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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Our Creative Current

When we are fully immersed in the act of creating, there is a space within us where all that we are and all that we know come together into a oneness. We become so completely absorbed in what we are doing that we lose awareness of time and place.  When we stay present there, not allowing ourselves to be distracted or to resist what is happening, we create freely and from wholeness. Here, we lose all self-consciousness: we are totally engaged in the act of doing.  I call this experience our creative current.  It is the place within us from which we are free to create and, therefore, from which we grow and evolve. (From my book, Finding Freedom to Create, p. 5)
The creative current doesn't discriminate.  It worked for Michelangelo 600 years ago the same way it worked for Tom Glavine just twenty years ago.  All that it requires is focus and attention.  That's it.
Michelangelo Buonarroti     Studies for The Libyan Sibyl       Red Chalk on Paper

Hall of Fame, Former Atlanta Braves Pitcher-Tom Glavine 
The neat thing about the current is that we can use it for tiny steps of learning or practicing as well as being deeply involved in large projects. For example, if you want to learn to do notan drawing, you can choose a subject, focus on just shadows in a subject and give full attention to only shadow without noticing what the subject is and before you know it you're in the current.  You WILL do a notan drawing.  You won't be able to avoid doing so.  
Like an electrical current whose voltage flows across a wire, the creative current flows across an intuitive path that we access when we are totally focused within the act of creating, whether practicing, performing,  composing, or constructing.  We all have access to it.  Using it is a matter of letting go of any fear or rational questioning or doubt.   
Whatever the endeaver--whether practicing exercises from my composing lessons, learning a new brushstroke, honing a new technique or simply responding directly to a plein air landscape, to allow yourself to enter and stay in your creative current will create growth and confidence like nothing else.

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