Hello <<First Name>>,
I’m delighted to share this November 2016 edition of Arts Awareness E-Newsletter with you. I sincerely hope you find it helpful as you play an active role in all your creative efforts. Please feel free to share it with others who might be interested, and if you know someone who may want to receive this newsletter monthly, please let them know how to sign up through www.artsawareness.com.
Bursting with Creative Possibility
Whether you live in an area with spectacular transformations or one with more modest changes brought about in the fall, this changing season tends to trigger all sorts of memories and a wide range of feelings. It’s something we know and experience year after year, yet it’s perceived very differently depending on how we choose to see the transformation. Even though the exact details may not be clear, the certainty of autumn moving through winter to spring and summer provides a structure for creative possibility. It’s the same kind of potential that artists explore every day. When you learn that structure isn’t limiting or restrictive, you can explore all sorts of imaginative experiences.
The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.
~ George Bernard Shaw
Everyone wants freedom—freedom to choose their experience of autumn, to create their lives, to do their work, and to build their relationships. The artistic process allows for this broader sense of freedom and creative possibility. Although they must learn the traditional structures, artists have an unusually keen sense of what it takes to express themselves through their art form without restrictions. They create their art within a context, and that context is structure; but just like the changing seasons, artists have learned that structure allows them the freedom to break free and make choices. It might seem counterintuitive, but without structure, there would be no comparison for choice. With this mindset, artists are creative and can see possibilities well before they become obvious to everyone.
What do you see in autumn this year? Is it abundance, melancholy, death, warmth and plenty, a reason to celebrate, the promise of spring? Artists reveal the moods and wonder of the season in a number of ways. Change is one of the most powerful creative forces in life, and artists choose where to place their emphasis when considering the potential of all possibilities. No matter the choice, there is an inherent beauty in all the expressions.
For example, composer Gustav Mahler explored a sense of melancholy in one of his six songs from The Song of the Earth, “A Solitary One in Autumn.” It’s performed here by Anna Larsson and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink.
“Autumn,” from Alexander Glazunov's ballet The Seasons, portrays a dance of celebration amidst the falling leaves. This video shows colors and images of the season as the music is played in the background.
Whether melancholy or celebratory, emphasis creates weight and gives a focal point to a particular aspect of all of the art of the season. Use of color, texture or timbre, line, dynamics, and boldness or weakness are some of the artistic elements that help create these expressions.
The creativity comes from contrast, not only in the use of the elements but in the constantly changing nature of the season as experienced through the mind of the artist. Even the most passionate expressions have an underlying sense of order. The artistic process helps us understand how passion and a sense of discipline coexist, how in fact they enhance one another to help us see how to live with freedom, yet with order.
Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.
~ Bill Moyers
More expressions of autumn:
“To Autumn,” a poem by poet John Keats as read here by Neil Conrich, is accompanied by images of autumn.
“Autumn” from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi is perhaps the most well-known expression of the season. This video comes from The National Botanical Gardens of Wales with Julia Fischer, violin accompanied by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
“Autumn” part 1: introduction and working song from Haydn’s oratorio The Seasons is presented here in a live performance at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
Autumn is bursting with creative possibility. Artists reinforce this possibility with their varied expressions of change. Of course change is always with us, but autumn brings us to a deeper awareness that we live in a continual cycle. This is a wonderful time of year to reflect and choose the way you want to mark this season.
Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.
~ Albert Einstein