Thursday, May 13, 2010

In sickness and in health?

 Sketch of an unknown man

I have neglected my blog a little over the last couple of weeks.  I don't feel guilty about it, just a slight let down with myself for not having anything fruitful to pass on to my readers.

Illness knocked the wind out of my sails and while I kept working at the day job, the night job of artist was put pretty much on hold.  It found it interesting that the creativity that is so rampant in me most of the time simply stopped while I was sick.  I piddled around with a pencil now and then but nothing much came of it.  It was as if every creative bone in me had completely disappeared and it was a little disconcerting. However, now that I'm getting back to normal again, my need to create is back, maybe not full force, but back anyway.  And it feels good to draw and paint again, even if I only missed a couple of weeks.

I know there are scientific reasons why your body or mind shut down to a degree when you're ill,
but made me wonder about how fleeting the act of creativity can be.  Is it really there only on the whim of your healthy mind and body? 

The creative marriage, at least for me, doesn't take its vows too seriously.  It obviously doesn't hang around for the 'in sickness' part!


travelingsuep said...

I hope you are feeling better now.

I found your comments about creativity and health very interesting. Do you think happiness also has a role to play? I am happier than I have been in many years and seem to be a 100 times more creative than previous years.

Jennifer Rose said...

some people create better when they are ill, mentally or physically, others cannot create at all. i think it really depends on the person's mindset really.

sue said...

I'm with you on this Jeanette. If I'm unwell or tired I know from experience that I mustn't attempt to work on commissions or anything important as I invariably spoil them - far better to wait till the enthusiasm and creativity returns.

Hopefully you are continuing to get better now

Grobuonis said...

When something is wrong, I too tend to stop creating. And not just creating, I can not even do excercises to make myself better at the technique.

But I have just finished reading "Diary". Its author is Chuck Palahniuk. And there it is pretty much repeated that only those who suffer unbearable physical pain can create a masterpiece. I was just wondering what you think about it. Do you agree with it?

Elizabeth Seaver said...

I am so sorry you've been ill.

I think the creative energy is the first to go when life gets hard. I look forward to seeing the fruits of that creativity soon.

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

I have been thinking about you and hope you are feeling 100% soon.
When I broke my leg the last of 09, I lost my desire to paint. I was a leg but it sure affected my brain.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Sue. I think mood or state of mind has something to do with the inclination to create. Happiness or a state of not wanting or needing a specific thing may let you concentrate more on the task at hand. It is something that likely someone has done as a thesis somewhere!

Art is used to help change mood too as in art therapy, though I don't know quite how that would work if the right side of your brain isn't interested.

You've got a point Jennifer. Each person reacts differently to outside stimulus and so does their creative brain. We're all different.

Sue, I know that tiredness or illness dries up my ability to produce effective work. I still fight against it to a degree.

Grobuonis, I can't see that undergoing intense physical pain can help produce masterpieces. Perhaps its more the relief that comes once the pain stops that fuels the creativity.

Thanks ELizabeth. The older I get, the harder it becomes to bounce back. Very frustrating. But I have plans in my head and not enough time, so I know things are looking up!

Peggy, isn't it strange how its all connected? Perhaps our brains want us to simply concentrate our efforts on healing instead of being scattered over several things at once.