Posted tagged ‘creativity’

The Grey-Ghost

September 23, 2020

This is a post from my art blog, Artsy. about depression. It is bit different than what I usually post here but given the effect of the the COVID-19 pandemic on our country, I think that it is pertinent.

stormyA few weeks ago, I was Rambling on Older Eyes, about fighting depression as I deal with the shit-storm that life seems to have dealt me in 2020.   I’m certainly not alone.   Time magazine reports that since COVID infected its way into our lives, about twice as many Americans are reporting moderate depression and about six times as many severe.  My wife and I were still adjusting a move into our new home in Utah after living in California for 50 years when the pandemic hit.  Like many people we are dismayed by the political rancor in our country and the way it is making the pandemic worse.  Add my daughter and wife dealing with breast cancer and you have the kind of environment that drives me from mild to moderate on the depression scale in spite of a daily anti-depressant. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 4/20/2015

April 20, 2015

ART FORThis post has been buzzing in my head for a week or so, and today, it is determined to get onto the page.  If this wasn’t a Monday, the post would be titled, Art for Art’s Sake, not a very original title.  But it works, even if I use it a way different from the meaning intended by the French philosopher, Victor Cousin, when he said L’art pour l’art.  He meant that art needs no justification, that it need serve no political, didactic, or other endI believe that for sure but it’s not what I’m smiling about on this warm Monday morning, when the skies are hazy with smoke from a wildfire several miles down the freeway.

I was raised by a rational Dad and an artistic Mom, and my Dad’s influence has dominated my professional career with my artistic side relegated to hobbies.  If that sounds dismissive, that is an echo of what I felt for much of my life.  I painted in oil and watercolors, drew in pencil and charcoal and pastels, but never considered myself an artist.  I loved writing and even earned a certificate in creative writing in my fifties.  A short story I wrote in one of my classes was published in a minor literary magazine and I actually completed a novel.  But I never felt like a writer.   My upbringing had taught me that you had to make a living at something to earn the title.  Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog was intended to talk about the experience of growing old(er), the positives and the negatives.  Yes, there are positives, like shedding the notion that to be a writer, I have to earn money or have thousands of readers.  Or that to be an artist, I need to sell my paintings.   The fact that I have posted 1702 posts here is adequate evidence that I am a writer, and while I love Likes and Comments, I write for writing’s sake. I post my photographs here and that makes me a photographer, and when I base a drawing on one of my photographs, I am indeed an artist.  I am happier when I create.


If that sounds like much ado about nothing (another stolen title … I do steal from the best), think again.  It is one of the true gifts of having An Older Perspective.  And it makes me smile.  But you don’t have to wait until you are older to do it.

Are You Creative?

January 18, 2014

newbornHave you ever wondered what it feels like to be a newborn baby, to lie there on your back, looking at this marvelous world you’ve just arrived in without knowing where you end and the world begins?  Have you thought about how you ever determined that your fingers are yours and that you can learn to pick up things with them?   That the fuzzy thing that is next to you in your crib plays a song if you touch it with those fingers?  That if you cry (Wow.  I can cry whenever I want to), that certain face appears at your cribside to feed you?  Part of the answer is that you didn’t have any preconceived notions about what you CAN’T do.  Somewhere along the road through childhood and adolescence to adulthood, we seem to acquire a longer list of things we CAN’T do than those we CAN.

Friday Favorites 8/9/2013

August 9, 2013

engineering orEighteen years ago, I happened on a book called The Artist’s Way with the slug line, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.  I threw myself into it with perhaps a bit too much enthusiasm and found myself wondering, Was I meant to be a writer, not an engineer-scientist?  Was I led to engineering by parents and a societal prejudice against artists?  It was certainly true that in high school, my favorite subject was English, and that my favorite aspect of that very broad subject was composition.  It’s also true that I was raised by a father who often voiced his regret that he chose to join the Army instead of going to engineering school.  As the son of lower middle class parents, I saw college as the path to financial success and electrical engineering was the hot major … my guidance counselor was more than happy to guide me in that direction.  And so, even though I hadn’t a clue what an electrical engineer did, I spent four years taking courses on matters that didn’t interest me all that much, enjoying my electives more than my major.  All of that made it easy for me to consider reinventing the past by saying, I should have been a writer.  I began writing, even got a university certificate in creative writing.  It became a passion and I considered a change of vocations. (more…)


