Creativity: Is a Walk Away

Walking walking walking –  all this walking tires you out!?   I keep posting on my walks.  Little did you know thats the source of my artistic creativity.  Thats how I keep filling the well.  Its not about the exercise!

wildflower purple photo debiriley.com
Walking for Creativity photo debiriley.com

When I  start to run on empty,   feeling like I’ve used up everything in the art well and there is nothing in there to draw upon,  thats when I need to get back to some afternoon strolls.

Nothing major, nothing strenuous.

Nothing really anyone would realistically call aerobic exercise.  Nothing but fresh air and and a wander.  Of course some days the wander may be quite short.  Like, really short.  Out the front door and across the road kind of short. Other times,  I can spend a couple hours ambling down the path, looking at reflections, bark, clouds, flowers.  Its fun, relaxing, and it is good for me.

romantic florals photo debiriley.com
romantic melody floral walk photo debiriley.com

 

So much to do, not enough time. I’m just like everyone else.   I get too busy, too many  projects going, overworked, too sore, too tired, etc..  Some days,  perhaps   some weeks,   a super short walk is about all  thats going to happen.

But-  the value of a walk, any walk…. 2 minutes, 5 minutes,   10  or 60 minutes   is absolutely  worthwhile.   And  even 2 minutes can do the job.

“Around the block” patterns in the walkway,  was just  literally meters away. I love the warm/cool contrast and the broken up chunks, the linear movement gives it a direction and the deep shadows add depth.

 sidewalk patterns photo debiriley.com
Around the Block patterns in the walkway photo debiriley.com

Did you know that Stanford did a study last year with Dr. Marily Oppezzo on the effects of walking on creativity?  Her findings are reported in The Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning, Memory and Cognition.  Basically, we can improve our creativity about  50-60%    by walking.  Great news for artists,  ok… and other people too.

 

So, the rain stopped and I’ve been ‘making hay while the sun shines.’   Discoveries on these short walks has been amazing.  I’m  finding some fascinating shapes, designs, skies, creatures and flowers and gorgeous soft backgrounds.

 

bush pod  photo debiriley.com
Golden Bush Pod photo debiriley.com

 

Frankly,  I don’t take the photos with the intent that I am going to paint from them.

I take the photos because the subject intrigues me at the time. I take it if I was mesmerised by the fall of the shadows and criss crossing of shapes and patterns.  Or the colours just sang out to me. But,  not with the purpose to paint from.  For me, thats usually a creativity drainer.

kangaroo paw photo debiriley.com
paws of the kangaroo photo debiriley.com

I may have taken a great photo of a orchid, a bird, a tree and thats it, I am done. I don’t need to paint it.  I  want my photograph to be my finished art work.

Usually, when I take photos I’m generally a bit more focused on specific details than when I’ve got my brush in my hand and splashing away.   Not always,  but most of the time I use the camera to record detail and the brush to Express feeling.

We are all different  there is no right or wrong, its just how I create.

floral photo wildflowers australia debiriley.com
Australian Beauties floral photo debiriley.com

Creativity is a funny thing.   It can’t be forced, just ‘helped along.’   Going for a walk, a stroll helps me see what others may not see.

Then the fun part is to find ways to show what I have discovered!

Then too,  Overcoming the dread of getting it wrong usually helps nurture creativity too.

I’d like to take photographs with more …. me.  Less traditional, standard, “everybody’s done that before!”   Time will get me there.

This soft background – intrigued me just as it is.  The criss cross of the viridian stems, the purple greys and the pale buff background was … delightful!   It suited my fancy, my vision for that moment.  Its different.

photo of background debiriley.com
Soft Background photo debiriley.com

 

I want to paint with authenticity.  From my own well that I have stored up images and feelings.   Not relying on other’s  ideas or their feelings, memories or constraints. I want my feelings, my memories, my ideas to stand up and be different.

Maybe I have painted a rose but someone says,   can you turn that into a banksia?  Perhaps,  but I don’t want to!

The song I sang was a ‘rose’ song.  When the ‘banksia’ song is ready to be sung  I will sing it……  or,   in other words  that’s when I will paint it!

 

Back to my final 2  tagalongs as I was  strolling about.  There are times,  I meet up with interesting companions along my strolls. Some are cute.

native bird honeyeater photo debiriley.com
Native Bird Honeyeater photo debiriley.com

 

blue tongue lizard photo debiriley.com
Hiding – Blue Tongue Lizard photo debiriley.com

All of these  images were from two short walks,  1 was a 5 minute stroll, the other a 35 minute shoot- through the nature reserve.

The reserve had fun quirky creative names like:   Leaping Spider Orchid,  Pink Fairy Orchid, Snake Bush, Dancing Orchid, Granny Bonnets and then the stunning red and green kangaroo paws.

How,  could I not become creative!?

 

 

 

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9 comments

    • Fantastic! I was hoping that the post would resonate with one other person out there!! I really loved doing these 2 ‘strolls’ and photos for this post 🙂

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  1. Me too – especially the bit about needing sometimes to ‘fill the art well’ when it gets empty. About ten years ago I ran a small part-time art business (while my son was small) painting and selling contemporary abstract acrylics. The hardest thing for me then was to keep that ‘well’ full. Like you, nature was my primary inspiration. Having a dog forced me to walk and to go to places I wouldn’t normally go (to free her from brambles or stop her eating rubbish or follow her on some crazy scent trail she was following). Great post – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hi Laura! thank you!! some of those, esp. the soft viridian stems….. could be done as a Soft pastel abstract I think, yes 🙂 perhaps the sidewalk textures suits.

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