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Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso at
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Inquisitive Minds Want to Know

I have noticed a trend. If you are ever on Facebook or other social media sites you will find all types of quizes people take on line to learn about themselves. Remember the games we used to play as children with a paper design where you had to pick a color and then a number and then you got an answer to a question?

Now you can go on Facebook and take quizes about all types of things such as: What color is your aura? What Disney character are you? What color are you? What star would you most likely get arrested with? The list could go on and on. The types of quizes that I see available are quite creative in their own right.

People often take these quizes and then post the results on Facebook for their friends to see. I have even been known to take a test now and then but I do not post the results on Facebook. I figure my friends don’t need to know that stuff.

Anyway, what is it about human nature that makes us want to do these little quizes? Is it curiosity about ourselves? Do we thirst for knowledge about our basic characteristics? Do inquisitive minds want to know? Is it our creativity that drives us to take these exams? Is our creativity related to our curiosity about such things? Or does creativity have anything to do with it? What do you think?

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

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 [...]

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 [...]