When I was younger, I was an artist that expressed myself in several art forms. Eventually, I immersed myself in college with a variety of idealistic goals, special education, dance + art.The days of yesteryear when a creative spirit could attend college and be a dreamer. I could work part-time and pay for most of my college expenses or summer workshops. My parents did not have to sign school loans. College was affordable for everyone. It seems like a lifetime ago for me as well as for the young dreamers of today which includes, my kids!
When I graduated in 1982, I was free to explore and create my destiny. The best part, I did not have school loans that put me in debt for the rest of my life! The world was so different back then. Now you can’t be so free-spirited and explore your options, you need to be focused. College is just too expensive to “explore” and “dream” that is sad. It concerns me; we are fostering a world of people who don’t know how to escape and experience the “flow” that comes with a creative endeavor. You know those times, where you look at the clock, and it is 1 pm on a Saturday. Next time you check it is 6 pm, and you don’t know how that happened, That my friend is the creative flow. If you ever have experienced it in your life, it is the most amazing feeling. You can’t count “tv watching” and “social media computer time” as a loss of time! I am talking about where you “create” something “new” that has not been done before by you or anyone around you. Something that “evokes” expressions such as, “That is beautiful”, “a neat idea,” “solves our problem” or just plain WOW!”
All careers have “creative flow.” Creativity is not owned by artists; it is found in many professions. It can be a “passion” about something you care deeply about in your life. A person can create a not-for-profit that offers solutions to a problem in our society. An engineer can design a prototype that makes our life easier. The ability to exhibit “creativity” can be tangible or intangible!
I love creating in my garden as I did years ago in other creative endeavors. I no longer move as beautifully as I did in my youth. Just a fact. We all get older in this world. My “grand jeté” days are gone. My leaps are now done on my bike. Part of getting older is finding new ways to fill old needs. Biking helps me fly through the air….but I have struggled with my creative flow….how do I find that again. I was watching a TED talk a few weeks ago with urban Guerrilla Gardener, Ron Finley. He sees his garden as his canvas…
“Gardening is another form of art and I plant for beauty. I want all kinds of different heights and color pops. Vegetable gardens to me are boring as hell; I plant like a mosaic” Ron Finley (read more about him here)
His lecture inspired me to see my garden, soil or empty beds as a blank canvas. My garden is my art. I now express or paint with plants, nature + stir emotions with what I create in my garden. My creative collaborators are nature.
There are many arguments about the difference between “craft” and “art” which I won’t debate in this post. However, I will debate the “gardener” and the “artistic gardener.” well, to me there are gardeners that are good at growing things. They know how to add this to the soil or move a plant at the right time of the year that I call “technical stuff.”…they are the gardeners…but the “artistic gardener” are those that use their “creative talents” to create a garden. They think of timing, color, texture, shapes, movement, and emotions.When you visit an “artist gardener” most often you find yourself wandering, touching ,wowing + can’t get enough. Their gardens inspire you to go home and create…..You can’t help yourself!
And….I found my answer. ….my garden is where I lose track of time….I also find I lose track of time when I research a plant, or try to find the perfect plant to “solve a problem,” to “create a mood” or evoked a feeling…..I have found my creative flow again, it is my garden, and on days, I need to fly well, I ride my bike fast on the river!!! I call it my river grand jeté “…it never ends!!! I finally have found my place to stand in a world that is ever-changing, as I am….
..if you garden as I do….. think of your garden as your canvas + you are the artist that makes it come to life!