Thursday, March 18, 2010

Different Creativity

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

No doubt about it, we are a creative bunch here in the Lair!

You would think that statement would be a no-brainer with a bunch of writers, but actually, creativity takes a lot of different forms. Just off the top of my head here are some of the Banditas' other creative endeavors:
  • Donna MacMeans paints in oils
  • Tawny Webber does scrap-booking
  • Cassondra Murray is a musician and songwriter
  • Joan Kayse is an award-winning baker
  • several of us (myself included) do various kinds of needlework
Not a thorough list, by any means, and I won't even attempt to mention all of the creative endeavors of our Bandita Buddies, or this post would run on forever! Creative people always seem to find ways to channel their energies into artistic feats.

I've been thinking about this diversity of creativity a lot since a couple of weekends ago when the DH took me to the college where he works to see some of the student art work (and some of his latest efforts too). I'm always amazed at the many and varied directions artists take in creating a work. My DH's first choice is sculpting and he's worked in many different media including metal, wood, and ceramic.

Back in the days when I still had my Dreaded Day Job, I had to travel all over the state for meetings, and sometimes the DH would accompany me. On one such trip to Los Angeles, after my meetings were done, the DH insisted we go to see the Watts Towers. Since these incredible works of art are not in the world's best neighborhood, I was a bit hesitant, but DH talked me into it and I'm so glad he did!

These incredible structures are over 90 feet (30 meters) high and were built over a period of thirty years by one man, Simon Rodia in his back yard. Basically made of scrap metal and concrete, they are inlaid with an amazing mosaic of broken plates, bottles, and seashells. Quite a creative undertaking by an Italian immigrant and one-time tile setter, who built and decorated all this in his spare time!

What about you? What kind of creative things do you like to do in your spare time? Ever seen any unusual artwork or other creative stuff you can share with us?

39 comments:

Donna MacMeans said...

OMG - am I the first! chooky come home!

Donna MacMeans said...

AC -

Those Watts towers are really neat! I've never heard of them.

They made me think of a "secret garden" in the botanical gardens near my house. The garden was constructed to appeal to children and it has a little stone house with a fountain and dry ice fog in spots. It's sort of like a fancy clubhouse like we discussed with Allison Chase. What made me think of it is in the mortar between the stones are little "momentos" of childhood. There might be a marble here - a bit of a plate there - maybe a little plastic figure or a button - all sorts of "secrets" peeking out of the mortar.

Fun post. Now to see if the GR is any good at doing tax returns...

jo robertson said...

Great post, Cindy! I love to learn all the kinds of creative projects people do.

I love the Watts towers. They're beautiful and I've never seen them in person.

Congrats, Donna! Another Bandita nabs the rooster!

jo robertson said...

The kinds of creative things I do differ from decade to decade, even year to year.

I've written poetry, which I love doing, but I find it much more agonizingly slower than writing prose. I, like Tawny, love to scrapbook. It's a messy hobby, though, and you need a space where you can leave your stuff up until you finish. My husband doesn't like my working on the kitchen table!

jo robertson said...

LOL on the rooster doing taxes, Donna! Wouldn't that be a kick?

The "secret garden" sounds lovely. I love the idea of incorporating bits of childhood in the mortar.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Donna, it's a while since you got a chook for the day! Congrats!

It's interesting how creative so many of the bandits are, isn't it? Kind of like it would get out somewhere if it didn't get out in the writing!

Helen said...

Well done Donna have fun with him

Love that picture maybe one day I will get there to see them myself.
As for being creative not me although I used to knit a lot when my kids were young just don't seem to have the time anymore I am happy reading, but my girlfriend Barbara is a wizz at being creative with a sewing machine she has made some beautiful things for me over the years. As for artwork some of the graffitti I have seen around the City is really well done it might be illegal but some of it is very nice.

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Right now spare time is at a minimum but I used to sew, embroider, crochet, and do crafts of several types. I also did cross stitch for a very long time but time became a commodity and I basically got out of the habit. Now I read every minute I get.

Marisa O'Neill said...

