Saturday, July 14, 2012

Love can’t be stored or saved; it’s best when given away!

Vikeholmen Lighthouse II, oil on 16x20 canvas

My dear friend Dorothy baked bread for as long as she was able. “Just like my mother used to make,” she lovingly boasted. Whenever I’d visit, she’d plop a fresh warm loaf in my hands and send me away with a smile and a part of herself.

I loved her recipe. You could make it at night, and let it rise in the refrigerator until the next day. Once, I put too much dough into my Tupperware bowl, and the yeast caused it to bubble up, open the lid, and spill onto my shelves and bottles.

Seeing the mess, made me think of a story about the girl and the porridge. She received a magic soup pot from a woman in the forest who told her what to say to start it cooking and to get it to stop. She would never be hungry again! But when the porridge was cooked, the little girl forgot the magic words to make it stop. The porridge spilled over onto the floor, out the front door, and into the streets of the village.

Love and creativity are like that, too. If you smother the urge, the inspiration, and try to keep it all to yourself it will find other outlets. Like yeast dough spilling from Tupperware or the magic pot bubbling over with soup, creativity (another form of love) spills over with sometimes unexpected consequences.

"Robin Hood" 16x20 acrylic on canvas

My coffee blog a few days ago is a good example. There are people who go to coffee houses and then create art or doodle with their coffee, drawing admiring crowds. These entrepreneurs paint with their fingertips and Stir Styx to create wonderful scenes in the chocolate and whip cream swirls on the top of their coffee. Creativity – you can’t hold it down.

When I lived in Kansas City, our favorite restaurant was Stephenson’s Apple Farm. An old apple cider barn and orchard made room for a wonderful dining spot full of antiques and dried apple dolls. Rather than let those withered apples rot when they fell to the ground, “creative’s” ingeniously made them into dolls. The withered apples became the heads after first carving a simple face into the pulp. As the apple dried, the features twisted unexpectedly into either smiling or snarling faces. 

They were so ugly, they were adorable. Each face had its own personality. Coming from an old Pioneer art form, the dolls attracted many tourists to the restaurant. Of course, their home style brisket, cinnamon apple slices and broccoli cheese casserole didn’t hurt their business either.

(In Progress) bird house; acrylic on 16x20 panel

Some people claim to have no creativity. I don’t believe it! You just haven’t discovered yours yet. What are the things you love? What do you enjoy spending your time doing? In most instances there’s a creative component, whether your joy is cooking, decorating, or having a flare for the dramatic. Capture your love and express it!