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Watercolor Society of Indiana

In My Opinion...February 2022 by Pat Grabill

Saturday, February 19, 2022 10:43 AM | Tanya Roberts (Administrator)

I want to talk about Creativity, which I've italicized because I want you to think about it as a word, a concept, a definition, a process, a thing.  I've been thinking about creativity a lot lately because of a discussion I had with a woman in the book club I belong to.  She is a nurse in a hospital unit that cares for babies and their mothers--and she has been working throughout this entire Covid time.  She asked me about what I was painting or working on, and I said something like, "You should come over and paint with me sometime.  It would be fun."  Her response was, "Oh, I'm not at all creative.  I can't even draw a straight line."  I thought to myself, "You save lives every day because of your creativity, and whether you can draw a straight line or not has nothing to do with it."

            Here's my take on this Creativity thing.  The concept of creativity is too often associated with being able to do something artistic.  Well, art IS creative.  No question about it.  However, so are other things that people might not think of as being creative.

            If you've ever worked on projects of any kind with a team of people (I have), and if that team was put together taking into consideration the very specific talents of each team member (I wrote an article about teaming which was published virtually) I'm willing to bet that at least one member of that team was an idea person--the "let's do THIS" person.  Another person might have been the doubter--"that's too hard," or "how could we possibly Do that?" Still another person would be the problem solver--"Here's how we can do that and make it successful."  Still others would be the logistics people and would be able to plan and schedule the project. THAT, my friends is creativity. Not only are the ideas creative--so is the ability to work productively with other people.

            I had two grandmothers who were incredibly creative cooks, so I grew up appreciating their efforts.  One grandmother who emigrated here from Hungary when she was just a young girl could have earned a living as a chef.  My other grandmother actually DID earn her living as a chef--she owned, operated, and cooked at a small cafe near where I grew up where people would stand in line to purchase her pies.  Anyone can follow a recipe, but only the truly creative can mix together the recipe ingredients in such a way that the meal at the end of the process is unlike anything someone else might make.  If you cook like that and people love to come to dinner at your house--that's creativity.

            Without the creative minds of those who live their lives in the scientific community, we would still be fighting Polio.  Talk about creativity!  And problem solving!  And my book club friend who each day finds creative ways to help heal her patients.

It's time for all of us to give ourselves and others some credit for the creativity of the mind and not just the creativity of the paintbrush.

But that's just my opinion.  Go forth and be creative.  Everywhere.  And have fun doing it!




Watercolor Society of Indiana

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Indianapolis, IN 46240 

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