July 23, 2013

TSTI found an article on the Wall Street Journal today by Rafe Esquith titled Why Great Teachers are Leaving the Profession and it got me thinking about Creativity and how it seems to be stifled in today’s society … a perfect topic for Top Sites Tuesday #213 where we offer Two Thoughts on Tuesday.    Naturally, the article addressed low salaries, disinterested or too-busy parents and decreasing school budgets.  But what it focused on most was the way that creative teachers are being stifled by a system obsessed with standardization, both in curriculum and testing.  I have witnessed this through my wife, Muri, who was an instructional aide in the local school system for over 20 years.  Believe me, with her experience and joy in working with the kids, she was the best bargain in education at an aide’s salary but her biggest strength was in coming up with creative ways to teach children struggling with English as a second language.  Then, a few years back. the school brought in a new principal who insisted that every teacher … and every aide … do things according to her standardized approach.  Struggling to both teach the kids and follow the principal’s dictates, Muri got the first negative review of her career.  She was miserable for a year and eventually retired. (more…)

Upside Down

May 9, 2012

As I was searching through my sketchbooks this morning, I found three pencil drawings labelled Upside Drawing #1, #2  and #3.  They were exercises out of Betty Edwards’ book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, subtitled A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence.   Edwards answers the commonly heard refrain, I can’t draw anything, with techniques for doing just that.  The book includes some remarkable before and after drawings by her students to support her view that Yes, you can.  Part of the premise of the book is that the left side of the brain … the logical side … interferes with the innate ability of the right side to create.   It does this by injecting its view of what things should look like into a process that ought to be based on just what we see.  The book therefore includes a number of exercises to train us to let the right brain do the work by confounding that pesky left brain.  These include learning to draw the edges and contours around objects rather than the objects themselves. (more…)


March 14, 2012

Creativity does not make something out of nothing ... instead, it makes something extraordinary out of what already is. To live the creative life, therefore, one must first accept life as it is.

Creativity and Amy Winehouse

July 24, 2011

I got up this morning intending to post on the death of Amy Winehouse, on wasted talent and what the internet reaction to her passing says about us.   But before I started, I read a few of the blogs in my Blogs I Read list, and there, on thesinglecell, was the post that was germinating in my head, written better than I would have written it.    Titled Legends in Their Falling, I’d highly recommend it.  Meanwhile, I’ll offer another take on the same subject.  But not before saying that although I was not a fan of Amy Winehouse, I was familiar with her work … when I looked past her excesses and the sometimes melodramatic material, I saw a talented performer.   It’s sad that we will never get to see where those talents would take her but just as sad to see the cynical, voyeuristic reaction on the internet.  When I looked for performances on YouTube, there were more postings of her disastrous concert in Belgrade than of her numerous studio performances.  It’s an aspect of us as a species I find most distasteful.  While many of her performances are a little harsh for these Older Ears, I’ll offer this performance of Will You Love Me Tomorrow, recorded for the movie, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, as a tribute to her talent. (more…)

Where Do You Write?

April 20, 2011

Here’s how a post topic goes viral.  Meleah and nine other bloggers pick up the topic Where Do You Write? from Lisa of That’s Why? and post on it.   Then, ten people follow suit and pick up the topic from Meleah and Lisa’s nine other followers.  If it takes two days for each blogger to post on the topic and every blogger picks up ten new posters, within ten days, there will be a 999,999 Where Do You Write? posts.  Within three weeks, every blogger on earth will have posted on Where Do You Write? and we’ll all be looking for another topic.  So, let’s get going. (more…)