The art in living a creative life
Do you have a vision for what living a creative life looks like for you? Or even what living a creative life is?
4 min read
What about when you were a kid? Did you imagine yourself as you are now? Rarely anyone does, however, as a kid, I wonder if you ever lost sleep with magical anticipation and excitement for the next day?
Now you are all grown up, what are the things that keep you awake at night? Is it worry and anxiety rather than excitement? Is it the thoughts of the bills to pay, lists of things to check off, arrangements and schedules, situations, people, lost wishes, and perhaps even regrets that seem to run wild in your mind during the dark of night?
Living a creative life means reclaiming the sense of magical anticipation and excitement you experienced as a kid and it’s more than ‘just a nice idea’. Reclaiming your creative magic is essential for your happiness and health because it directs you towards joy and away from fear, and the best part is, it’s not exclusive to those considered talented or gifted or to those making a living from creativity.
Making a living from your creativity is doing just that: making a life, a way of living that you create. It often starts with tight beginnings, frayed edges, many false starts, and loose endings, intricately laced layers with meaning and purpose, deeply aligned to your most authentic self.
Living a creative life will not keep the bills at bay or the situations that cause you to toss and turn at night to disappear, however, it may give more than enough reason to stop you from waking in fright.
Knockbacks, upsets, setbacks, and breakthroughs are often par for the course – it certainly has been the case for me and it’s made me uniquely qualified to move from flounder to flourish, and just like the creative process, I’m a work in progress.
My life-affirming commitment to living creative life was on display this month with the opening of my first solo art exhibition. An artful dream, 25 years in the making, AQUEOUS – made of water opened at the Owens Collective in Newcastle on April 29, 2022.
I have always known that art and creativity are essential life forces, but as a young art student at university, when told that I had two choices if I wanted to be an artist. Either be poor or be an art teacher, so I decided to water down my dream and become a graphic designer instead. I believed it and I took the long way round. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed a highly successful and awarded creative career until a Cancer diagnosis several years ago stopped me in my tracks. As a result, I reclaimed my creative life.
Amid recovery, in a full-circle moment, I wanted to paint, just like I did back when I was nineteen, I wanted that dream for myself again. That young artist girl never really left me, I left her, and with the exhibition, I’ve had the opportunity to meet myself again.
The exhibition explores the emotional connection between water as an essential life force and the creative process of transformation and growth through lyrical abstract paintings that are energetic and expressive. My work is forged through the fluidity of water and paint, creating organic floral shapes that are gestural in colour and form, rendering the emotion, power, healing and transformative nature of creativity and water.
Both water and creativity are amorphous, always changing and adapting to the surrounding forces, in a constant state of flux. I use this in my artistic process, flooding raw canvas with watery glazes and veils of paint with layers upon layers bleeding through the work. This process mirrors my approach to both creativity and life.
The most important thing I know about art and life is that creativity is an expression of love. In these Aqueous paintings, I practice that expression of love, with my heart, hands, and mind and pass it on, in ways that connect us all.
Connection, positivity and global healing are central to me living a creative life and something that I strive to communicate to others. In a crazy, scary world, where we are bombarded with negative imagery and depressing world news, I use the power of art to transmit joy and love back into the world and I really believe in ‘walking the talk’.
With the world facing a code red environmental disaster in the form of climate change, I do what I can to minimise the impact I make and believe that everyone has the same responsibility. My paintings are created using Australian 100% non-toxic acrylic paint, I don’t use solvents, I save every plastic container and re-use it in the studio, I use raw canvas with no chemicals and cut up old clothes to use as paint rags.
On the opening night of the exhibition, I stood in the gallery, surrounded by people I love, people who support my vision, art collectors, and curious onlookers, the experience was a full-circle moment, of my artful dream being realised. I don’t quite have the words for it yet. Perhaps joyous delight comes close, or maybe it’s just simply love.
I’d love to share some highlights of the night I hope it inspires you to hold your vision for living a creative life too.
>> View the fun pics from opening night HERE
>> View the Aqueous Exhibition Art Catalogue HERE
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