Erin Farnsworth Studio



Monthly Newsletter

March, 2020

YOU are Creative!
Picture in your mind a "Creative" person.
Does this person look like a woman with brightly colored (handmade) clothing and crazy hair?
Does this person look like a brooding man in dark clothes with a beard and a ponytail?
These are a few of the stereotypes of creative people. But you don't need to make your own clothes or wear a beret to be creative. In fact, no matter who you are, if you're reading this, YOU ARE CREATIVE.
Don't believe me? Keep on reading and I'll do my best to convince you.
What does it mean to be Creative?
A creative person CREATES.
Over time, we've made the idea of a creative person nebulous and flowery--but at the root of it, a creative person simply is a person who creates something.
Some may disagree, but I think every person has a need to create--we just express our creative desires and powers according to our own preferences and abilities. I'll give you a few examples of what I mean.
But first, a personal story...
Both of my parents are professional artists--and because I'm playing around with vocabulary here, I'll be super clear and explain that they're the kind of artists who create actual artwork to sell. For years they both taught art in secondary schools and sold ceramics and sculptures at art fairs during the summer. Now that they're both retired from teaching, my dad mostly creates oil paintings and my mom makes fine art jewelry.
You would think that they have both found the one right way in which they express their creativity--artwork! But I had a conversation with my mother years ago that stuck with me. She said that she wasn't concerned too much about whether she could make actual artwork, because there are practically infinite ways she can express her creativity--her need to create. She's a fantastic cook. She has made amazing wedding cakes. She has layed tile and wood floors,  gardened, taught, and served. She still makes artwork, but she knows that she can fulfill her creative drive in lots of ways.
It got me thinking about all the things I enjoy doing in which I am creating something--I like to learn how to make new food, I like to bake, I like to knit and crochet, and sew, and write, and fix things, and garden. Basically, I've learned that if I'm making something, I'm pretty content. 
This also got me thinking about all of the work that other people do that is creative.
A few of my mom's wedding cakes
"But I'm not an artist!"
You don't need to be an artist or make some kind of art to create. Sure, it's obvious that if you're making paintings, sculptures, digital art, crafts, or handiworks that you're being creative. But what about all the people who don't have the interest, or the physical ability, or who just never got in to those things?
Are those people creative too? Absolutely.
Do you love to make spreadsheets and organize data? You are being creative.
Do you love to make lesson plans and new curriculum for your students? You are creative.
Do you build? Do you plan? Do you fix and make things better? Do you garden? Do you beautify? Do you make something or fix something that wasn't whole before? You are creative.
YOU are Creative.
Shoutout to the creatives who aren't recognized as creative...
I've been thinking about this topic for at least the last month, and a number of examples of people who may not always be recognized as being creative have flooded my mind. Here are just a few of the standouts I can recall right now:
- Landscapers, excavators, masons, cement workers. Our Landscape architect was without a doubt a very creative person--but so was our excavator, a nice man who painstakingly selected the most beautiful boulders he could find to support our sloping lot, and then placed them as carefully with his gigantic machinery as you might strategically place pieces of a puzzle. When people see our yard, the thing we get the most comments about is our beautiful landscape rocks. 
- Builders. If you build, you are creative. We built (and by that I mean we paid to have built) our own home a little less than two years ago. The process included so many creative people it would be hard to list them all. From our building manager who oversees an entire building process from start to finish, to the young business owner who took pride in expertly laying our tile.
Two men stand out from the process though--the carpenters who almost singlehandedly built the entire structure of our home and did all the "finish" work--beautiful moldings, railings, and the staircase of my dreams. It astounds me what those two men are able to create. Above you can see one of them walking comfortably (!) along a framed wall several stories up, and below you can see a few examples of their beautiful work.
- Business leaders. Today's world is a hard place to run or manage any business. You need so much creativity right now to figure out what the right decision is in each situation. Hats off to those leaders making the tough calls for their businesses and their employees.

- Healthcare workers who take care of patients and do it with innovation, compassion, and ingenuity. They literally help create health. What's better than that?
- Computer programmers, website designers, engineers, city planners, I could go on and on and on.
All those who innovate, who invent, who make, who create!
At left, my oldest son and the computer he has been saving up for and building.
I can't finish this month's newsletter without referring to current events. The world is a stressful, difficult place--especially right now. Many people are staying home in an effort to curb the spread of a dangerous virus. The difference between our regular, busy days and today can be stark. More time at home, no more errands, no more extracurriculars, no more social events or gatherings of any kind. What does this leave?
Time to reconnect with those we care about most. And if it can't be in person, we have technology to bless us.
Time to learn, to grow, to slow down, to breathe, to meditate, to pray.
Time to Create! Make something! Do something! The internet is full of free tutorials and ideas--what a blessing!
My prayer for each of you reading this is that you will be healthy--physically, mentally and emotionally; that you reconnect with what is important to you; and that you create.
Because YOU are Creative!
Stay well, friends!
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From the Studio
This past month I have been preparing for some larger paintings (lots of surface prep and photography going on), and doing some graphite drawing studies of hands that will later show up as watercolor and oil paintings.
There is something so simple and beautiful about drawing! Both of these drawings are available in my sales gallery:
Headed to Connecticut?
The self-portrait that I finished last month was accepted into the 70th Annual Exhibition of the Academic Artist's Association! Until last night I was getting ready to ship it off to Connecticut for the show in April. But, like so many things, the physical show has been cancelled. Fortunately, we are all blessed to live in a digital age. The show will continue digitally, so I still have a piece accepted (good for the resume!), lots of people will be able to see it, and maybe I'll even get really lucky and get an award.  :)

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