drawn (ha!) to them.

Throwing by Nolan Drew

Throwing by Nolan Drew

Then there was the mini installation “Throwing” by Nolan Drew. It immediately put a smile to my face because as much as I love working on a wheel, it’s not easy to make a bowl or vase or anything round, and Nolan’s piece reminded me of that frustration. There have been times when it collapses, or flies off. I still remember the expression of surprise on one of my student’s faces when she had her clay go whizzing off the wheel and splat onto the classroom wall.

You have this weekend to catch “The Show”, which ends May 19th. There is also an online catalogue at ECUAD’s website. http://theshow2013.ecuad.ca/  Hope you find something you love or hate.

Creativity in Kids: Caine’s Arcade

January 22, 2013

As soon as I saw the You Tube video “Caine’s Arcade” (thanks Astrid for the link) I knew I had to post a link on my website. I have to admit Nirvan’s movie brought a tear to my eye because I see so many children that are forgetting how to play on their own, creatively like we used to years ago. I used to grab old telephone parts and light switches and set them up underneath our picnic table, imagining it to be a spaceship, or boat, that would manoeuvre across the backyard lawn to new worlds in my mind.

Caine has taken the “lemonade stand” to a new level. Nirvan Mullick’s movies, and the Imagination Foundation, have helped create a cardboard wave of creativity around the world. Watch the second movie here and then check out  the original on You Tube. Then go grab some cardboard and make something, no matter what your age is!

 

Do You Suffer From Career Complacency?

June 5, 2012

Last week, Mike, a fellow musician, posted a link to a podcast that talked about career complacency. I’m not one to spend a half hour listening to something online, but I did this time, and I went further to find where the text version was (by Scott Dinsmore), and to see the trailer for a film being made on the subject (“I’m Fine, Thanks”). I encourage everyone who has ever had the thought “I wish I were doing something I love,” or “I wish I could be an artist, musician, dancer, architect, astronaut …” to go and check out these sites.

What is true to your heart? What gives you a creative high? Don’t be content to just float through life, spread your wings and soar! What an amazing world this would be if we all decided to try our best to live our dreams instead of just doing what others tell us is practical and realistic. It’s hard to get out of our daily routine, but I would like to try. How about you?

Here are the sites:  http://liveyourlegend.net/   Read the post:

How Complacency Killed the College Graduate (& the American Dream) + What YOU Can Do

Then go to this site to see the trailer, and maybe donate, to the feature length documentary about complacency called “I’m Fine, Thanks”  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cranktank/im-fine-thanks

 

Watercolour Process

November 10, 2010
Watercolour in process of Light on Mountain

At the halfway point of a watercolour of sunlight on hills.

It has been said that my watercolours are just as interesting incomplete as they are when I decide they are finished. I eventually add so much detail that the final painting can be quite different from the work in progress. So here is my abstract landscape. Can it be a finished artwork? Does it hold your interest? Like reading a book instead of watching the movie, your imagination fills in missing areas, and each person’s interpretation is different. What is in the foreground? Is it grass? Bushes? What are the white areas? Snow? I am doing this watercolour as a commission, so I will add more detail to make it look like the photo I was given. However, stopping at the halfway point and considering the image as complete brings new creative possibilities. While creating my art, the process makes me see life better, clearer. Sometimes that process is more rewarding than the final product.