Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Art for Art’s Sake and for Fun!

March 14, 2011
S-light of Hand, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

S-light of Hand

Something that I have noticed about having a camera in my hand, is that I am no longer just a casual observer in life, I become involved in the process and also a documentarian of the process.

Last week I joined the local Artist association and at my first meeting was witness and participant to an extraordinary event of the creative process.

Matt Wardell, setting up and explaining the project, by Cheryl McDonald,2011

Matt Wardell, setting up and explaining the project

Matt Wardell, an artist from Los Angeles had come to give a presentation/demonstration of his art process. Well, his art process very much requires group participation. He set up a pair of walls with a few found objects, posters, lights, etc. and asked the audience to complete the piece.

Matt Wardell and DAL members building the project, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

Matt Wardell and DAL members building the project

Teamwork by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

Teamwork

There were lot’s of found objects, hats, plastic fruit, flowers, the flotsam and jetsam of life, along with drills, hammers, staplers and other tools with which to apply these things.

The liquid animation begins, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

The liquid animation begins

The final pieces of the project were several people who were pushing things and pouring things through the walls. The project became animated!

It was fun, crazy, unorganized teamwork that happened right there in the meeting room at the city recreation center.

I had brought my camera as I am learning to shoot events and thought this might be a good time to practice. I was not expecting what happened, but as the evening progressed I found myself sometimes a participant and sometime the documentarian of this event. The levels of participation of the other members of the audience was also very interesting to me. One person left completely. Many people made suggestions from the audience or sat and watched, enjoying the chaos and process that ensued and there were several who got involved stapling, drilling holes, finding ways to attach things to the walls. The final project was chaotic and colorful and imaginative and of course, temporary because it all had to be taken down immediately by the end of the evening.

The Project Complete, by Cheryl McDonald, 2011

The Project Complete

So what was the point of this exercise? Well, for me, it was the process, the cooperation of people who barely knew each other getting involved in the fun and creation. It was silly, imaginative and completely unnecessary in the scheme of life and that was the joy of it. There was no requirement for framing, showing, selling- it was creativity at it’s best and most basic level.

So not only did I get an interesting event to photograph, but I was also given a reminder of what creativity is all about. Sometimes we artists get so caught up in the idea of making art as a profession, we forget the reason we started creating in the first place- it’s FUN.

Cheryl McDonald is and Artist, Photographer and Graphic Designer, currently living in Ridgecrest, CA
to see more of her work go to www.passionsaplay.com or www.cherylmcdonald-art.com

The Journey, Evolution and New Life

February 21, 2011

Pillars by Cheryl McDonald

Evolution is an amazing thing. We talk about evolution as if it is something that happened in the past, not something that is happening daily. We forget that evolution is about change and that is what we experience everyday whether we like it or not. This year is full of new beginnings, great amounts of creative energy are flowing throughout the world. Major changes are happening in most of our lives. I am excited about what is evolving and see new opportunities for change and evolution daily.

Creativity does not stand still. Artists and scientists and all of those who create are not very good at settling for what they know, they are always looking for the next answer to questions that are constantly erupting in their brains or consciousness. It energizes me when I know that there is a new project or experience coming my way. It is nice to remember where I have been and the portfolio I have created, however the reason I create is not for the finished product so much as for the experience of the creating. Being in that “zone” is an experience that I look for, yearn for more and more. The flow of energy is amazing. And the finished product is for me an expression of the voice of the Divine.

My newest means of creating for the last couple of years has been digital photography. Learning to use the camera, capturing a feeling, an experience a moment in time that will never come again has been an exhilarating experience for me. And now I see that the camera is a tool that will now be a part of my creative arsenal along with the mediums of drawing and watercolor and computer technology. Learning to use Photoshop for more than just processing pictures or paintings for print is giving me the means to create images from various mediums to create art that is new and exciting. I am starting to imagine how all of these mediums can come together to express. It is awesome. My latest series is called the Journey and so far it is only images created from combining photographs, but that is about to change as well. Stay tuned for what comes next.

This week is also exciting for me because I get to start sharing what I know about painting and the creative process with others. My first watercolor class here in Ridgecrest begins Thursday night. I love the synergy that is created when creative people come together. We learn from each other and that creative energy just flows on and on.

How has your creativity evolved? What new mediums are you incorporating into your work? Can you see how this process brings new life to yourself and your work? These are questions I am working with and struggling and at the same time loving the process of rebirth. But that is how new life begins isn’t it. And so it is!

A Walk in the Cemetery??

June 28, 2010
Watching the squirrel by Cheryl McDonald

Watching that Squirrel

One of the things I get to do daily while I am here in Oakland is to take Miss Marlena for a walk twice a day. One of her favorite places to go is actually this beautiful cemetery at the end of Piedmont Street. I could not find the name of it but it is attached to the Chapel of the Chimes which was designed by Julia Morgan and is a very beautiful and a very large mortuary and mausoleum. I have been here before for meetings. They invite people to hold all kinds of meetings there, just to prove it is not a scary place. Which I will have to say it certainly is not.

Standing Stones by Cheryl McDonald

A view from up on the hill above the park

Anyway, this cemetery is really a wonderful place to walk, it has winding paths that go through all the way to the top of the hill where one can get an amazing view of the bay, Oakland and San Francisco. This is a very old cemetery and there is some really amazing history that can be found here. I can just imagine the stories of all the lives that have been laid to rest here in this place.

Waiting Angel in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Thoughtful Angel in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Sympathy by Cheryl McDonald

The Lightbearer in Sepia by Cheryl McDonald

While walking through this cemetery almost everyday, I started taking pictures of the sculptures and the view and the grounds. It also started me contemplating death- of course…

I am completely amazed at the beauty and grandeur of many of the shrines that people have created to honor and memorialize their loved ones. This cemetery is certainly not a place for the dead but is a place for the living to remember those that were somehow important in their lives, some for better and most probably some for worse.

Reflections within and without in sepia by Cheryl McDonald

Lofty in sepia by Cheryl McDonald

I have also been reading a lot this week and one of the books I read was called “the Untethered Soul” by Michael Sanger. I was drawn to it because of the title, as of course I have decided to untether my life in many ways. He is an eloquent and down to earth writer and he talks a great deal about how to let go of those energies that we store in our bodies relating to past experiences and how this can help us to be more present here in the moment where we actually live. One of the concepts he talks about is death and how death is actually our friend because without it there would be no urgency to experience and enjoy the life that we have.

dog walk by Cheryl McDonald

Deer in the woods by Cheryl McDonald

So as I am walking through this wonderful cemetery I am noticing all the life that is actually going on here. All of the people walking dogs and baby carriages and the squirrels and deer and gophers and birds that are free to experience this beautiful setting and are part of the experience of being in this place.

Leaning in by Cheryl McDonald

Can't take it with you by Cheryl McDonald

Death is a difficult thing for us, particularly in this culture as we either dramatize it, demonize it, fear it, or ignore it. However death is part of life and it is something we all do at some point. It really is only a moment away and we never know when that moment might be. I have very much enjoyed my time in this cemetery and the experience of walking among the dead and all the life that this place holds as well. It has given me much appreciation for the value of this moment in this my untethered life. Thank you Michael Sanger

Cheryl is the owner of Passions at Play Art & Design, doing photography, watercolor, fine art and illustration please check out her work at www.passionsatplay.com