I studied painting and sculpture in college and used to be rather passionate about (making) art. I’ve always been passionate about viewing and thinking about it, but it’s been a good long while since I bothered trying to make anything more than a cartoon character for my daughter.
This evening I got the urge to try something a bit different. So I found a painting more or less randomly and decided to make a copy of it. All I had handy were some magic markers and graph paper, but it felt good to swim in the warm waters of impresssionism for a while.
Art is a habit, like writing. If you make time for it regularly, it becomes like second nature. Let it drift for too long and there it goes. You’re lucky if you ever get it back again, too.
The original artist is Elmer Bischoff. I don’t know what this painting is called.
The Economist has this little tidbit analysis of why people who live or have lived abroad (but not traveled–sorry, kids!) are more creative than those who haven’t. For those of us who live abroad–and we are many–this is comfort food.
Anecdotal evidence has long held that creativity in artists and writers can be associated with living in foreign parts. Rudyard Kipling, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Gauguin, Samuel Beckett and others spent years dwelling abroad. Now a pair of psychologists has proved that there is indeed a link.
To check that they had not merely discovered that creative people are more likely to choose to live abroad, Dr Maddux and Dr Galinsky identified and measured personality traits, such as openness to new experiences, that are known to predict creativity. They then used statistical controls to filter out such factors. Even after that had been done, the statistical relationship between living abroad and creativity remained, indicating that it is something from the experience of living in foreign parts that helps foster creativity.
Of course, none of this explains Emily Dickinson. Or ‘Owlminerva,’ for that matter.