Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how the creative life is one that is not very straightforward and steady for me. Everything seems to go in waves and a little extremely so. 
Right now all I want to do is paint and I am finishing one canvas after another. A few months ago, I couldn't get enough of knitting. Then I read five books in a row. Then I wanted to organize the whole house, but before I can put a dent into that project, I am back to painting and that's all I want to.

The same happens with my social life. Some days I feel like talking and visiting with everyone I know and then I can go for days just wanting to be in my studio and not talk to a soul aside from Daniel.

When I mentioned this to Anne (El Milagro Studio), she forwarded me a link, which ultimately led me to this post by Juliet Bruce on understanding creative people. Juliet mentions a quote by creativity scholar Mihaly Csikszentmilhalyi that reads:

“If there is one word that makes creative people different from others, it is the word complexity. Instead of being an individual, they are a multitude. Like the color white that includes all colors, they tend to bring together the entire range of human possibilities within themselves. Creativity allows for paradox, light, shadow, inconsistency, even chaos –and creative people experience both extremes with equal intensity.” 

Wow, does that ever make sense to me and explain a few things. I have to say that these days there's nothing I enjoy more than the creative process. As soon as I am finished with one painting or knitting project, I set it aside to get on with the next one. The real joy for me seems to be in the creating, not the creation itself. I notice this especially as I work and rework certain pieces. It doesn't bother me one bit to have to start over from scratch...
Acrylic painting on 12 x 24 inch wrapped canvas

In that spirit, Hope is happily finished and I am already on to the next painting, same long format. If it turns out the way I envision it, it'll be quite beautiful and different yet again.

For now I wish you great creativity in whatever you are doing!!


  1. Love your hope painting--and she looks very thoughtful! I'm like you--get crazed about one thing--right now it's this embroidery that I am doing--then I get onto something else and run with it. For me--that's the joy of being retired and also, no longer making and selling art quilts--now I am just doing what I want-when I want--love it!!

  2. I like Hope very much. I feel like Janet, but right now I'm not doing much painting. I'm thinking of getting myself re-involved with the creative people here in my town who hold meetings and paint together as well as do shows. Then I get lazy and don't want to go out of my "safe" place, except to exercise and shop. Tee hee. Good work Silke.

  3. Although I've been leading a rather quiet life of late, I thrive on variety. And I think it's wonderful to explore different creative outlets. It is fun & satisfying and to my way of thinking, that's what life is supposed to be about. You just keep doing what you're doing, because you are doing great!

  4. Beautful Silke..wonderfully peaceful and like a guiding spirit..a powerful sense of inner and outer peace..and I love the energy of this color palette..with the harmony of the lily she is holding..a very meditative piece!
    wonderful post...I agree..and totally relate...I feel joyful..i am part hermit, creature of the night and dreaming by day.. yet journeying in all directions at once..and always alive and shining..the creative essence carries us in it's pulse and we are awake forever inside this powerful space aren't we! Enjoy your creative journeys!Beautiful post!

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this painting!!! And I also love your quote on creative people. It is so true!! My mind is OFTEN in chaos and it seems to be both a blessing and a curse!! I am constantly pulled in so many different directions and have more ideas racing thru my head than I can possibly ever DO anything about!!! That Mihaly guy has written a book called "Flow" that I hope to read someday!!
    Happy Painting Silke!!!

  6. Hi Silke, what a lovely painting! The girl is definitely a bringer of hope - hope that spring shall arrive soon! Thank you for that wonderful quote about the artistic spirit. It was very interesting to read that. Have a wonderful night! Theresa

  7. You just have to ride the wave in Silke, like surfing. We hit the shore, stay still a bit, and then see another wave and off we go!
    You *know* I love this painting.....

    Surfin' Bird

  8. Wow Silke! This is so lovely! And I love the landscape elements!! I remember when you commented on one of my landscapes and said you didn't think you could do it! Well, its fabulous! So serene! You are moving right along and I am glad to watch you grow so much lately!

    Thanks for sharing that quote. I certainly feel as you do when it comes to those waves that seem to come along. It makes me feel better to know there are others who feel the same!

    Looking forward to seeing your next painting!

  9. Hope is beautiful and this post is one i can relate to 100%

    it made me giggle as my husband turned to me this weekend and said "you are my people".....meaning he loves every last one of me and all my many personalities!!! makes sense with this wonderful quote you shared!!

    happy painting friend

  10. Aaaaw, Silke just surrender. Paint to your heart's content.

  11. Silke,

    So glad that you did this post today!
    I have been feeling so scattered in my art work and feel like there is never enought time to get the things done that I need to do.
    I have three projects going on at once.
    I feel alive though through this chaotic period.

    Thank you for posting the quote by Mihaly.
    I do not feel alone in all of this beautiful chaos!!

    Hugs and Smiles,


  12. Liebe Silke,

    wir freuen uns immer wieder über deine
    schönen Kunstwerke

    Frohe Grüße
    Angela und Elisabeth

  13. ah the joy! it's lovely to see you enjoying it all!
    have a great day tomorrow whatever you choose to do!

  14. silke, what i know and fascinates me about creative people is that there is rarely just one interest: you might paint, but you also cook and knit and write and photograph and on it goes.

    myself, when that passion stirs, i could write for hours and days without wanting to stop. nothing feels better (well, maybe a few things) :)

    do what you do and don't do what you don't do.


  15. So that's the reason! Thanks for the enlightenment. Love 'hope' and the way you are continuing to develop, Silke. You go, girl!

  16. Silke.... This painting is lovely. She looks serene and filled with hope.
    I can relate to how you have been feeling. I LOVE the quote. It is SO true and I think only creative people truly understand other creative people and realize that we have many facets as individuals - our interests are vast and we dive into each one with a passion. I could not imagine being any other way.
    ♥ audrey

  17. Hope is beautiful! She is serene yet holds intensity near her heart. How wonderful that she bears Spring in her hands, even in the dead of Winter. Gorgeous painting, Silke! I also enjoyed your unveiling, showing more and more of your painting with each photo. :)

    I completely agree with you. The creative process is even more rewarding than the result. Paint, my friend, paint to your heart's content!

  18. Hi Silke,
    I love this painting, it's wunderful!

  19. You are so right about the creative process. The quote seems to be right on. And like you, I seem to get more joy in the creating of it, rather than the finished project...when it comes to my crocheting, that is. The reverse is true with my poetry! Go figure. :-)) By the way, I LOVE your new painting!! The first thing I thought was "Hope....Spring comes back!" LOL The bare tree in the back made me think that...and the lady's shadow...Great work!

  20. This really really does make sense...and I am loving your Hope!
    HUGS sweet Silke.

  21. Intense. Passionate. The only way to live. Hope is DeLovely. **kisskiss** Deb

  22. Wow, gefällt "Hope" mir ausgesprochen gut. Traumhafte Farbgebung und alles enthalten, was ich besonders mag. Das exessive Verhalten ist mir wohl bekannt. Jetzt kann ich mich endlich entspannt zurücklegen, brauche mir keine Gedanken mehr machen, weshalb das so ist - ich bin eben kreativ - was für eine Erleichterung:-) Liebe Grüße, Inge