Friday, October 13, 2006

Emotions + Creativity

GOING IN CIRCLES 41”w x 29”h © 2004 Pat Dolan (click to enlarge)

For Deborah – who wrote: “Creativity is sporadic; very emotional, spiritually and physically driven, for me. It would be nice if creativity existed as a separate, independent energy. Does it, sometimes? For me, once and a while...creativity becomes the spiritual.”

Deborah makes some valuable points in her comments. Creativity IS very sporadic (unless one chooses to be highly disciplined – and even then, sometimes creativity is elusive), is also emotionally driven, spiritually driven, and physically driven. Creativity involves the whole person so all aspects of being human are necessarily involved. That is not to say that all aspects are fully or even partially conscious when one is creating. In fact, it is my experience that when I’m fully involved in creating, I’m not actually aware of time or space – rather, it feels as though I’m in a state of what I call the eternal now. It’s the space ‘place’ I go when I am captivated by the beauty of nature, the wonder of watching a newborn, where I slip sometimes by riding the sound waves of certain kinds of music…

I wonder what creativity would be like if it did somehow exist as a separate and independent energy…it’s hard for my mind to wrap around that concept. However, when I’m in the midst of creating it’s ‘as though’ both the creativity and the self are quite separate and independent of any outside influences or noticings – including physical hunger or pain, emotional mood, or spiritual awareness.

Creativity, for me, is nearly always akin to spirituality. They are somehow linked – perhaps by authenticity, whether or not I think/believe I am being fully authentic or even making something of simple beauty. Some have said that in our creativity we are most like God… and, since it has been written that we are made in the image and likeness of God, that seems appropriate.

Still, I am like a tiny cell on the planet earth – a tiny speck of sand on the shore of the universe. How that is being like God, I have no clue. And, quite probably, it’s not for me to know…

GOING IN CIRCLES –detail © 2004 Pat Dolan (click to enlarge)

GOING IN CIRCLES is a piece that began as a whole-cloth black quilt, machine free-motion quilted in tiny circles in colored threads that bled from one color naturally into the next. There were large black spaces that were left empty – no stitching, no color. And those large spaces bothered me. When I started the quilt, I was rather depressed but as I continued working on it, albeit sporadically, my mood lifted (with the help of pharmaceuticals) so by the time I thought I’d be done, the black seemed to be overwhelming the delicacy of the quilting. I chose to cut through most of those black holes and back them (by reverse appliqué) with beautiful colored fabrics that coordinated with the colors of the stitching nearest each hole. These colorful places were then outline quilted to create a juxtaposition of circles to the curvilinear just as the black was a foil for the color to dance across the piece. I added some foiling in a few places which shows up fairly well on the detail shot, above.

1 comment:

Gerrie said...

I love Going in Circles and the story of how it evolved. Did you see the brain work they are doing with severely depressed people. The keep them awake and put a probe into their brains until they find a place that lessens the depression. One patient said she could suddenly see color!