Giving In To Creative Passion

Like many writers, I sketch a bit in the margin’s of my notebooks. For me, drawing hits a different creative nerve. It’s actually hard for me to describe in words, which probably means it’s something very important to me personally.

So, rather than let this go, I’ll try to tackle it and share my thoughts with you but first a few of my sketches… If you can’t see the slideshow below, drop by Flickr and take a peek:

On Giving In…

Sometimes in the hustle of trying to get work done we forget about the deep need to let our artistic selves shine through. We spend more and more time worrying and fretting over commas and sentences. We terrorize ourselves with the need to push things out the door, to find meaning, to be heard…

Yet beneath this frenzy is the intense love of form, beauty, and the art of expression. This is what drives us to pick up the pen and make words on the page or to allow ourselves to linger of the curve of a hip or the trail of smoke rising from languid lips. We are of course humans not machines and it is only natural for us to love art.

When I draw, my mind becomes more limber. I loose a sense of connection with reality. The thoughts that occur to me are less about shape I am making and more about the emotion I’ve become connected to. This is not unlike a very powerful writing session where the mind of characters take control of my thoughts and I become no more than a medium to their desires.

Twenty-five years ago I had a very harsh art teacher. It was her duty to teach the proper form and she was exacting in her method. No deviations were tolerated.

As a young adult, I hated this. I suppose, even if she had taken the time to explain why she had to do this, the purpose of the training, I’d have hated it. I wanted to be free. I wanted to explore. I didn’t want someone telling me how to make a line. I didn’t want someone to explain the nature of one form over another.

What’s strange is that the last day of school, this art teacher asked me to stay after class. She took my art portfolio from my hands and walked through several pieces telling me I had talent and that I ought to pursue it.

It’s a bit of a pity, because after that experience I never stepped into an art class again. In fact, I didn’t draw again for years and years. Clearly, I’ve never forgotten this. I could even describe for you the art room and how the windows were quite high on the walls and who I sat with and at which table. I can describe the look on this woman’s face and she tried to connect with a student in who she saw promise.

I didn’t listen to her. I just wanted to escape, not into the long days of summer either. I wanted to escape from her attention, from her words of praise. Perhaps this is what drove me to stop drawing and why it is so difficult for me to share or talk about art like this.

To be passionate about art and the creation of the beautiful is to experience something greater than ourselves. It is our opportunity to touch the infinite. We cannot allow ourselves to turn from this just because we might be noticed.

I have a secret for you. The universe wants you to be noticed. That’s why it’s calling you to pick up the pen. Don’t ignore it. Give in to it. That is your purpose, but do not lose sight of those who are trying to help you on the way.

I have to apologize here to W. Somerset Maugham. I was just reading his admonishments of alliteration in The Summing Up. I’m afraid that when I’m waxing poetic I do tend to skew in that direction. I hope you’ll forgive the transgression. ๐Ÿ™‚

15 thoughts on “Giving In To Creative Passion

  1. “We cannot allow ourselves to turn from this just because we might be noticed.”

    This very much speaks to what I’ve been going through lately. It’s great advice; I just hope I’ll be able to listen to it.

  2. @Uppington Very nice. I shall have to add goose bumps to my inventory of skills. Thanks!

    @Gorgeous Nerd Me too. I think this is the sort of thing I’ll have to come back and read again myself in a few months. Like my sketches, I’m not entirely sure where this stuff comes from.

    @Joanna Thank you so much. Mr. Maugham came rushing to mind as I wrote this. My copy of The Summing Up has him scowling on the cover. I just couldn’t get rid of him! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. @Tracie Glad to be of service. Maybe this is how I get over my own rejection… By embracing the beauty and purpose behind the work I try to do.

  4. I have been keeping a sketch book now for a couple of years. Well 2 now actually, because the first one was rather large and wouldn’t fit in my carry-on so I got a smaller one when I went to Phoenix last spring.

    I’ve tended to sketch rooms before I move furniture for as long as I can remember. However, I have never been a dyed in the wool margin doodler. My 8th grade art class had a weird teacher but not peevish. He was into original ideas and perspectives; and he always prefaced in-class assignments with the phrase “don’t draw the first thing that comes into your head; if you do it will look like everyone else’s drawing.”

    The thing I have come to realize since keeping a sketch book is that while compared to someone who has had actual instruction I’m not that fabulous but I’m still better than I thought I was. Well, I did take a social class in oil painting from a Zen perspective that the instructor had learned in Japan.

    I think the practice of sketching helps me see things in more dimensions and be accurate without being quite so anal. When I took the oil class one of the subjects was a still life with a leaning candle. I couldn’t let the candle lean in my interpretation because it drove me crazy. And it drove the instructor crazy that my painting didn’t have a leaning candle. The funny thing is, when I look at the painting today I think the candle is too straight. Whatever.

    Are you familiar with Elizabeth Perry who has been teaching herself to draw by drawing and posting a sketch everyday. Woolgathering

    Deb´s last blog post..I-Spy … a Robin

  5. Brother, just when I thought I knew you … Add sketching to the things you do better than I.

  6. @Deb I’ve visited Elizabeth’s site. Very nice stuff there… Btw, I really identify with this “I think the practice of sketching helps me see things in more dimensions and be accurate without being quite so anal.”

    @Craig LOL You’re still a better dancer than I am. I’ll never take that away from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Alex I think that would be fun too. Why don’t you do it? Do I sense a Someday Syndrome?

  7. Jamie, “Like many writers, I sketch a bit in the margin’s of my notebooks.” Dude, this is so far from sketching a bit, you are an artist! Over the past year or so, I have joyfully watched you transform from HNTW, lovable man of mystery to someone who continues to strip away layers and reveal the depth of his talents. As you have publicly owned your purpose and your gifts it lifts the spirits of those around you filling us all with hope that yes there is always more. Thank you Jamie for courageously sharing yourself and helping us to all to celebrate the gifts within.

    Karen Swim´s last blog post..Sharing the Love

  8. @Alex ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m only telling you what you want to hear.

    @Karen Thanks, Karen!! I’ll say this… Each gate I open is easier than the last. I just sent this to Denise Hart on Twitter:

    “Feels so good to be moving so fast and with purpose!”

    I’d say I’m afraid to see just where this will lead, but I have to admit that the faster this goes the more excited I get!

  9. Wow Jamie, this is such fabulous Nฤnฤ i ke kumu expression ~ looking toward your source, and your innate truths, and celebrating the authenticity of who you are. I had the same thoughts as Karen, that watching your “great reveal” over the past year or so has felt like such a special honor, a gift to our own spirit too.

    Your sketches are very inspiring, for they have this quality wherein the shading is a texturing of emotional degree. Very glad to have added them to the Flickr community too, where I can more easily fave them and revisit often.

    Rosa Say´s last blog post..Thank you for subscribing to Talking Story

  10. @Rosa Aw gee. Now you two are making me {blush}. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by, a hui hou kรขua!

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