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Creativity and Improv

The other night I was invited to go to my first Improv performance. It was held in a meeting room at the Sunriver SHARC Center in Sunriver, OR. I had no idea how the evening would go or what to expect. I have watched improv on television and have always enjoyed it. The show Whose Line is it Anyway? is quite funny. I wondered if improv would be as entertaining on a local level.

Triage is the name of the theatrical group that performed.  The evening was broken up into segments with the performers taking turns acting out different scenarios. Those scenarios were made up by the audience. For instance, one scenario included zombie gorillas taking over a small town. The actors became a local teacher, doctor, butcher, Lego man, and Justin Bieber. They took turns discussing the changes the zombie gorillas had made in the town.

The ideas for the skits came from the audience yelling out place names, emotions, occupations, or whatever the director of the scene asked for. The actors combined the ideas to make things more interesting. The actors had to be very creative in their depiction of the scene. I was witnessing creativity in a very basic and raw form. I was quite impressed with this group and their abilities to come up with a very funny performance in such a short amount of time with only a few guidelines.

My granddaughter, Hailey, surprised us by jumping up on stage when the crew asked for a volunteer in the first scene of the night. I had no idea she was such a performer. Hailey and two other actors were told to create images for a slide show with their actions as the professor spoke about the importance of popsicles. It was entertaining to watch the trio try to hold their poses until the so called professor changed his slides.

I think my favorite part of the evening was when a husband and wife from the audience came on stage to help in a skit. The couple were asked how they met and where they went on their first date. The actors then acted out the scene using their own ideas of the conversations and events that might have happened on this first date. The couple watching the skit were told to ring a bell if the scene was correct or to push a buzzer if it was wrong. The audience was howling by the end of the performance because the husband and wife did not agree on much of what was portrayed. So funny!

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I would definitely go watch Triage again. I know this group performs in the Central Oregon area quite often. I am including a link to their website so you can check out their schedule.

Creativity can come in many forms. The concept of taking random ideas and putting them together in a scene could be used in creative writing, drawing, painting, and more. Until next time, keep on creating!


Creating Abstract Watercolors in the Snow

icicycles 168x300 Creating Abstract Watercolors in the Snow

Icy Conditions for Painting

Since living in Central Oregon I have gotten to experience snow. We don’t get much snow where I am from so any accumulation brings out the kid in me. I have had a lot of fun this winter playing in the snow.

One day I decided to do a little experiment with snow and watercolor. I wanted to see what would happen if you tried to paint with watercolors in the snow. I knew the painting technique would need to be pretty quick because of the cold and the fact that the temperature was below freezing. The snow was about a foot deep and it was in the 20′s.

In preparation, I mixed jars of liquid watercolor. I wanted to limit the colors for the paintings in order to keep the colors vibrant. I did this by placing paint from watercolor tubes into the jars and adding water. I wanted the paint to be a medium value so I added water slowly to the jar so as not to dilute the color too much.  I mixed a yellow, purple, orange, blue, and red.

My idea was to pour the watercolor on the paper and allow the snow and cold to create designs or textures on the paper. So I placed the paper on top of the snow and poured the liquid from the jars onto the paper. I let the paint move around and blend as much as it could. I tried to use a paintbrush to move some of the paint on the page but the brush froze and was of no use. So I picked the papers up one at a time to let what was still liquid move around on the paper.

snow painting 300x168 Creating Abstract Watercolors in the Snow

Snow Paintings

After the paint was uniformly across the page, I threw snow on the paintings. I then carefully picked up the paintings and placed them on my covered front porch. This would give the paintings a chance to dry slowly as the snow evaporated.

After a few days, the temperature rose above freezing and the paintings started to thaw out. Much of the snow had evaporated already but some melted and made puddles on the page. I tilted the paper slightly to allow the puddles to drain without disturbing the rest of the paper. The paintings stayed outside on my porch for several days until they were almost completely dry. Then I brought them inside and dried them with a blow dryer.

The texture that the snow made with the paint is quite unique. I have not seen similar textures using techniques such as plastic wrap or salt. I will use these paintings as an underpainting for something else. I am not sure what yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Below is one of the finished abstract paintings. If you have tried this technique or have any comments or questions please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping by.

abstract 2 300x168 Creating Abstract Watercolors in the Snow

Abstract Snow Painting


Travel and Photography

eagles uncropped 199x300 Travel and Photography

Uncropped Picture of Eagles

When I travel, even if I am just going for a walk down the road from my house, I try to take my camera. You never know what might pop up that is photo worthy. Even driving I find that I often wish for my camera. You can ask my children about family vacations. I used to annoy them by pulling over on the side of the road to take a pictures of scenic areas numerous times during a trip. I got used to the “Not again!” comments coming from the back seat.

If I am a passenger on a trip I take pictures as we are moving. These photos will not be worth showing others, but they can be really beneficial when needing reference material for a painting or a drawing. I use my cell phone camera quite often in the car. You would be amazed at the quality of pictures taken with the phone. Technology keeps getting better and better. The great thing about the cell phone camera is that it is really easy to carry. So when I hike and don’t want to lug around a large camera I stick my phone in my pants pocket.

I just recently visited family in Northeastern Oregon near Hell’s Canyon. We spent one day driving around the area seeing the sights. I took pictures out the back seat window. There was so much to photograph, but if we stopped everytime I saw something I was intrigued by we would never get anywhere. I didn’t want to be a pain and ask to stop twenty times in a couple of hours so I had to really look and decide what pictures I couldn’t live without. It was hard making that decision.

One shot I couldn’t pass up was when I saw two bald eagles sitting in a tree not too far off the road. We stopped and I used my telephoto lens. I only have a 200 power on the telephoto so I was not able to get very close. But, I took the pictures anyway. The quality setting of the camera was set to the highest quality possible. I knew that if I cropped the photos I might get something worthwhile.

eagles 300x300 Travel and Photography

Close Up of Eagle Pair

I have placed the original photo and then the cropped picture in this article. I hope that you like them.

When you are traveling you may not have a chance to do much creatively. Taking photographs can give your creativity a lift. I really enjoy looking at all the pictures I have taken and remembering all the places I have been with family and friends. Often when I look at old photos I find a new subject for a painting or drawing. With photo editing software I can fix lighting and composition issues as well. Many times a picture that I had no interest in originally will turn out to be one I fall in love with later.

Travel and photography go together…….. Hope you have a great day. Don’t forget your camera!




Getting Creative with Your Christmas Greetings

I have always wanted to create a more personal type of Christmas card to send out to my friends and family. Time always seemed to be a factor and I never got it together enough to make my own Christmas card. Well, this year was different. My husband and I have made a move and [...]

Creating With Found Objects to Save the Sea – A Great Cause

If you are interested in being creative and helping the environment you might want to check out Washed I ran across this organization a few weeks ago when my husband and I were traveling through southern Oregon. We stopped to do a little sight seeing in the coastal town of Bandon. The plan was [...]