CREATVITY


Virginia Woolf was ahead of her time when she wrote that everyone needs a room of one’s own. What you do in that room is up to you. Sometimes I simply sit and think. It has the sound of silence which is missing in so much of our lives today.

My room is filled with things which have meaning for me. There is a tiny painting a neighbor man gave me when I was eight, a larger painting which hung in my Grandma’s crowded bedroom, sn old sewing machine head made into a lamp, books on Indian crafts, more books, lots of things other people might have thrown away; my mother’s jacks, the flag they gave me at my father’s funeral, a few tiny dolls tucked on a shelf, jars of paint brushes, a pallete fo watercolor paint, a shelf of acrylic paint, stacks of canvas and watercolor paper, an old pink elephant, trunks full of photographs, and another filled with old report cards, letters, my husband’s block sweater from high school. etc. The walls are crowded with pictures; one of my Tai Chi class, another of a tap dancing class, a family portrait of my best friend’s family. Things that I have made and things others have given me. Looking at what I have written it seems like a chaotic mess but everything is connected to another, and together they form a pattern to my life.

The room of one’s own is special because no one can predict what you may do in it. Various rooms are meant for certain activities, ie the kitchen is not where you sleep and vice versa. Living rooms don’t seem to attract a lot of attention these days, and not a lot of people have actual dining rooms. But the room you have chosen to be your room doesn’d come with a label, it’s a place to let your imagination run wild.

When we lived in Connecticut as a child, there was an old abandoned house next door which I used as a playhouse. I spent hours there making up games, arranging found objects into decorations. In retrospect, the house was an early example of the nesting instinct. I do think some things just come naturally. The old house was my first expression of free will. It was uninhibited imagination, or creativity, if you will.

What is creativity anyway? Is is a conscious pre-planned activity which results in something new and possibly wonderful? Or is it a spontaneous gathering of grey matter suddenly colliding? Some of the most fun pieces I have made came about by accident. During a process of “one thing led to another”. On the other hand, some of the pieces which were planned with deep emotion were never what I called “creative”.

As a child, Grandma insisted that I was “gifted”. What did that mean to a child? A gift was something current and profitable. I had received neither. I was given singing and dancing lessons because Great-Aunt Corinne was a well-known opera singer in Canada, which stood to reason that the talent was in the genes. It wasn’t. The houses I drew in school were shown to the class because they not only had the correct number of windows and doors and chimneys, but I had drawn people on mine. I obsessively copied the faces of movie stars from the movie magazines. Nothing creative about that; in both cases a matter of good observation.
I have become complacent these days and have stopped waiting for that A-Ha moment, when I have accidentally dropped a blob of paint where it shouldn’t be, and it makes me wonder why I didn’t think of it before?

One’s imagination is like any other muscle; it needs to be exercised or it will rust. The room of my own enables me to exercise a certain amount of that muscle. Sometime it may become a great notion.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

19 thoughts on “CREATVITY”

  1. That is so true, Kayti. Perhaps creativity needs the total freedom of spirit whereby the work comes about almost by accident. A special room for that is needed, either a real or imagined one.
    I am so fond of the way you express yourself with great wit and wisdom. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend. Your thought about an imagined room is so true. It doesn’t matter where you choose to exercise your free will. I was reading something by Amy Tan recently where she said she had to arrange her writing room according to good feng shue, but she once wrote a book in a closet with no window, with only a plastic table and chair and her computer.

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  2. Yes, even if it’s a small room – a place to be unobserved, to do what you want or do nothing at all, to wear what you want, to just take time to recharge. You’ve put it very well.

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    1. The garden, no matter how large, is a room of contemplation. The hours we spend on hands and knees can be golden with no interruptions. Some might think weeding is mindless activity, but we can’t stop our brains from wandering far afield. Perhaps problem solving, or just being thankful. Suddenly you are at the end of the row, and where did the hours go?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more! It is always a healing experience to work in the garden. No matter how out of sorts I am when I begin, my spirits lift and my thoughts clear. You’ve expressed it beautifully, as always.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I would love to nosy around in your room, I bet it is full of treasures. Creativity is such a wide concept, it is almost as much about the will to be it as the talent to do it. Hope that makes sense. I think it does!

