Reflecting on this (Robert Davidson) quote again, I think “the knife edge” between the past and future is where true creativity lives. Some think creativity is only painting, drawing, dancing or making music, but I think it is really also about living.
This December I had my dream experience of spending two days, mostly alone, at our National Gallery in Ottawa. I have been asked several times what my favourite piece was but I don’t really have an answer. Actually I think what I enjoyed most was the process of looking.
This painting called “Monarch Mountain” is inspired by a hike with a friend in Atlin, B.C. (near Whitehorse) last summer. Due to this being a south facing slope in a northern latitude in June, I witnessed the most wildflowers I had ever seen in one spot. We were surrounded by colour!
While reading all her books in succession I started to feel like Emily Carr was becoming a friend which I looked forward to hanging out with at the end of the day. Maybe it is the frank, direct way in which she wrote – believing you shouldn’t “use a big word if a little one will suffice” or the humour she found in everyday life, which made her feel so real.
To do creative work we need to transfer from our everyday busy thoughts. Rituals can help. I have a few: as soon as I put on my painting apron I feel like “I’m working”. I also make a cup of tea and play upbeat music – cues that it is time to focus.