The Joy of Creativity in Solitude or in Community

In January I made a decision to get myself out of the house more often this year. Even though most people I know have already re-integrated themselves in this COVID world, I needed to take my time until I felt ready. I like solitude so the past several years weren’t as painfully lonely to me as it was for many others. But by the beginning of this year I could sense that my body wanted to be around others more regularly. So I sought out various opportunities for creativity with small groups.

Maple Buttercream

In February I joined a small memoir writing group that met each week for two six-week sessions. The six of us wrote in silence from various short prompts like, “What’s your favorite photo of you and why?” Then we read aloud what we each had written which often prompted someone to share a similarly themed remembrance. What a lovely group to spend time writing life stories. Some of my mini-memoirs will show up here or in my other blog LoveBeautyPeace.

Wild Flowers

My need for creativity has always been a part of me and I do enjoy creating in solitude. Mostly I write alone in the quiet, sometimes with a cat on my lap. I started oil painting several years ago and again work by myself though I always turn on classical music as my background. It feels like the right thing to do, almost as if I am channeling my Dad. He always had a radio in his attic studio tuned to a classical station. The radio was connected to the studio light switch so that as soon as he turned on the light to go upstairs, the radio went on. I almost feel like I can’t paint without the soothing music.

Nude Studies

But given my recent desire to connect with others over creativity I have been trying a few new things. Well not entirely new. In the 90s in New York City I went to a pottery studio each week for a number of years and made various cups, bowls, candlesticks and other figurines. Our group of about five or six women chatted while we hand built our creations. A few people threw on the wheel but I preferred the free form of sculpting. So when my friend Alicia who lives down the street from me decided this year to open her pottery studio to others, I signed up. And my friend Alice joined me. We go every few weeks for a couple of hours of clay play as Alicia calls it. At most there are four of us in the studio and I am enjoying the company as we each muddy our hands.

Watercolor Class

Alicia works in town at Art Supplies for Creative Living and some of the lovely and creative women who work there come to Alicia’s studio as well. So I have been meeting artists of many media and getting further creative sparks. In my continued search for putting myself out there, I have now taken two different workshops at Art Supplies for Creative Living. Alicia led a clay figure group of about a half-dozen folx where we sculpted from a live art model. And I just took an intro to watercolor class with Grace, the owner of the store and workshop. The combination of creativity and community is expanding my comfort with art as well as my comfort being around other people. And this exploration is feeding my soul and bringing me joy.

Love, Rachel

Published by Rachel Mueller-Lust

I'm a writer, artist, executive & life coach, wedding officiant & Life-Cycle Celebrant®, psychologist, media researcher and teacher. I explore language, relationship & connection, living a fulfilling life and the beauty & wonder of the world.

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