Saturday Creativity Quote — David McCullough

The historian David McCullough died this past week. He’s known for his presidential research and biographies, as well as other work. He saw history as the study of human life, including art, and I was particularly struck by this advice he gave:

“I paint all the time. I love it. And I highly recommend it for everyone. Get out there and paint. It’s good for the soul. But I also particularly stress to people who say they want to become writers, young people, take a course in drawing or painting because it helps you to learn to see, to look, and that’s what writing is often about.”

— historian David McCullough (1933-2022), in an interview with Jeffrey Brown of the PBS Newshour, aired Monday, Aug 8, as part of its coverage of his passing

(Photo by the author, of her own art supplies!)

The Saturday Writing Quote: a painter’s view of creativity

“Creativity is a difficult word because people think it has some magical quality–-I don’t see that at all. Creativity is really following some sort of idea to some sort of conclusion—even going down the wrong road, getting lost, and incorporating that experience into what you’re doing.

The misconception many people have about creativity is that it’s some sort of external thing—that you’re hit by a bolt of lightning or that you have a great insight. It’s really a rational thing. When you find your own unique approach to working through problems, creativity manifests itself in your work.

Creativity is also the reason I think we involved in mixed media. It’s not so much that we’re trying to be creative as that we’re trying to accomplish something, and in our quest, we look for ways to get there.”

Skip Lawrence, American painter