My He(ART)-Full Life

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the Creative Woman-who is she anyway?

“ Creativity is a shapechanger. One moment it takes this form, the next that. It is like a dazzling spirit who appears to us all, yet is hard to describe for no one agrees to what they saw in that brilliant flash. Are the wielding of pigments and canvas, or paint chips and wallpaper, evidence of its existence? How about pen and paper, flower borders on the garden path , building a university? Yes, yes. Ironing a collar well, cooking up a revolution. Yes…tying off the loom..raising a child to adulthood…sewing a blue curtain? All are the creative life" -Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Women Who Run with the Wolves)
This post has been swirling around in my head for awhile and it was difficult to get it all out (the way I intend) but here goes...So, what exactly is creativity anyways? Who defines it? How can it even be defined? Where does it come from and how is it sustained? How can we teach (or inspire) others to be creative? What does creativity look like, feel like..And what about women and creativity? How do we fit into the picture? Why are all the famous painters (scientists, visionaries, chefs...) men? Is that a result of societal norms and circumstances or something more? Well-that's a whole lot of questions-but what are the answers (yikes! another question!) Of course this is a very complex issue and whole books have been written about this very subject. I don't profess to definitively know any of the answers but I have some ideas that can be used as a starting point.
The creative woman is...all of us! She is you, me...the woman down the street. There are different faces to creativity and sometimes we don't give our creative voices a chance to speak. Sometimes it has been silenced, ignored, diminished but…it is there, waiting to be unearthed. It's not that women are not creative/creators but that, historically, our creativity has not been seen, valued and appreciated.
Gail McMeekin, in her book the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women,  says " ...we women express our creative selves with every business idea brainstormed, every garden planted, every family member or friend comforted, every outspoken word voiced, and every feminine value expressed." Now ,thanks in large part to blogs and websites, we can have access to the infinite acts of creativity that are a part of the everyday woman's life. Baking a cake, capturing a stunning photo, sewing a pillowslip, writing, painting...these are all acts of creativity; an art form in and of itself. Here are some amazingly creative women, artists of various kinds, all on their own unique paths but all on the same journey to Creative SELF

                                                     (image courtesy of  Lis

                                                   (image courtesy of Cathy Nichols)

(image courtesy of  Hannah of Honey and Jam )

(image courtesy of  Lucy of  A Black Pepper )

(image courtesy of  Kim of Daisy Cottage  )

(image courtesy of  Kelly Rae Roberts  )

(image courtesy of   Meegan Zarboch )

(image courtesy of  Malka Dubrawsky of A Stitch in Dye)

(image courtesy of Tara Frey )

(image courtesy of Orly Avineri )

 When we dare to create, we are inspired and inspire alike. When we have the courage to give our creative voices the time and space to manifest, we become the CREATIVE process...The very lifeforce of the Universe. Now that's inspiring!  Please join in with comments and discussion; I would love to hear your thoughts.

* Thanks to all these wonderfully kind women who gave me special permission to use their images in this blog post.


Kerri said...

creating art with a little "a" or a capital "A"--- it's ALL creating something from nothing.

nice post! :)

Lis said...

i have gooseflesh reading this and seeing the amazing variety of creative inspiration oozing from each photograph ...

i'm not even sure where to begin! like you, these thoughts have swirled around in my head for decades (the why we don't know about more women artists) and i am thinking it comes down to power. creativity is a power we all enjoy, but somehow forces (market? societal?) try to contain and control it. or try to define it and convince us that some have it and some don't. as if by limiting it, it becomes a more valuable commodity. i am reminded of a story a great yogini told us about the creation of yoga: one day lord Shiva saw Parvati doing these amazing movements, accessing Shakti if you will. He asked her to show him and she said "oh, i don't know, you can move like this ... or like this ..." Days later, she came up Shiva standing before a group of men shouting "now, place your leg HERE, move your arm THIS WAY."

I agree with you that the internet and blogging has allowed more voices to be heard, support to be given ... creativity thrives not by containing or control it, but by sharing, giving freely. I think the fear is that we are finite, small and what we give away will leave us empty and depleted. But when we can remember ourselves whole, connected, part of the source, then what we give freely opens up space for more to flow back in. At least, this is what i believe; this is what i have experienced. The more i give, the more i have.

i feel so blessed to be in your company and the company of such amazingly creative women. Creativity, she is feeding us all!

Anonymous said...

excellent post, thank you for these beautiful words and images

Robin Norgren-Well of Creations said...

I am still in the process of defining creativity. What I know for sure it that my definition is expanding EVERY DAY

Anonymous said...

I tried to leave a long comment yesterday but for some reason I can't get the open id log in to work when I comment from my iphone.

Thanks so much for including me with these other wonderful artists. Now I have to check out their blogs! This is a wonderful post. I completely agree that creativity is the lifeforce of the world.

Creativity can take so many forms
not just traditional art and we should celebrate it wherever it appears.

The Flamingo Girl said...

Thanks for your sweet comment at my blog!

Regarding Photoshop, I started out with PhotoShop 3 and found it incredibly easy to use & did all the basic editing I needed. Then I upgraded to photoshop 6 and didn't like it very much: too complicated. My hubby got me Photoshop CS not long ago & its way out of my league. I bouight a book and hope to dig into it sometime when Nora starts taking more consistent naps. I find myself returning to PhotoShop 3 all the time for editing because its so easy for me to use.

I've considered buying Camerabag for my PC. It's the application I use most often on my iphone for photo editing & its available pretty cheap for PCs. I've also heard alot of people rave about a website called Picnik that lets you edit your photos online. I've been meaning to check it out. I know where you can get some good free tutorials for photoshop too. Let me know if you want the info.

Anonymous said...

Lol, Flamungo Girl is my old user account in case you wonderede who that was.

ArtPropelled said...

The one thing I'm sure of is blogging feeds my creativity on a daily basis.Reading posts like this early in the morning fires up my enthusiasm for the rest of the day as I envision women all over the world creating something .... getting lost in the process ......unwinding from whatever stresses they have ... expressing their artistic selves in the best way they can in any particular moment. Looking at the photos you have chosen for this post inspires me no end.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and wondrous homage to creative women and creativity....great posting beautiful and creative woman...XOXOrly

amy said...

thanks for this post, too.
wow. yes, who is the Creative Woman? i struggle with this. i sometimes don't think of myself as "creative." that "good" artists with great "techniques" are the creative ones...and i'm just an imposter. but this quote and your words remind me that i am indeed creative.
i agree with what Lis says--and i am reminded to give and share and be open and authentic and vulnerable. only then can creativity truly flourish--if it's shared.