“When we are writing, or painting, or composing, we are, during the time of creativity, freed from normal restrictions, and are opened to a wider world, where colors are brighter, sounds clearer, and people more wondrously complex than we normally realize.”
— Madeleine L’Engle, American novelist and teacher, 1918-2007)
(painting: pastel on sandpaper, by Leslie)
“Artist Michele Shea says that being creative is a way to be a playmate with the divine. From the seemingly silly to the seriously sacred, your world awaits your creative touch.”
— Sera Beak, The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark (2006)
Go on. Be silly today, and see where it takes you. This bunny is waiting to play!
(watercolor by Leslie)
Some say the creative life is in ideas, some say it is in doing. It seems in most instances to be in simply being. It is not virtuosity, although that is very fine in itself. It is the love of something, having so much love for something—whether a person, a word, an image, an idea, the land, or humanity—that all that can be done with the overflow is to create. It is not a matter of wanting to, not a singular act of will; one solely must.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés, from Women who Run with the Wolves
Painting: The Barn, pastel on garnet paper, by Leslie Budewitz
“To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art is ‘to fit together’ and we all do this every day. Not all of us are painters but we are all artists. Each time we fit things together, we are creating—whether it is to make a loaf of bread, a child, a day.”
— Corita Kent, aka Sister Mary Corita Kent, Catholic nun, teacher & artist, who designed the 1985 Love stamp
“The stories I cared about, the stories I read and reread, were usually stories which dared to disturb the universe, which asked questions rather than gave answers.
I turned to story, then, as now, looking for truth, for it is in story that we find glimpses of meaning, rather than in textbooks. But how apologetic many adults are when they are caught reading a book of fiction! They tend to hide it and tell you about the “How-To” book which is what they are really reading. Fortunately, nobody ever told me that stories were untrue, or should be outgrown, and then as now they nourished me and kept me willing to ask the unanswerable questions.”
— Madeleine L’Engle, 1983 lecture to Library of Congress, later published as “Dare to Be Creative”
(moose painting, dye on silk, by Nancy Cawdrey)
“Going back is a creative process. The events of childhood are like the Hebrew alphabet; the vowels are missing, and the older self has to make sense of them. Robert Frost’s famous poem about the two paths diverging in the woods isn’t only about the two paths. It also describes how older people go back in memory and impose narrative order on choices that didn’t seem so clear at the time.”
— David Brooks, in the New York Times, 3/20/14, in an essay called “Going Home Again,” inspired by a TED talk by Sting, describing how going back to his childhood helped him return to songwriting
“But what’s creativity if not dreaming? Playing it safe and asking our imaginations to stick to socially-accepted norms means cutting off a source of fathomless inspiration. With all the talk out there about taking risks as writers, isn’t it time we gave ourselves permission to take this risk, too, off the page?”
Sharon Bially, novelist and book publicist, on Writer Unboxed
(Painting “In the Clearwater,” pastel on suedeboard, by Leslie)