I love to do collage art. Especially lately. In my writing cave I have an assortment of art supplies, of old magazines and scrapbooking paper bundles, of distress inks and paints and glaze and ephemera galore. Last night I had a spot of time, and with my renewed rigor to take care of my soul, I gave that time to myself to create.
I never know which direction a collage will take me. I don’t know how it will look when it’s done and if you asked me, “What are you making?” I’d answer, “I don’t know ’til I’m done.”
This is the process of artistry. The artist has to show up and start doing the deal to discover what the deal is. The art emerges as the artist surrenders to the creative process. It’s kind of like truth telling. You don’t know what the chain reaction is going to look like until to reveal the truth.
In her brilliant book, The Artist’s Way, writer Julia Cameron says this:
The act of making art exposes a society to itself. Art brings things to light. It illuminates us. It sheds light on our lingering darkness. It casts a beam into the heart of our darkness and says, “See?”
I love that. Art casts light on our darkness. This reminds me of the description of the creative process described in the first pages of the Bible:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good,and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
We are creative beings, no doubt. When we create, whether it be art, poetry, a new invention or a homecooked meal, we are participating in the creative process of creation itself. Kind of like what Carl Sagan said, “You are the universe experiencing itself.”
Creativity is … seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God. – Michele Shea
Women are incredibly creative beings. We procreate, we makes nests of our homes and sew quilts. We paint the kitchen and agonize over which wallpaper is just right for the dining room. We learn to stencil and crochet. We create scrapbooks as memory holders for the family. We play music and sing lullabies. Women create ways to make community and explore the boundaries of friendship and healing. Women are ever shifting with our artful expressions. Have you been to Etsy lately? Women have unlimited depths of creative power.
For creative power to flow, the artist must be uninhibited, free from the harsh censors within and without who tell her, “You have no business playing with paint.” What is really being said here is, “You have nothing worth expressing.” To shut down the artist is to shut down a part of the universe, of God’s glorious creation, from emerging from darkness to light. It is to quiet the voice of God with a scold.
There are many forces at work in a woman’s life to quench her artistry. She will face these dragons of doubt from the crib to the grave. This is why we need one another. We need to enter the arena of self-doubt and help our sisters slay the monsters. When fear keeps a woman uncreative it is like a poet who has lost her voice or a blogger her blog. But here’s the rub : when dragons come upon us to block our way, we must then not settle for defending our space, but find new ways of creating as we stare into those red glowing eyes that would kill us. Make the dragon a friend to the art. Slay the dragon with courage and discover that under the roar is fear wanting to be free. A slayed dragon is courage born.
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 time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. – Martha Graham
Do not underestimate the power of your creativity. What you make, what you create, is only possible by You. No one else can make it like you. I can’t sew like Arianna, or paint like Deborah. I collage much different than Kelli Rae and I sure as hell can’t cook like Paula, or decorate like Martha. But with the dragons befriended I can collage like Pam, I can write and blog in the unique voice that is mine alone, I can storytell like no other. Art helps me recover my lost creative soul. Art helps me recover my buried self. The artistic process is then an act of spiritual healing that rejoins the fractured soul with the universe. We are meant to Create the Universe with God.
So what about you? How are you expressing the universe through creativity? Feel free to add links to photos, blog posts, etc… that show your creativity in action. Let’s inspire one another!