Visit with Jim – Creative Spaces

Creative spaces… I began by wondering what did I mean with this as the title for our short conversation today?   Creative spaces can go in several directions and dimension.  We can begin with virtual space.  Consider when an image is captured and we think through the potential landscape or world that could exist in that space.  In the photograph Windswept Island of Red an idyllic azure sea with gentle tropical breezes can begin to wash over our minds and senses.  Fragrances fill our nostrils and set off our olfactory receptors while a cool water laps at our feet . Is that where we could find ourselves?  Filling in the space some more, lagoons and beaches appear to be part of the archipelago of islands.  Add in some tropical trees along with the sounds of birds and other animals.  More layers of sound can include waves crashing into the beach sands and the natural audio track of the wind blowing through the scenery and around ourselves enveloping us and drawing us deeper into the space. We are building a transient, but new place in the universe and our minds. Add in the sharp red sands as way to transport ourselves off of the surface of our blue jewel and onto another planet.  Imagine #Palawan or #Maldives as destinations but with new colors to the sandy beaches.  As you can see below, this new space or world was fleeting, quickly appearing and then sinking as a denser color under the weight of the lighter colors. 

Only one photograph at 1/1250th of a second made the grade and qualified to be developed further as a final print. There was enough soul in the print.   The place I was taken to was tranquil, peaceful and had a calm energy that simply stood out and called to me.  It stood still, but for a tiny parcel of time, and declared its presence. Only to blow away in the winds of the petri dish and air rushing by the surface. 



How powerful is it that we can build and allow for these creative places to exist in our minds and on paper?  The space is there and remains accessible for us to consider, wonder or begin to explore.  What else would exist in this space in your mind? Does this term creative space exclusively mean artwork that provides an image that we reference and use to conjure new and novels realms.  We can look at the one picture above and consider that everyone would see different islands, different creative spaces that use the photograph as a point of departure.  People can use a more concrete painting or photograph and mentally wander through time and space to places known and unknown to them.  Using these more grounded images as the starting point, I wonder if those individual departures into peoples’ creative space  takes them/us to a more consistent destination in our minds.  They are all journeys beyond one that is virtual, as it purely exists in one’s imagination.   How does one consider sculpture as a way to artistic method to create space that did not exist. 

Shifting gears, does one consider creative space in the context of a ice hotel carved from ice during an extended cold winter?  It is a physical space that is literally created to spend time and habituate for a period of time or is that too literal. It is a sculptural place to enter, experience and enjoy.  When I first thought of sculptural space, I arrived at the ice hotel as a literal place.  Then began to wonder does the the creative space exist as a 3D construct or can immersion in an artistic style qualify as a space to be in, experience and enjoy.  Perhaps this is more of a domicile than a creative space…

 So the sculptural museum can be an alternative way for us to enter a creative space.  It blends the construction of a physically contained place where creativity is collected and place.  Consider a collection of works, painstakingly crafted by an artisans centuries ago.  These are gathered  together for us to sit within, view, ponder, consider, enjoy and reflect upon.  Rather than the ice building, as a creative space, these sculptures are 3D images that fill a present day space to create an ambiance to enhance our life’s experience. 

Moving from the photograph to sculpture as launching points to consider creative spaces, museums or gallery collections of 2D artwork is a space that gathers many places to see, explore and travel to in our minds.  These curated can move us both in ways and directions we can expect or in ways we never anticipated.  Such galleries are creative spaces which are built in the minds of the architect and curators to move our minds further and 

further away from our current realities.  Each painting in the hallway above is the creative space equivalent of a train station or airport.  Each image is a gateway or departure for the train or plane that wakes us to other physical locations on the planet.  All aboard for the gallery opening in 1817? It is one of the large paintings guarded by the marble sculptures.  While my creative journey takes me to bright and positive energetic places, this is a creative space that takes us to very different points in time and places in history.


We can choose to use this approach as a construct or mechanism to build space and place in our creative time and mind.  Stepping away from the more literal interpretation, there is a creation of time and space when we undertake the activity itself.  Setting aside the time for the craft builds creative space in our lives.  It partitions an aliquot of our days’  precious time to be in that creative mode.  John Cleese was quoted to say, paraphrasing here, that ‘creative time needs a start and stop time, a boundary for both time and space’.  So there is a lesson from that member of the more novel creative troupes to demand hard boundaries to define when they were to begin to break down so many norms and barriers.  For me, that boundary adequately secures a specific precious chunk of time as very selfishly mine and mine alone.   It is time with myself and my studio inside my mind creating photographs that are shared with you.  Without that disciplined creative time, life would infiltrate and get in the way and sideline the endeavor.  Other people’s priorities and agenda could prevail.  Perhaps that is what Mr. Cleese meant after all.  Who would have thought the creator of the Ministry of Silly Walks and other whimsy would have been so disciplined in the consumption of his time. 

What other creative spaces do you consider when crafting your art.  When you are writing, is that your creative space?  When you are creating paper crafts, reading, enjoying performance art do these fit the definition and apply as well?  They are all experiences in the mind and in the physical universe and then into the virtual world?  Rabbit holes…  Anyone who works with me knows that I can go down them and enjoy the labyrinthine space and simply wander out of a desire to learn more.  When I have a clear mission, we are moving in that direction with little creativity and executing on the steps needed to get there.  However, before we have committed, I thoroughly enjoy the creative space that allows for alternative solutions to bubble up and be considered.   We can set that aside for another day.  This is for art. 

Coming close to the end, what is the role of the audience or viewer in the creative space.  When I participated in the recent ArtworksRVA gallery show.  In doing so, we created a space with many other artists and that space shifted, ebbed and flowed as viewers gather, moved on while others moved towards the different art displays.   As I came to learn, one of the audience came back the following week and bought all three pieces for a private corporate collection.  A new space thrust into the world.  The journey started inside a petri dish with two circles of ink both black and white sitting there.  They moved towards one another and intermingled.  That creative space moved into my camera and then into my work space to develop and print.  From there the matting and framing became another step, but another new space where all three images had more life breathed into them.  They then moved into the gallery only to then advance ahead into an office space where many will see, enjoy and consider how the artwork expands the creative space in their minds.   

What a fabulous journey of creative spaces.  What a wonder reason to be grateful in that I have been given the ability to create that space and value for others to enjoy and enhance their life experiences.  I guess when you stick to your values and mission it all works out => Artist’s Mission: This art exists to add light, color and energy into your life experiences

So this creative space excursion comes to an end.   I hope this brought a positive energy to your day and sparks you to explore Have a great day!

Join me in a fireside chat via Zoom in the evening to discuss any aspect of my artwork.  To qualify, and join a video conversation send your contact information here and let me know what you would want to talk about.  The selected participants will receive a 25% discount on any of my unlimited edition pieces of art.  I will personally sign the piece at printing.  Even more, the gallery is offering this purchase risk free for you. Free shipping, Free return, and no questions asked if you are unhappy with the art work.  You can keep the print for 30 days to enjoy the selection in your home or office. This risk free offer does not apply to metal, acrylic and other specialized media prints.





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