Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Gift of Creative Curiosity

"You get that from your parents, right?" Usually that question is asked in reference to eye color, athletic ability, love of music or other family attribute. Sometimes the thing you get from a parent is harder to see. It requires a sideways glance.

I could envy folks who are lucky enough to be born into artistic families where the idea of making art is virtually a given. In communities like Monhegan Island artists have handed down talent, traditions and studio space to the next generation for over 100 years. Imagine having that kind of legacy!

In my family, making art wasn't seen as a particularly useful endeavor. Fun perhaps, but basically frivolous. Even so, my Dad was a very creative guy with a natural curiosity about nearly everything. He was a mechanic, a fighter pilot and airline captain, as well as a constant tinkerer and frequent inventor.
1Lt. Walter K. Byers, awarded Distinguished Flying Cross

And he could draw.
Really draw!
But that wasn't his passion. Drawing has to do with observing, and transposing three dimensions into two - which certainly helps with tinkering, creating, and inventing. For my Dad drawing was just a tool. He was skilled at illustrating ideas, but his passion was to be curious about everything.

Curiosity is the thing I got from my Dad that I believe has fueled my artistic creativity. Some pretty impressive folks have pointed out that kind of connection.

Like Albert Einstein, who said: "I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious."
Brilliant advertising exec Leo Burnett stated: "Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people."
And creative genius Leonardo da Vinci believed: "The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding."
But my favorite statement comes from Dorothy Parker: "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

My Dad was never bored because there was always something to take apart, explore, rebuild or design. Artists are the same - with endless experiments in color, value, line or texture to explore. Keeping up with all the images and ideas waiting to be brought to life is what I'm sorting out these days.

I'll always be grateful to my Dad for the gift of curiosity.

Happy Father's Day

Thanks for stopping by to join me on my art journey.

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