Conversing with your Creation

Whether it’s painting, poetry, writing, sculpting, woodworking…you name it, what is your relationship with your creation in process?  Is there an ongoing conversation as you work with a piece?

When, for instance, you are crafting your poem, are you aware of a subtle dialogue going on between the parts of yourself that demand expression and the you that witnesses what has been said, written?  With poetry, I think the dialogue comes in when crafting the poem, less than in the initial stages of “getting it down.”

When you are painting, do you impose your design and/or desire on a piece or really step back from the canvas and ask “what’s next?” or “what do you want?”

Yes, creating art is typically a solitary expedition.  However, there is definitely a relationship that is being cultivated.  The language of creativity can be expressed with words–often hunches, instincts, intuition, images, symbols, thrusts or bents that have no logical explanation and aren’t couched in words.

I love it when this conversation induces the creative flow.  Ordinary time is left behind and I enter “the zone.”  And the guidance for what’s next is in place, because basically I have surrendered myself to a process in flow, to the creative conversation.

When you awaken from this trance-like state, you are often surprised to find how long you’ve been so occupied.

What is created while in this zone can be something quite surprising to the artist or writer.

Writing Prompt:
Have you had such an experience?  Write about what it feels like for you to be in conversation with your work of art, poetry, or prose.  Look for metaphors to describe both your creative process while in the zone and the passage of time.

cropped-abstract-a.jpg

Lanterns & Fans

A life-long artist and teacher critiqued my
painting (above).  He noted the daring in my abstractions,
designs, color choices and composition.
I remember being deep in creative conversation
with this painting and the art critic recognized
this.

Poetry à la carte

Another Day on the Farm
© by Christine O’Brien

The pot bellied pig, Sonia,
nudged the chickens
and the dominant one-eyed rooster, Sam,
aside.
When the sheep figured out
it was mealtime
they meandered over
from the pasture
to partake.
Dixie the cow
replaced Mabel
(who has severe mastitis)
as the new milking cow.
And the female Ostrich, Huey,
ate comfrey from my brother’s hand.
In thanks, she did a circular
mating dance.
I joined her
as the sun dipped
behind the hills.

My brother froze
not knowing
how to respond
to two crazed females.

Pig.one

⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒

Here’s the thing about poetry.  It says what wants to be said succinctly (not always, as there are certainly prose poems, ballads, elegies and other lengthy forms).  However, the above poem is brief while painting a picture of a moment in time.  There are the specifics, like naming the animals, and the detail about Mabel who has mastitis, and the action piece of Huey, the female Ostrich, dancing her mating dance.  And all of this takes place on a farm against the backdrop of hills and a setting sun.  In these brief 24-lines, feelings have been captured as well–my brother’s discomfort, my own dance of freedom.

WRITING PROMPT:
Look for a stand-out “moment” today.  Lift this moment from your day. Document it with specifics–names, places, times, something spoken, climate, whatever you notice.  Then wax poetic…that is, write your poem of the moment.
Put your poem aside for a day or two.  Review it. What crafting tool can you apply to make it more precise?