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Creativity Process

Updated: Mar 21

Sounds oxymoronic doesn't it?

Truthfully, if I have any hope of sustaining my painting practice over the long term I need a process for generating new ideas without wasting time and energy along the way.

"Creative composting”is the process by which we take raw ideas, compile them, store them and transmute them into works of art.

This takes the mindset of a farmer you have to pay attention be present in the moment, and let nature tell you what to do. You need to be open to the elements and what the world is saying at any given moment, and understand the relationship you have with nature in the world around us. You need to save organic material in this case that is ideas!

You need to be consistent and committed to the process and let those ideas marinate, percolate and compost overtime. This will help you harness the power of small reoccurring habits, and like a farmer after long periods of work in the dark often early in the morning or late at night will pay off overtime as you harvest your best ideas and transmute them into Works of art.

Another way to think of this as a surfer you might spend time looking at the ocean, waiting for the right conditions or hard to paddle out into the surf and then wait for a set of waves to roll in and then pick the right wave from within that set to start your ride painting seems to be very much a similar process.

A Rumi quote that I reference in this video is one that aligns well with these ideas

“…with every breath, I plant seeds of devotion. I am a farmer of the heart.” -Rumi

May we all be farmers of the heart… or surfers. Take your pick!

Creative composting is a long-term process that can involve taking pictures, clipping pictures, taking videos, asking for help from friends, kids, spouses, etc…? ask them to take pictures and videos and send them to you.

Take pictures when you stop off on the way to a destination on road trip take pictures of inanimate objects and store them away and revisit them from time to time in hopes that they will turn into your next great idea for painting.

One of the great things about this process is how it does not take much time and effort. It can be inconspicuously executed too.

All of the following recent paintings are just some of the works I created through the creative composting process I have adopted and nurtured in recent years.

Watercolor painting based on videos my daughter took while driving into school.

Watercolor painting based on video taken looking out our front door.

Oil painting based on videos my I took while sitting behind a line of cars stopped at a red light.

Watercolor painting based on videos I took when I stopped off on the side of the road while driving through farmlands in Virginia while on a work trip.

One of my favorite aspects of the process is that I often use analog methods like printer pictures or clipping images that capture my attention. I store them in a binder and folder sitting on a shelf in my studio. This is really easy and fun for some reason.

Hear more about this process of "creative composting" here described while I am working on a small watercolor painting

Click here to view my Wednesday walk-through, describing the creative composting process in detail, while I demonstrate a watercolor, journal entry painting of a gargoyle.

Cheers for now!

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I like the idea of marinating, percolating, and composting. Great analogies.

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