Creativity is messy

posted in: Art | 2


I finished this painting this weekend. I started it several months ago. I probably paint once a week, some times more. This watercolor has been painted maybe twelve sessions. I really emphasize to my students to take your time and let things dry. What was different about this piece was that unlike most of my other ones, from the first time my brush touched the paper I liked what I saw. I usually struggle with a painting and I often don’t like it until it is done, or as it is done. Sometimes things just get overworked so I will paint the subject again, hopefully with a freshness. Paintings seem to come easier after a struggle. Struggle always has worth. It is how we grow as artists, it is how we move forward in life. For me, as a believer, it is an essential ingredient needed to move into what is next. God has a way of taking struggle or what people call tests and using them to mature us if we don’t give up.

I tell my students it is OK to struggle. It is the willingness to walk through the learning process, not liking what we see, but keeping at it until it is done that allows us to make better art. My motto is creativity is messy. People often ask me what that means. This is what it means.

2 Responses

  1. Frank & Cheryl Arthur

    Greetings, Ruth! You are on our mind this week as we have just re-framed that beautiful portrait that you did of Jennifer back in 1990. It is hanging on our living room wall. What wonderful God-given talent you have!

    We trust you are doing well. Frank retired from Harris in 2013 after 37+ years. We still live in Brevard County. Jennifer, her husband, and her 11-year-old daughter live in Orlando.

  2. Ruthieonart

    Wow! Cheryl so good to hear from you. Thank you. I am in Texas and teaching art while also working as a graphic designer. My boys are grown, but no grand kids yet.
    I kept in touch with Beth and Dan for quite while, Also John Prentice but kind of lost track with them. I haven’t heard from Kathy Ammon either the last few years, but I think she is still in North Carolina, still painting.

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