Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stumbling To Creativity

After the two weekend long art gallery showing with no sales and weeks of no sales on my Etsy store, this week I have not been able to pick up a brush or even read an art book. I concentrated on chores and other events. It was as if the creative part of me just dried up. Instead I spent my free time reading Pat Conroy's book THE DEATH OF SANTINI: The Story of a Father and His Son and fighting Quark.

Conroy has always been a favorite writer with his THE RIVER IS WIDE, THE GREAT SANTINI, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, BEACH MUSIC and now this, the final chapter of his father's life. If it weren't true, editors would have laughed him out the door. The sad truth though, is that it was real. As often happens, reality is far worse than anything we can dream up.

What makes creatives like Conroy be creative? Of seven children, he became a noted author and a sister who is crazier than a march hare, became a well respected poet. They both turned to writing to try and make some sense of their lives. Is this any different than many other great creatives? Does violence have to occur to be creative? Why does the violence make some creative and others, like the youngest brother, commit suicide? There certainly are many but it appears the creative is more the violent one towards his family. With a father and an enabling mother he and his father only became close after Conroy beat up the father in the father's last attempt to abuse his wife and children in a drunken rage. Taping his father in his final days he find out what his father did for the military and the demons he lived with all these years and never spoke of.

While I am sure as a child, the abuse Conroy and his siblings describe is without imagining, there is a kind of despair that haunts all creatives. There is not one great artist who didn't go into deep despair sometime in their life, many after achieving success, because, I believe, they feel the world around them differently. Recognition as I realized is important. It is an affirmation that what you create matters. I felt Monday that while people may talk about it, they didn't like it, any of it, enough to buy. I looked at the walls covered with paintings and tables filled with birdhouses and despaired.

Talking about this feeling during the week with friends, we finally reached the conclusion where they felt if I liked the creation, then I should stick with it. As one friend pointed out, its not as if you depend on it for a living. We both got a good laugh out of that. However, sad as it may be, there is an element of recognition that we crave. Of the three artists showing, there was one sale heavily discounted but no more. It was one of the worst shows in memory. No one knows why.

The local San Dimas paper did a wonderful write up me and said my paintings "had an organic style" that I may well use from now on.

I am feeling better. I am through with the book, have started to organize myself, get other projects done and am eager to paint something again.

Please visit my craft store at and my fine art store at Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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