This is an author's blog, but since everybody else has been blogging about their adventures in writing, I thought I'd take another tack. Especially since it's a while before my next book is out. ;)
Creativity is a many-legged creature. I think everyone is hardwired to be creative in one fashion or another, whether it's baking delicious confections or making unique records of memorable moments in a person's life (aka scrapbooking, which I have been assiduously avoiding, because I think it could easily possess me.) Some people claim they're not creative or artistic, but when you start asking them about hobbies, they invariably have one, and it invariably is creative in some fashion. (Okay, my fella may be an exception. I think his hobby is watching television--but he can be very creative in the projects he takes on at the college he runs.)
And I think that creativity metastasizes--it spreads and feeds on other little rivulets of creativity, not killing them, but expanding them into streams, and then rivers, and then great oceans of creative ... stuff. I think that participating in other creative activities feeds the creativity required for writing.
But sometimes I think that's only an excuse for why I love my own personal creative outlet (the one that isn't writing). I've taken the same oil/acrylic painting class through the continuing education department of the next county's junior college (the one in my county doesn' t have much continuing ed, no matter how often I tell the president he needs to offer more) for several years now. I see it as paying $6 a week for studio space.
In these classes, I spend hours trying to get just the right shadow on the hip of a cantering horse, or the right shape to a little boy's arm (usually I wind up painting over it and starting again at least once). (A few samples.) It requires me to look at something and see what's really there, see that this blue is cerulean and cobalt with a whole lot of titanium white, and that if I splat the white paint in a row just so, it will look like a breaking wave at the ocean, but if I want a cloud, I need to leave more gaps and use less paint. I've progressed from painting a single large flower or simple landscape to painting hydrangeas and little boys at the beach. (I still can't paint roses. And I cheated when tackling a portrait, and used an opaque projector to trace the outlines of a photograph onto the canvas--but it looks pretty darn good.)
These hours are important to me. I work hard to protect my Tuesdays in town. There's a community choir starting up at the local college on Thursdays, sometime this semester, and I'd like to participate in that (I'm an alto--or maybe a tenor, depending). Because all writing and no art and music makes Gail a dull girl...