Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nursery Rhymes, Pianos, and Creativity

"Hey Diddle, diddle."

I just finished writing an extra fun article about the importance of nursery rhymes for the young child for Tumbleweeds parenting newspaper. Before I knew I had art and writing talents, I studied the art form of nursery rhymes, singing and chanting them often with my youngest siblings, my own children, and the children in my preschool. Before that, as a young girl, I played my piano for comfort and "art." This week I've had to make a hard decision to sell my piano as I may soon downsize and can't take the huge upright, with the tone of a Steinway, with me. So, until it sells I'll play it as often as I can, singing and humming along (privately of course as I haven't a musical gift like my art & writing gifts). I will buy a keyboard as I can use earphones so as not to disturb neighbors. I like to play to segue myself into the studio or my manuscript. My art teacher Fred Reichman told us that it is helpful to use other art forms to inform our own art. Music is one of these to me.
As a side-note, did you know that nursery rhymes and music enhance a child's spatial, math, and science learning? Smile ~ spatiality is so important in art!!! Try singing your old favorite nursery rhymes while easing yourself into your creativity!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Troubles and Creativity

My House, Judith, 2001

My question is, "How do we maintain our creativity in the midst of a hard knock in life?" I had to go to the courthouse today to begin evicting a tenant who broke a major agreement plus hasn't paid the rent. I had the foresight to take the recent issue of "Poets & Writers." The article by John Dufresne (he presents at the Taos Writer's Conference each year!)helped me to keep my calm & focus while waiting for the paperwork. To be honest I have only done a modicum of art & writing in the past week and a half because of this issue and the broader question of possibly downsizing in order to free up more time from troublesome tenants & too many outside jobs. I no doubt will downsize; so does this time of taking care of a lifestyle problem count toward one's greater creativity? I'm not sure, just as I'm not sure if cleaning one's studio or writing files count. In the meantime if you hear of anyone who wants to buy a lovely house in Taos, let me know? Happy Creativity in the midst of your life!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time Out

Author A.S. Byatt

I did an unusual thing for me ~ I took a week-and-a-half off day jobs & some creativity. The only things I did were to take some photos, do a few sketches, and read A.S. Byatt's Possession, which is 200% better than the movie. Am also reading her newest book The Children's Book! Oh, yes, last Sunday I put on an A.S. Byatt high tea replete with a huge teapot on my wood stove, home-made curry pasties, & of course scones with clotted cream. We listened to Byatt talk on the City Arts & Lecture on KQED, San Francisco, streamed on my laptop! My friend/mentor Elizabeth Stark was in the audience & asked a great question about the writing process. I'll let you know when you can go to the archives and download the lecture. I did see Byatt once in a lecture at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA. She is warm, witty, and cozy. I also used to see her sister Margaret Drabble, another good writer, on the high street & near the secret garden in Hampstead, London when I lived there. It was wonderful to have time off to re-group & to set my goals for 2010 & for this next decade. I didn't lose my momentum as I'm now back in my studio & working on my ms. Do you give yourself time out to re-group, rest, and let your creativity percolate?!