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    1. We could nosey together–I might find all sorts of stuff I didn’t know I had!
      You are correct in saying that creativity is a wide concept. When you think of it as applying to every endeavor. It is the act of doing something that has never been done before, whether in art, music, writing, plants, and etc. . It seems to be a serendipitous result of whatever you are doing. In manual arts, Creativity divides the work into ART and craft . Thus Creativity is intellectual inventiveness.

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  4. I watched the movie “Turner” last night and had no idea what his life was like. When I saw his huge unusual paintings in the National Gallery 1.5 years ago, I was unaware of the many troubles he had and which he brought upon himself.

    Being a creative person can be a mixed bag, don’t you think? The most creative people are sometimes the most troubled. Maybe? Maybe not.

    Your memory with its numerous iterations never ceases to amaze me.

    Your blog and musings are creative and windows into the grand woman you are.
    We, your readers, are lucky.
    Keep writing!

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    1. Seeing Turner at the V & A in London was so amazing. His “Burning of the Houses of Parliament” is powerful.
      So many creative people struggle with their daily lives. They may not have a sense of balance. Look back at the many people who just couldn’t take it any more. Like Robin Williams for one. I think they may have a need for self-destruction. Such a waste.

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  5. Remember this, from my “About” page?

    “Living a quiet life, a hidden life — anchored to my dock like a barnacle to a piling — I varnish boats for a living. My dock provides both things Virginia Woolf recommended for a woman who writes: money, from the labor, and a room of my own — space and solitude for thought, remembrance, and creative reflection on the truths and mysteries of life.”

    I still can’t say it any better than that.

    As for creativity, I often liken it to a kaleidoscope.

    All the pieces are there — all of the experiences, all of the thoughts, all of the sights and sounds — but it takes a hand giving the pieces that “twist” that arranges them in a new pattern, never before seen.

    I love the way you bring me back to thinking about these things.

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    1. I remember your ‘About’ page from a few years ago. It was one reason I began following. I thought to myself “Now there’s a girl I want to know better. I love the newer one too, I just checked.

      You’re right of course. A ‘room’ doesn’t necessarily mean an enclosed space. My MIL escaped to her garden. Sometimes you just need to get away with your thoughts and with no interruptions. As far as creating something in that “room”, it doesn’t have to be material. Simply creating a sense of calm is plenty. I used to practice my yoga alone on a beach while listening to the sound of gulls and gentle waves. Where could I have been more creative?

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  6. I don’t have my own room. It sounds very pleasant though. I find the things that me happiest are like yours — often not of great monetary values, but those items with stories and personal memories attached.

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  7. There is wisdom in this post, Kayti. though I didn’t recognize it at the time, I’ve always sought the quiet of a place or space of my own. When living with 6 siblings it was the top bunkbed where I slept and also where I climbed to be alone. In college dorms, I didn’t have even a space and missed it. When newly married and living in a series of apartments, I created my place in a corner of our bedroom. Later with home ownership, I claimed an extra bedroom as my own; and still do. I don’t know if I’m creative there or at peace, but I know being in my room recharges my batteries.

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    1. Idon’t think it’s important to be creative in your space, but it IS important to have a place to just think if your want to. My space now is a converted bedroom to studio. When in high school I tookcharge of a tiny attic space where I painted by the light of a single light bulb. Awful, but it served the purpose. As a child I found places I could goand read by myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I currently live in one little room that has a microwave and hob and a table and chair, bed and wardrobe but I make room to do my yoga everyday and keep it tidy so that I can concentrate on each task I have to complete whether its learning a language or learning words to a song. You can’t practice full out singing there because it wouldn’t be fair to my neighbours to give them full power opera at times that don’t suit them, especially as I’m an early riser which I’d guess would be very unwelcome 🙂 luckily we can go in a soundproof room for two hours each day.

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      1. I thought you were an artist but I’m thrilled to learn we share our singing 😊. It’s a tough career to choose as a woman because a week away from 24 years of age I’m still considered too young to start my career and I don’t know yet whether I will get the opportunity to continue a further two years opera school. At my age my Mum had been married six years and was newly pregnant with my brother.
        Would there be anything you would change if you knew then what you know now?

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    1. I sang and danced at a very early age, then began singing lessons at 14 or so. An opera career was not my dream, but my grandmother and sunt’s. but I continued lessons until I married. I did continue singing for some time with church and a group.
      You are right, I am an artist as well: painting and sculpture, which I made my career, then teaching each.

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