AC
How right you are - all the women I know are creative in some way or another and I marvel at their talent. Me? I like to craft and make things out of found objects. Give me an old shoe or a discarded key and I'm taking it to my workroom to see what I can 'make' out of it. I especially like making altered books. Go figure?

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, AC - even if you made me feel like such a slacker. I used to do things like knit and cross-stitch when I travelled on business, but I don't do anything any more. I'm just very good at craft-y type things and am envious of all of you who are! Hubby's daughter is the real art-y one in our family and can make all sorts of things.

Despite the horrid ending to our trip to Barcelona (we got mugged), the amazing Gaudi sculptures in that city are fabulous. But then so many cities have amazing sculptures - like Rapid City's presidents or the amazing art pieces you find hidden all around cities like New York and London

Christie Kelley said...

Great post, AC. I'd never heard of the Watts towers. They are very interesting.

As far as my creative interests, I used to cross stitch but gave that up when the kids were little due to lack of time. I may go back to it some day. Other than that, I spend my creative time in the flower garden. Soon the nursery will open and I'll be there!

Deb said...

I am a "used to do that" person. I used to cross stitch, used to make bracelets, used to bake a lot, used to read a lot more, LOL! I even started a quilt (because my mother is a beautiful quilter and she wanted me to learn), but only made 13 squares; all that precise cutting drove me crazy. I do not like to scrapbook and, poor Shary, has no formal layout of her first 10 years.

So, why, I ask myself? I really have no excuse not to make time for myself. I sound like a blah person, don't I? :P

Margay said...

I knit and crochet in my spare time. I love making gifts for friends and family. Some of my favorite things to make are doll clothes (for Blythe, in particular), hats, scarves and blankets. Something else I like to do, but not nearly enough, is paint and draw. Some day, I'm going to take up water color painting - I adore water colors!
Margay

Janga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janga said...

I do all my creating with words. When it comes to music, arts, and crafts, I'm just an admiring and appreciative audience. Because both my grandmothers were astonishingly gifted needlewomen, I have a particular appreciation for the needle arts. One of my favorite art exhibits ever was that of the sixty quilts created by four generations of African American women of Gee's Bend, Alabama.

Virginia said...

Congrats Donna on getting the rooster! My we have some ladies here with talent! I think it takes talent to write a book and you ladies have it! Myself in the past I have pieced a few quilts but lately I have been into books in my spare time. Its been a year sense I have done any quilting but I still enjoy it! I just have to be in the mood and its just books right now!

jo robertson said...

I think you're right, Anna. If a person's creative in one area, she seems to cross over into others. I used to enjoy doing handiwork, like AC -- crocheting, especially.

jo robertson said...

LOL on the graffitti (I never remember how to spell that word!), Helen. Some of it is very inventive, and a kind of artistic endeavor of its own.

I learned how to knit but I never got the real hang of it. Good for you!

jo robertson said...

I know what you mean about reading (and for me writing) taking priority over other crafts. I used to embroider too, really liked that, Dianna.

I find handiwork good for when I want to watch tv, but need something to do with my brain, sort of going on auto pilot.

jo robertson said...

Ooooh, art from found objects, Marisa! Now that sounds verra interesting.

I confess I don't know what altered books are. Can you explain?

jo robertson said...

Ouch on the mugging in Barcelona, Anna S. That's awful!

I feel like a sluggard too when I consider the activities I used to do, uh, like cooking and housecleaning LOL. Seriously, I feel most of my "free" time needs to be devoted to writing or reading. Hope it pays off soon for all of us AYU Banditas.

jo robertson said...

Oh, Christie, I envy your talent in the garden. I tell my husband I have a black thumb, else why do things continue to die on me.

I do have a project, however. When I had my heart surgery ten years ago, a dear friend gave me a beautiful little plant. I have managed to keep it alive all these years LOL!

jo robertson said...

Not blah at all, Deb! You sound like a busy woman who doesn't take the time she deserves for herself. Sadly, many of us women fall into that category. I wonder if men feel the same way sometimes? My husband's hobby is golfing; he goes nearly every day and I'm glad he has that diversion.

I love to quilt too, although I'll never be as good a one as my mother was. She made the tiniest, even stitches!

jo robertson said...

