Celebrating Creativity

Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.

I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.

My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.

''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
Martha Graham

I was walking down the beach this morning when I came across a little fellow who looked very similar to this.  He got me thinking about what life would be like if I  could only walk sideways everywhere I went.  How would that change the way I operate in the world and what would the advantages and disadvantages be….

Crab walking in The Sand

Well talk about synchronicity….. as I was driving home listening to one of Rich Schefren’s Q & A sessions what should he be discussing but the concept of our unique and individual work flow patterns. One point that particularly resonated with me and made me think of my crab, was this –

We all have a work flow that we use, either consciously, or unconsciously. The question is does it serve us?

Are we limiting ourselves to walking sideways?

As creative people, we would be wise to look at this not only in terms of how that is relevant to the business practices we use but also in terms of our creative process itself. Rich had a good point, in that so often we are looking for a tailor made solution to fit our specific scenario.  We live in an off the shelf society  and have come to expect that there is a ready made solution if we can just find it.

However as we are unique, and what we do and how we work is also unique, only some of what works for someone else, may work for me.  It is my job to figure out what does and doesn’t work of other people’s processes and take the best for myself.

We would profit from spending more time thinking before we begin doing, in order to begin doing more efficiently once we get going.  Part of the problem here is being time poor, so we think time spent planning is an area we can save time but ultimately this is flawed thinking and practice as the opposite is true.

So my question for today is – How does your work-flow strategy serve you and/or hinder you  and what changes can you make so your creative experience is a more enjoyable one? I would love to hear your thoughts -the comments box is at the top of the post if you feel moved to contribute.

Pix Credit: earl53

One of the most amazing things about being and artist , for me is the way I have learnt to pay attention to the world around me.  My camera is my greatest friend in this because it allows me to capture these moment and be able to share them.

My eye is trained to seek the unusual everywhere I go and I have learnt to see and appreciate beauty in the unlikeliest of places and things.

This week I began shooting a video for my website, with the help of a friend, an apprentice movie director. We went down to a local beach, which to the untrained eye looked – well, you know – like a beach – sand, waves, seaweed, rocks etc…. so what’s new.

Well what I found was something both new and old – jewel like drops of water resting on the beautiful patterns of subtle colours and textures on the wings of a dead bird.

Beautiful Water Drops

Beauty in death is not something we generally look for. Our learned response is yuk – a dead bird- and we would pass it by without a second thought. In the youth obsessed culture of western society, the mortality of ourselves or others, is pretty much a taboo subject. Things that remind us of our own temporary physicality can upset the apple cart of our carefully built stories of who and what we are.

Sometimes, if we change our filters upon the world, we are able to take the opportunity for a new experience. In the coming week, can you find beauty in a place you may have never considered looking before today?

In the last post I kicked off this Painting Tips series with a word or two about looking after your body. Now let’s look at some ideas that can help the painting process using some other art techniques.

Tip 2: Points of View

There are things that we can do which alter the way we see our work of art. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Get Back From It: In order to get a better perspective, or overall view of what we are doing, it is important, from time to time to step back from the work and look at it from a bit of a distance. This serves the purpose of allowing you to have more of an overview of what is happening.  You see the problem is, that as we are painting we become absorbed in the few square inches we are currently working on and can tend to ignore the effect of what we are doing in terms of the bigger picture – so to speak.
  • Tiny Telescope: This is a trick my dad taught me many years ago. If your studio space is a bit cramped and you can’t get back very far from your work you can do what I call the ‘Tiny Telescope”. Rather than trying to explain what this is have a look at me doing it in the picture below. Holding your hand in this way look through the tiny space in your hand at your painting. This cuts down a lot of the information entering your eye and gives you a simplified view of what is going on. Give it a try…

Tiny Telescope Technique being demonstrated by Kadira

It’s amazing, I’ve been writing this blog for nearly a year and a half now and I suddenly realized that I’ve never done any posts on Painting Techniques! So there’s a first time for everything, and this is it.

You may or may not have come across these ideas before and if you haven’t, please pass them along to others.  They are things that will help most artists.

Tip 1: This is incredibly important! Look after your most precious resource while you are painting…

Love your body.  What does this mean? It means things like:

  • You only have one body and when you are painting you need to look after it…
  • Do adjust the height of your easel constantly so that you don’t put strain on your arms or back as you are standing or sit down if you need to.
Art Student Painting

Art Student Painting

  • Remember to take a short break at least once an hour…. roll your neck and shoulders, flex your arms, walk around a bit.
  • Studio painting: If your studio floor is concrete, stand on something to cushion your feet from the floor, place an old piece of carpet upside down or put down a couple of cardboard boxes.  This helps to stop cold seeping into your feet from the concrete, as well as giving you a slightly more forgiving surface to stand on.
  • You can see in the shot below that I have plastic  and an old rug on the floor.  I find this definitely helps prevent fatigue in my legs when standing at the easel for long hours.

Kadira's Studio

  • Don’t forget to eat and drink! Seems like a no-brainer right, but when you are really on a roll you can forget about everything else in the world except the canvas in front of you and the brush in your hand.

See my next post for Tip 2

I love this quote from Julie Jordan Scott,

“Creativity is an activity that invites abundance and flow into the world…It ripples out into energy that touches others with whom I will never interact. ” ,

I came across this quote at eteletours blog this week, along with this beautiful picture  by one of my favourite photographers , Sheila Finkelstein.  She always has wise and wonderful things to say along with her stunning photographs  like this one.

Purple Mist , photograph by Sheila Finkelstein

I urge you to take a look at Sheila’s article on accidental creativity which is where I found this lovely photo.  Her blog is also worth a look as she always has a new photo  there and something interesting to say about it.

Accidental creativity is an interesting concept.  Sometimes in our creative work we will make a mistake which enhances the work.  I call these ‘happy accidents’.  However I sometimes wonder, given the Law of Synchronicity, how accidental these accidents really are.  Perhaps they are moments when we are truly open and  connected to the ‘universal creative mind’ and we become an open channel for genius to show through.  It’s a thought…. What do you think?

I want to share with you today this wonderful video on the importance of creativity. Sir Ken Robinson is a highly intelligent  and very funny speaker .  You will find this video not only informative but also very entertaining. There is certainly much food for thought here. Sir Ken is an author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education, and arts bodies.

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