Friday, October 16, 2009


For the past few days I've been struggling with my photomontages. Nothing working. No inspiration. Nothing coming together. Uh-oh. Is it over? Is the thrill gone? Has the creativity dried up? So I began looking at other art — paintings created with watercolors, oil, and pastels — and the problem was solved. It's tunnel vision. When all we look at are other photographs, we get stuck in a rut. Because all we're seeing are PHOTOGRAPHS! I recommend immersing yourself in a variety of artforms, from children's fingerpainting to sculpture to collage to garden landscaping. It's all about line, design, color, lack of color, and contrast. (And a lot more, but how long can this post be before you run off screaming into the night?) It was a moody pastel painting that inspired me to look at my photos differently and to use different tools to create a look I wanted. I wanted a relatively monochromatic scene and I didn't want letters or numbers. Been there, done that, let's put 'em on the shelf for awhile. So I selected a photo I took in San Miguel de Allende last year, added a background that I painted earlier this year, tweaked and combined and added a bit more stuff and voila! (Or, as I'm sadly reading more and more lately — "wallah!") My point? Creativity impasse removed by emerging from the photography tunnel and exposing myself to other forms of art. Could it work for you? Try it. You have nothing to lose. ©Carol Leigh



Thank you for always being so willing to share your thought processes. It is encouraging to me and always gives me hope. I am trying to move beyond the copycat funk and find my own creative "voice" or space. I just keep wanting to copy other artists - whether it be photography styles or painting or whatever. Who am I? Thank you again for your openness. You just open your heart and lay it all out there.

Carol Leigh said...

Here's a quote (and I know you like quotes):

"Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate." -- Clark Terry, jazz trumpet player

or, another interpretation:

"In my view, creativity is rampant thievery mixed with reinterpretation." -- Michael deMeng

-- Carol Leigh