Art is the Active Expression of Our Creative Skills

It takes courage for artists to share their creative work with the public and Charli Mills has given a safe place to so many of us writers to do just that: explore, create and share. I’m grateful to Charli for inviting me to kick-start the 2018 Raw Literature series at Carrot Ranch. Check out my post about the symbiotic relationship between art and creativity.

I have included entire piece here (in case links disappear in the future).

***

“So, who do you think painted this piece of work?”

Our European Art History instructor leaned against the rugged steel table at the front of the classroom. I stared at the image on the screen. The painting was of a solemn moment in time, a woman all decked in bright white kneeing before an altar.

“Rembrandt?” someone called out hesitantly.

“No. Anyone else want to try?”

“El Greco?” said the woman beside me.

“No.”

The instructor glanced around the classroom and with no further guesses forthcoming he gave us the answer. “It was Pablo Picasso.”

There was silence as we all digested this bit of information. A lone voice echoed our thoughts from the back of the room.

“Picasso’s paintings were abstract with distorted figures. This doesn’t look like his work at all.”

“True,” replied our instructor. “Those were his later works. Like all great artists, Picasso learned and mastered the fundamentals of painting first. He was 15 when he finished this large-scale oil painting of his sister taking First Communion.”

By the end of the class, I learned that there was a symbiotic relationship between art and creativity.

Creativity is allowing yourself freedom to explore beyond established rules; art is knowing which of the conventions to apply and keep while creating something unique.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~ Maya Angelou

When I was little, I remember waking up one morning to a world where the entire front lawn and even the streets were covered with a massive ice crusted white blanket. My brother and I rushed outside. The snow was too crusty to make a snowman, so my ten-year-old brother suggested we build an igloo. As his little sister, I got to cut out blocks of snow while he carefully stacked the slabs like house bricks around a circular perimeter. We worked on it for hours, never quite getting the dome to close properly. My brother still has the photo our dad took of us that day – two snowmen standing proudly beside our shoulder-high creation.

As children, we freely engage with our universe in creative ways. I know I did. At some point I started comparing myself to others and in so doing convinced myself that creativity and artistry were gifts I did not share with others.

The truth is that we are all creative. Besides artistry, creativity allows us to work through situations in life and find solutions. It allows us to find unique connections between different ideas and objects. It influences us when we are stuck in traffic and decide to explore an alternate route home or when we tell a story to a friend. It plays a role in the words and images we post on Facebook and outfits we pick out to wear each day.

The greatest thing about creativity is that once we open ourselves up to being more creative, it flows into other parts of our lives. It’s like the secret spice that adds an additional layer of joy and fulfilment into our everyday lives.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~ Pablo Picasso

I view myself as a literary artist. The words that make up my articles, stories, poems and blog posts are my paintings. Creativity allows me to explore different structures and concepts in my work. The artist in me decides which elements to apply and which of the many drafts I write becomes my final work of art.

But what about those who are not artists in the traditional sense? I believe Picasso was telling us to look beyond the convention and recognize the artist in all of us.

There is art to how we run a business, raise our kids, cook our meals and repair antique cars. There is art in how we decorate our homes, plant our gardens and go for walks. Art comes from the heart and understands that we create who we are and who we want to be.

In the end, our life is the masterpiece we leave behind.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Raw Literature by Kate Spencer

Photo Credit: http://www.pablo-ruiz-picasso.net/work-9.php“So, who do you think painted this piece of work?”

Our European Art History instructor leaned against the rugged steel table at the front of the classroom.   I stared at the image on the screen.  The painting was of a solemn moment in time, a woman all decked in bright white kneeing before an altar.

“Rembrandt?” someone called out hesitantly.

“No.  Anyone else want to try?”

“El Greco?” said the woman beside me.

“No.” The instructor glanced around the classroom and with no further guesses forthcoming he gave us the answer. “It was Pablo Picasso.”

There was silence as we all digested this bit of information.  A lone voice echoed our thoughts from the back of the room.

“Picasso’s paintings were abstract with distorted figures. This doesn’t look like his work at all.”

“True,” replied our instructor. “Those were his later works. Like all great…

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