To begin this New Year, I am including this amazing piece of music, one of about 100 that my grandfather played, memorized. My grandfather was my first muse, living proof that one could be creative and make a living. In times when I had cause for doubt, I would think of this classically quiet man of music, humble, disciplined, kind, generous. If he could, I could.
If you are new to this, here you will find insights to the process of creativity. You will also see how and why I make art. If creativity is a New Year's Resolution for you, begin with Intuition. I will post each month on these dates: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21. Here you will find what I believe are useful 'landmarks' along the path of creative problem solving. I have labeled them as Intuition, Inspiration, Exploration, Understanding, Play, Approach, Pivot and Appreciation. Here is an overview of each category:
Day 1: Intuition. What is it? Why is it important? What is my experience of intuition? Are the ways to strengthen intuition?
Day 1: Inspiration. Where to find it and why? Visit the Art Museum with me, I will show you examples of creativity from all walks of life and through the ages.
Day 2: Exploration. Got a good idea? Explore how others answer similar questions in a variety of areas of study, industry, concept and the like. Here, I will lead-by-example as I explore the world of landscape painting and still life traditions.
Day 3: Understanding. What foundational knowledge and concepts assist in the specific pursuit of drawing and painting? Are there rules to visual communication? Get ready for a (comically) low-budget introduction of the Elements of Art & Principles of Design as they relate to the visual communication of mood, meaning and message.
Day 5: Play. How can a playful approach to creative problem solving be effective? What approaches to play are most useful? See how the manipulation of the Elements and Principles can change mood, meaning and message.
Day 8: Approach. This section will categorize and show examples of realism, idealism and stylism. Then move into the imaginative and at last into figurative abstraction and non-objective abstraction. Don't worry if you don't know what any of this means, I will show you what these approaches mean and what they look like.
Day 13: Process. Keeping the original intuitive idea in mind, how do you filter the influences of inspiration, areas of explorations, levels of understanding and open-minded play so that purpose becomes more clear? Read between the lines: how to not go crazy!
Day 21: Appreciation. What is creative success?
In my many years of teaching, I have had literally thousands of conversations about the creative conundrum: what to do after you have the idea. In all my conversations with students of art, their most dominant questions were not about what brush to use or how to mix a green. They most often wanted to know how to manifest an idea to completion. During my 20 years of teaching, I spent a lot of time with the creative process and this blog will focus on creative problem solving as it relates to the visual arts, specifically drawing and painting. Keep in mind your creative pursuits are as individual as you are. Metacognition, thinking about your thinking, helps. Managing creative problem solving increases the odds of taking an idea to completion. But don't be surprised if you find pieces of this process in other innovative pursuits, maybe even science and poetry.
So this is a guide to creativity. Whether you are a new artist or a confirmed non-artist, I hope time spent here is both informational and entertaining. 8 times a month, I will navigate creativity: part informational, part anecdotal, part interactive, part lead-by-example.
Disclaimer: I am a painter. I paint pretty much every day. That comes first. So I will post to the best of my ability on the dates of 1,1,2,3,5,8,13 and 21. And I will edit previous posts as I find better ways to illustrate or explain.
So let's begin.
Intuition. What is it? Why is it important? Are the ways to strengthen intuition? Below, find several TED talks that explore intuition's place in intelligence and creativity.