Contemporary Expression

Creativity of the Mind
May 4, 2006, 6:55 pm
Filed under: Living An Artful Life, The Art Files

Living An Artful Life – May 4, 2006 Issue of Church Street Freedom Press

Creativity of The Mind

For centuries, across all cultures, the inherent drive toward creativity has been, and continues to be, part of our very human nature.

At home, recovering from surgery last month, I didn’t feel like being creative. I didn’t feel like drawing, painting or walking the garden, I didn’t want to do much of anything. “I’m sick,” I told myself, “I have a great excuse to sit and do nothing.” Of course, doing nothing can be time consuming. I watched some TV but don’t remember much and it brought little comfort. When I finally stepped out on the front porch, sat down in my Adirondack chair and closed my eyes, I suddenly was reminded of the creativity of the mind.

I sat still and heard the birds, felt the sunshine, smelled the fresh cut lawn and finally relaxed into the peace that a creative state of mind can offer. We all get sick, it might be a horrible cold, a broken leg or major surgery but there is that time in our modern western culture where we get permission to do nothing. Our bodies demand it. We know what happens when we don’t listen, it gets worse.

To practice your right brain ‘creative muscles’ you must break out of self imposed limitations, let your subconscious take over. Lateral thinking leads to wider solutions. I’ve found that it is with simplicity that I find the most creative moments on my journey.

Last week, we made it to the Frist Center for Visual Arts to see the exhibit of African Voices before it closed. I was drawn into memory from this exhibit as well as many others I have viewed through my life showing the centuries of creativity represented in galleries and museums across the world. The bead work, the textiles, the carving, they are all examples of generations of humankind’s inherent nature to create. We have as human beings, over and over had our voices heard through our creativity.

What I want to continue to challenge myself to do, and you as well, is to find that creative voice. Hear it and then do what it says. Go ahead, get that fabric and start dyeing it. Go get a sketch book and draw trees over lunch next week. Make that chicken dish with the extra basil. Find that voice and start creating. Even if you are home sick in bed, start creating in your mind. Let your willing spirit catch up to your weak flesh and enjoy the sunshine on your face.

Nancy VanReece now shows art in the Provence location in the Roundabout Plaza on Music Row open M-F 7am-5pm and is the President of the Board of Directors of People’s Branch Theatre. For more information:


2 Comments so far
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I was reading today on yarn harlot’s blog that she felt sick and was only holding her knitting. I’ve felt that way. Yesterday’s sermon at church was on Solitude. It’s important to set some time aside to hear that Still Small Voice.

Comment by Jennifer Coomer

What an amazing story of how reativity waits in the wings of our minds — until we embrace its still small voice. Your story motivates the art in all our minds. May you continue to feel the sun on your shoulders and the wind in your sails… Thanks for the inspiration and showing us how creativity springs up in our minds…

Comment by ellenweber

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