Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finding Time for Creativity

I have started to make it a priority to be creative. It's funny, because in my job, 5 days a week, I am a music therapist, creating music each and every moment - improvising much of the time. You could definitely say it was a creative job. However, I often feel as though there is a creative spark left untended. My assumption is this is due to the fact that at work, I am making music for others, my clients - basically becoming their vehicle for expression through music. It really isn't my music being created, it is theirs.
So the itch to make something out of my own thought process, my own light and color has been gnawing at me for a long time. I have only just begun to give this gnaw a voice, and I thought it would be fun to share some of it with you.

I started making notecards, mainly because when I receive a hand-made card, I think, "I could do that." So I thought - get to it, girl! Below are two examples of watercolor based cards that I began playing with. As a child, I had the pleasure (though didn't think it so at the time) of taking watercolor painting lessons from both the late Maulsby Kimball and Allston Hegg, both fantastic and impressive individuals in the Waldorf art community, not to mention amazing artists. My parents thought it best if my sister and I learned how to paint from the masters, and though I was not too thrilled to give up my Saturday afternoons at the time, feel quite grateful for it now.
Being a musician and not a visual artist for many years, I certainly need a refresher, but it was just lovely to get my fingers around the brushes again. I must say that it was after finding The Waldorf Way, that I finally found my watercolors and sat down to give it a shot. My humble beginnings are just that... humble.

I have truly enjoyed several blogs about needle felting (The Magic Onions, Felt Musings from Sycamore Moon), feel inspired by the beauty that comes from their hands. And though I am just dabbling in the medium, I can begin to understand why wool is so fascinating to work with. It's a bit like music, actually - maleable, with so many possibilities. Below is my first tiny fairy and a bell ball for the cats:

I have branched out from beading, though I have continued with that, and have started making funky earrings. And I know that knitting something special is in my near future. I have loved looking over what Linda at Natural Suburbia has been making with her children. Perhaps I should stick to music for a living... yes. Yet I get so much joy from making things these days, that I'm fine with ending up with shelves and boxes of little trinkets that came from some momentary bit of inspiration, not serving any other purpose than that.

With music, once you hear it, it only consciously lives on in your head. (It does move into your body, your soul, but that's for another lengthy conversation altogether, and definitely over some sort of hot drink). With art, you actually touch what you made. You get to hold it, revisit it, reshape it, and be fascinated with it again tomorrow. I feel like a whole new world opened up to me, and being that I am teaching myself, I feel slightly infantile in the process. No longer can I depend on years of having honed the artistic process, as I have with music. I cannot depend on anything at all, except that spirit which guides my eyes and hands. I hear you all saying, "practice, practice, practice" much as my mother did between my piano lessons, and I reply - "I will". I thank you all for your tremendous inspiration and amazing talent. It spreads farther than you know!


goldenbird said...

Hi Jill. I can so relate to what you wrote in your blog (and it is beautifully written). I've identified as a writer for many years and ignored that yearning to create other types of art, and now that I've gotten in touch with it I can't seem to stop making stuff. It's exciting. So many possibilites. I love your needle felted fairy and look forward to seeing more of your art.

Jill said...

Thanks so much for your support! Once I published that post, I got nervous, since I am not really comfortable with anything beyond just trying things these days. But I really appreciate your comments!