“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, (Walking on Water 1980)
My good friend Jill Pugh sent me this quote the other day. I love it! But it has gotten me thinking…How true is it?
It is true that when I create, I go to a different place in my thoughts. I could also say that, at times it is a very soulful experience. I am free from normal restrictions and the world, indeed, is a wider place.
I am given to pondering the complexities of human experience as I spend hours in front of the canvas, developing bright and deep colorations.
But it isn’t as pure an experience as it may seem.
I impose my own restrictions on myself in the process, even as I am freed from some external ones. Some are purposeful and welcome; some are demons I am working to destroy.
And often, when I create, I am pondering external restrictions from which I cannot totally be freed. Those thoughts run from, “How am I going to pay the rent this month?” to “I need to stop in the next hour to go up and feed the cats.”
Artists do have unique perceptions and insights, and we do have the opportunity to enjoy a creative process full of wonder. I recognize that all are not able to do that, so I try to share my process with others so that they can get a glimpse of what it is like.
But I am human, as are all artists, and we put on our pants one leg at a time too.
And even if our pants are covered in paint, we are best inspired when we open ourselves to a wider world beyond the canvas.