Monday, January 4, 2010


I can only understand the process of creativity as it relates to my own work, and even then the understanding is incomplete and fragile. Of the many volumes written on the subject, The Courage to Create, by Rollo May has been most helpful to me. May proposes that the basic element in creativity is the encounter between the artist and the subject (or object). The artist’s response to the encounter, which can run the gamut of emotional and mental reactions, and the intensity of the response, is what generates the creativity.

This struck a chord with me. since from the very beginning my art was the result of my response to the urban environment. I loved the busy texture and fabric of the city streets with their storefronts, markets, and curbside signage and paraphernalia. I spent endless hours on the streets of Wilmington and Philadelphia with my sketchbook and camera gathering material for my paintings ( I have always been a studio artist, limiting by on site work to quick sketches.) After all of these years this attraction remains unabated, even though it is now shared with my love the rural landscape with assorted barns, trees, and big skies.

Because of this experience the notion that creativity arising out of an encounter resonated with me. The idea can easily be expanded to include more than the world around us. The artist can encounter a sound, an idea, or a memory; almost anything can elicit a creative response. The more an artist explores and paints the greater his or her facilities become, leading to an expanded area of interest and ambition, and greatly increases the chances for those significant encounters.


Ajay Patil said...

creativity will have different meaning for everyone but creative work such as yours will always get noticed.

Abby Creek Art said...

Great post, Bill...and beautiful drawings.

Happy 2010 to you!