Monday, March 17, 2014

Get Your Creativity On

photo from photobucket.com
Painting, drawing, coloring, scrapbooking, collages, photography, nature walks, writing, poetry, singing, music... what do these all have in common? Read on to find out, and at the end, get ready for another give-away.

There is perhaps no greater advocate for the act of spiritual creation than Julia Cameron. She has developed courses and written books teaching her belief that art and our spiritual connection to The Creator are closely linked. She writes in The Artist's Way, "When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives."

When we acknowledge and explore our own creativity, could it be we are conduits of God's own delight as the master artist? But I can't draw. I can't write. I can't play an instrument. We have an excuse list a mile long why we are not very creative. I know. I've used most of them.

I come from a very artistic family. My mother was an amazing artist with oils. Her paintings are abstract expressions with shapes, textures, and colors. My sister is also a gifted artist, quilter, and shares her love of creation with a school full of elementary children. My engineering dad and brother, although not artists in the fine arts sense, could always duplicate and build with their hands. Honestly, I always felt like the creative ugly duckling. My talents were not obvious. I loved to play our old upright piano and sing, but lacked the discipline and talent to hone my skills. I can't draw worth spit. I always like to write, but never saw that as a creative expression, unless I wrote poetry (really bad poetry, I might add).

But now I  believe all of us-- even me-- are endowed with innate creative urges, no matter the form it takes. For some, walking in nature and savoring creation is a way to nurture their creative soul. For others, it is painting, singing, photography, sketching, interior design, and yes, writing. The list goes on. One has only to walk in nature, through a museum, among ornate architecture or cliff dwellings of ancient peoples to know that we are born creative beings, longing to express what we see and feel.

I strongly believe that when we create, 
we may be at our closest to communing with God. (Tweet this) 

Christine Valters Paintner, author of The Artist's Rule: A Twelve Week Journey says, "When you bring awareness to your work as an artist or writer, your pen and brush become vessels of awareness of God at work."

I like to think I am communing closely with God and in his delight when I create.This week for Lent, I will try to incorporate a little creative play into each day, no matter how simple, and I will try to let it be a form of meditation and celebration.

And The Give Away!

To help you get into your creative groove, I would like to send a design coloring book and box of crayons to one commenter of this post, by Thursday, March 20th. I will announce the winner and get mailing information on Friday, the 21st. (Sorry, because of postage expenses with this, I'm going to confine the give away to within the continental U.S.) When was the last time you colored an intricate pattern and smelled a box of fresh crayons? Let your child artist out!

We are made in infinite creativity. 
 Is it any wonder we find joy when we let our inner artist out to play? (Tweet this)

25 comments:

  1. I am absolutely convinced that my creativity comes from the Lord! I'm blessed to be retired, so I can indulge in creative play whenever I want! Wow --- great giveaway. Crayons and a coloring book! That's the epitome of creative play! Sending blessings from the farm where I now have two new donkeys! Yes! Picture on my blog! Come visit!

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    1. Mary Ann, you are a fantastic example of creativity and expression as a form of worship. Oh I'm going to have to come see your sweet donkeys! How fun!! Yes, I will be over to visit. And I know, I LOVE a new box of crayons and coloring books. (I may have to buy myself one too!)

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    2. And just in case others want to come visit your new babies: http://artist45.blogspot.com/

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  2. I would like to become more creative!

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  3. I would love a coloring book! Your post reminded me of something I read yesterday. Are you familiar with Rebelle Society? http://www.rebellesociety.com/2014/03/12/how-to-save-a-life-create-with-vengeance/

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    1. Toni, I will check this out. Isn't it silly how excited a new coloring book can make you feel?

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  4. Julie, I don't need a coloring book because I have a stockpile of them. But I wanted to comment that I really loved your post. For most of my life I found myself to be surrounded by a family full of talent and while I dabbled in many things I was "master of none." That is until I reached a point where I took pleasure in the fact that I was always the one trying everything because I felt myself to be confined to nothing. Curiously enough, when I let go and just simply took pleasure from whatever I was creating I found my gift - photography. But I still color, or make bracelets or whatever...just 'cause I can! Thanks for your post!

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    1. Would you like a box of new crayons? I love the look of a rainbow of colors,neatly sharpened and filling a box. Let me know, in case you win!

      I love that somehow, innately, you knew to let yourself play without the end product being the ultimate goal. I have a tough time doing that. I love to make homemade cards-- it's a fun creative pursuit for me-- but I like that I get a "product" in the end. :)

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    2. I would be delighted to win a new box of crayons for the sake of photographing them, and then for the pleasure of coloring something in honor the spirit of the crayon! :-)

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  5. I really relate to this -- I have always felt like the non-creative one (and artistic creativity was never valued in my "family of origin")… I always say I'm unable to even draw a simple stick figure. I dabble in many creative expressions but never feel that I'm "as good as I could be"… writing is as close as I ever get, but I'm always working on creativity from other directions. Great post.

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    1. Julia, I love music and really need to nurture that side of me more without being so worried about being "good". I get this. I also say that I can't draw myself out of a box. Yeesh. Here's to playing with our inner artist without being so concerned about the outcome. (It's also why I like coloring books. I can stay in the lines!)

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  6. I too came from a family with a lot of artists. I tried and tried to be able to paint and draw like they did. It took me a long time to realize and accept my talents come in a different area.

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    1. Oh we are sisters in this. Yes, and as I said in other comments, I wish I was better at allowing myself to create badly. :)

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  7. I too believe that we are all born on this earth to be an extension of the Lord--a creator of our own sort. We all have a calling, and in many ways that calling leads to the creation of something, filling this world with a little more life and color.

    Great post, Julie!

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    1. However that is directed. I agree. :) And you are certainly a shining example of a creative soul.

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  8. I'm with you. I think everyone is born with creativity. In fact, I commented on something similar only last week... I actually grew up feeling like the black sheep because I created in so many different realms. Come to find out, I opened the doors for some of my younger siblings by stretching into new realms. You never know when your creativity will bless the lives of others. =)

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    1. This is similar to what Joylynng wrote above and I just love. You both nurtured your creative instincts probably before you even knew that you were doing so. I really believe it's natural in children and then as they grown, learn, are shaped and develop personalities, some of that is worn out of them. How wonderful that you paved the way for your siblings!

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  9. Great giveaway. I still have not read anything by Julia Cameron, but "The Artist's Way" is on my TBR list. Now you have me thinking that needs to be my next craft read. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Sylvia, it's a workbook type format.I found there to be great insights, although I admit, towards the end I thought it got a bit repetitive. Still, I think it's worth the read if for nothing else just to remind you about the joy in creativity for its own sake.

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  10. I remember seeing a Crayola plant very near the New Jersey border, a little east of Bethlehem, PA, which I thought was pretty cool. By the way, I just added your sister's site to the list for future inclusion in a Sites To See. Thank you for letting us know about her site.

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    1. I think it would be fun to tour a crayon manufacturer! Thanks for including my sister's site-- it's very specific to art teachers, but she has some cute projects she's posted!

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  11. I have colored within the last couple days. Of course, I must be honest that I have a 3-year-old and this is a daily activity in our house, along with water colors. But we would still love to win the book and crayons. :)

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    1. Margo, I used to love to color with my little ones!

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  12. If it weren't for my creative side, I think I'd be completely bored! It often trumps my intellectual side, though I've found that when I combine the two, in an eclectic and well orchestrated balance of expression, capable of thinking outside the box, that's when my best work gets produced.

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches


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