• carolyn land

Creative Spirit Blog March 12,2022 "The Muse Showed Up!"


Groundwater Mixed Media

"Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too. If she doesn’t show up invited, eventually she just shows up". Isabel Allende


I used this quote in my last blog and it really stuck with me. I injured my back, back in January and It has been an ordeal dealing with it, from inept medical service to constant pain. Even on the best of days looking at a canvas and being in the studio did not make it feel better. Usually that is my cure all for any type of problem. I could always escape into a canvas.


I need a few large paintings for an upcoming show. I don’t usually paint big for several reasons, but I have had to put those reasons aside for now. After I finished the Art’s Tour painting, I put a 42 x 30-inch canvas on my easel. I stared at it for 10 days. Then that quote kept nagging me. I thought, “ I am just going to have to get going! Let’s hope the muse shows up.” I turned on my Tens Unit and let it hum away, and I started laying in a large format in three values. Then I started to paste in some pieces of paper and the Muse did show up! In all my years of painting I have never enjoyed doing a piece as I did this one. I had no clue where I was going, but I had a great time. It was fun! I slobbered on glue, tore up papers, pasted on burlap and just started to have a good old time. My husband stopped in and looked and asked: “Do you like it?” I replied, “I don’t know, but I am sure having fun.”


I guess at some point the Tens Unit went off but I was so into my creative process I didn’t notice. After about 4 and ½ hours I quit. But went right back the next day and it seemed like it was painting itself. I love when that happens!


We all put things off and many frequently wait for inspiration to knock on the door. But more likely than not when one feels that way, just getting something stated, can spark an idea, or just get the creative juices flowing.


This experience brought to mind another quote by Ray Bradbury an American author, “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. You cannot intellectualize creativity. You can think about something before or after — but not during.” To get out of an artistic slump, we need to get out of our head.


We make things and seed them into the world, never fully knowing, whom they will reach and how they will blossom in other hearts, how their meaning will unfold. But we first need to "show up" and start something. Keeping our creativity locked away waiting for inspiration or to feel better doesn’t get our thoughts, and feelings out in the world. We don't need to know where we are going. That first line we make can be the seed to the creative endeavor we are doing. Just let it grow!


I am grateful my Muse showed up. I hope yours is showing up as well. Stay creative. Carolyn



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