Margay, I adore water coloring. I always want to master that medium, which I understand is quite difficult.

jo robertson said...

Janga said, "I do all my creating with words."

Amen, sister!

That quilt display sounds fabulous. I wish I'd seen it.

jo robertson said...

Yay, for you, Virginia. I think most of us read every day, but you're quite a fast reader, aren't you?

I'm a slow reader, but usually can't go to sleep without reading 30-50 pages each night.

jo robertson said...

BTW, everyone, I'm butting in so much today (LOL) because Cindy (damn her!) is cruising again! This time to the Caribbean. Lucky gal! I threaten to sneak into her luggage every time she goes, but haven't managed it yet.

She says hi to you all. And it's sunny and humid in San Juan!

Allison Chase said...

I used to embroider simple pictures and designs that I drew myself when I was a teenager, but that was long, long ago! I admire anyone with real artistic talents and wish I had some. I'm really very boring! Would love to have a garden but I seem to have a lethal rather than a green thumb. I'd better stick to writing. :-)

Minna said...

I do some scrap booking and I might make some cards soon and put candy wrappers and the pages of a book my idiot brother destroyed with a drill to good use. I found this idea from a magazine I saw in library. And I knit. Lately I have made some clothes and stuff for Barbie doll, but now I'm once again trying to get rid of the ones I've already made. I obviously don't need them myself.
http://teabooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/2009/12/swapping.html

The Baseballs Hot 'N' Cold
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU4uJUZHVJM&feature=related

Kuorosota 2010 - "Lautturi" [Ilkan kuoro, Joensuu]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiR-toskkgE

Kuorosota 2010 - "Satumaa Tango" [Kristiinan kuoro, Leppävirta]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypADbduRyRo&feature=related

Anna Sugden said...

Just wanted to remind Di R that she's a prize winner from Kate Walker's visit! Check out the winner's post or email me at anna at annasugden dot com.

catslady said...

I always loved the arts but unfortunately I was told I had to get a real job. I've done many crafts over the years- needlepoint, crochet, knitting, sketching, painting, ceramics, etc. but now the computer seems to take up my spare time (and reading of course). My one daughter is currently going to college for graphic art and has always been talented from a very young age which I totally support. She is going with a starving artist who is really talented too but it's a hard field to make your mark as you authors all know :)

Helen said...

Anna S sorry about the mugging must have been scary

I do hope Aunty Cindy is enjoying her cruise I would love to be on a cruise although I need to be close to home I have a feeling that my new granddaughter is going to make her apperance this weekend YAY

Oh and I do wish I had the time and inclination to be more creative

Have Fun
Helen

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi AC!

I'm with Christie--I'll be out in the garden! I also like to scrap, but I don't think I'm as good as Tawny!

Buffie said...

Hey Tawny, come on over and scrap with me sometime!!! I have all kinds of stuff (my MIL is a Creative Memories rep) and I love, love, LOVE by Cricut machine!

Marisa O'Neill said...

Hey Jo, Altered books are way too much fun. They are old books that are reinterpreted or reinvented to be 'art'. Here's a good site where they show you some examples if you're interested. http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/alteredbook.html

It allows someone like me - who has no 'artistic' knowledge/talent - to be creative - unfortunately, my family has to suffer because I inevitably give them as gifts.

PJ said...

Hi AC! Saw your post at facebook. So sorry about your computer access problems.

VAnna, I was also mesmerized by the fabulous sculptures and structures in Barcelona. Thankfully, I was not mugged. I'm so sorry that happened to you. Was it near La Rambla? We were warned to be very careful there.

I've never considered myself a crafty or creative person. I do love photography and I can be a bit creative in the kitchen but, beyond that, I'm pretty hopeless. ;-)

jo robertson said...

Wow, Marisa! Thanks for the link. Altered books are fascinating. I'm going to check out more sites.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Allison. Thanks for stopping by! We're all glad for you to stick with your fabu writing!

Pissenlit said...

Recently, I've been knitting and crocheting a whole lot. The only problem is that I get bored really easily so I tend to start more projects than I actually finish.