Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Can the right and left work in creative unison?

Good morning. Please excuse my shorter posts, and total absence yesterday, but I have got my head stuck in artycraft mode. I struggled with this picture, had an idea in my head but got the colours wrong. After a couple of false starts I eventually got going. Getting into arty mode involves wandering around the house aimlessly, searching through bits of fabric, playing with paints and marker pens, cutting out and arranging, then saying, that doesn't look right and starting again. 
The background to the flowers is yellow, it hasn't come out right on the close up photo. The black velvet is predictably picking up fluff and dust and will need a going over with sellotape before it is framed. I'll get there eventually.

I've been reading somewhere about the workings of the left and right side of the brain. The left is to do with words, the right, creativity. Well that explains it, I write lousy blog posts when I am stuck in creativity mode. But's that's not strictly true, I need to be creative while writing also, to string a few sentences together, so maybe I am using the whole of my brain for blogging, or maybe not. If it's waffle erupting from my keyboard then my right and left side must be having an almighty battle between my ears.

When I feel a creative surge coming on my brain is in conflict with itself. One side says get on with the tasks you have to do on a daily basis, the other side says oh sod that, it can wait. When creating I have to go with the flow, or else the ideas will stop. I end up stuck in a rut and don't know which way to go next. This is a haphazard way of working, creativity is not a 9 to 5 job, it's a 24 hour process which I find hard to switch off from. By the time the evening comes, if I haven't made much progress, I feel stuck. My body is tired and is telling me to switch off and go to sleep.

I happened to come across this video while I was pondering this topic, and low and behold it is a technique I use in my search for solutions. When I lay my head on my pillow to drift off to slumberland, (it doesn't take long for me to drop off), I am thinking about what to do next with the project. Which way will work best, is there something I haven't thought of? Then I am out like a light. The next morning, as if by magic the answer appears, it is there in my head. I have to get up and see if it might work. The first thing I do is go to the table and take a look, maybe re arranging something, or draw a diagram, or do a few stitches.

I am finding that the respite from continued walking is helping me to focus, it gives me a window to let my mind wander without the need to search for an idea or a solution. I am sure that being out in the open air drives fresh oxygen to the brain, giving a fresh clarity to insurmountable stuckness. Although sometimes I struggle to make the effort, my thoughts are much clearer after a bit of huffing and puffing around a three mile track, and the benefits are definitely worth it.

We are coming up to three months of the 12 month challenge, a quarter of the way through it. How are you all doing? I am on target to make the 250 miles, I am pacing myself so as not to burn myself out in the early stages. If I go hell for leather and push myself too hard I will get fed up with it, and will be more likely not to go the whole distance. Little and often works for me. Hopefully there will be a few splurges through the summer months to boost the miles. Don't forget to check in with your mileages on or around the 1st of April. If you haven't yet got started, why not do the 250 mile/3 month challenge. Nothing to lose having a go, and everything to gain. For those who are plodding on at a steady pace, keep doing what you are doing. Every step is the way to better health.

Well I can waffle on can't I? This is supposed to be a quick post, so now I'll carry on. We are getting intermittent rain and sun here, wish it would make it's mind up. I might make a dash to the tip with some rubbish, or I might say stuff it, and keep on sewing. That's the right and left side of my brain arguing again, ha ha.

Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.


  1. Did wonder where you were yesterday, I thought you had gone off somewhere for the day. I'm doing ok with the walking and will check in with my total on the first. The art work looks lovely. How many pieces have you got framed Ilona? I'm envisaganing an art gallery arrangement now, with a little blurb underneath to explain the creative process!

  2. I call that state of mind a Creative frenzy and I know what you mean about waking up with solutions. our brains are brilliant if we stop obsessing about something. Got away for an over night camp this weekend and am now happily stitching away.

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece. My mileage is much the same as yours at the moment. It has proved easier to walk now the better weather has arrived. X

  4. When you have to follow through a creative project I've heard it called riding your wild donkey! So you just keep going and going, no time for meals or cleaning or anything else. You just have to get that creativity out.

    Some people have more of a separation than others. I've watched art videos where the person painting has said that she can't talk when painting and those where it is obviously not a problem. For myself I am either in reading/thinking mode or making all the things mode. I find it really hard to move from knitting socks or doing embroidery, to reading a book. Unfortunately it means that while an avid reader at many times, sometimes I don't read for several months. While I love to make all kinds of things, when I am reading I am not making so have times when nothing is made. It's all a bit of a pain really. When I am making I can work 10 hours straight stopping for nothing. Easiest when home alone but if family around then obviously have to be civilised.

  5. Ilona, I think Einstein wrote about this decades ago (I could be wrong); maths and science are dominated by one side of the brain, and vocabulary and creativity by the alternate side. I also believe he had a theory about being left or right-handed: e.g. left-handed folks are more 'arty' whilst right-handed are more scientific, or vice versa but my memory on this topic is a blur - so, perhaps I have to champion the 'middle of the road' ones i.e. just happy but not particularly either, and a bit confused! I do enjoy reading your material, keep blogging please. On a different topic - 'reading material', have always supported my local small library but understand that due to government 'cuts' more are under threat of closure (appalling news) and hope that this doesn't occur. One final point, sorry to get a bit political, my yearly council tax bill has arrived - 3% increase, gosh! No doubt everyone else has received theirs and the increases but, my local council has deemed to CUT the refuse collections, so your tips will be even more valuable to make me watch the pennies to help with the extra outlay. Hope all fine at Tightwad Towers and the little 'uns. Amanda

  6. This might be an interesting topic to discuss with your uncle. He must also be driven, as you are, by his artistic side to get things done. Still painting in his 90's!

    I just love that you are now going to mix mediums. Can't wait to see where this goes.

  7. It's absolutely true Ilona, fresh air and excercise, eg oxygen to the brain as you said does indeed make it work better. I'm convinced this is why old folks in homes (or even people in their own homes who don't get out much) just fade away with Alzheimers eventually because they're not getting the fresh oxygen and exercise that they need. Apologies for my absence lately, I've been getting fresh air and excercise in Scotland, very nice it was too! Yes, my council tax increased too, they say it's because of this new minimum wage that they have to pay now, not because it's actually costing any more than before.


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