Pie, Creativity, and the ART of MORE!

Pie is an excellent dessert but a poor mind set.

Pie, Creativity, & the Art of More

I like pie.
No ice cream.  Ice cream is like sugar in tea.
It is only necessary if there is a problem with the tea.

Some places don’t have pie.

Poland – no pie.  I fantasize moving to Poland, opening a pie shop, and becoming rich and famous.  The hitch?  Besides Poland being in Eastern Europe, the hitch is I have never made a pie and I am a very bad cook.  I mentioned making dinner today and Peter (16) laughed out loud and said, “No, Momma, seriously.”  A shadow of fear crossed his face and he offered to make dinner himself.  Maybe I will keep painting.

I digress.

Pie.  Pie is an intimate dessert.  Pie is difficult to share with a crowd. Wedding cakes and birthday cakes can be sliced into a plethora of tiny pieces and slapped on a napkin to be eaten standing up.  Pie will have none of that.  Pie begs a comfortable chair and demands a fork and a plate!  Tiny slices of pie? HMMPH!

Pie, with all its benefits as a dessert,
is not a healthy mindset.  

The pie mindset sees a set number of slices.  Each time a slice of pie is handed out there is less to go around.  It is a scarcity mentality.  It makes us selfish.  It turns us against.  It kills possibility.

But I am an artist so let us speak not of scarcity,
let us speak of creativity, art, and abundance.

Art, the manifest expression of creativity, is not diminished through sharing.
Art shared is multiplied.  
Creativity blooms in an environment of generosity.

We see it in children.  Watch a young child share a drawing with an appreciative adult.  Sparkling in the acceptance of her offering, she rushes back to create another.  Confession time – I am no different.  Adult artists are not that different from the child sharing her creative endeavor.  Acceptance of, appreciation of, our work makes us sparkle.  (I am so glad my teenagers don’t read my blog or I would NEVER hear the end of sparkle.)  Some artists hide the sparkle, but believe me, it is there. I am far enough into my journey as an artist that my work is not dependent on universal acceptance or appreciation, but when it comes along it is definitely encouraging.

Some in the art world would push scarcity.  Artists end up competing for limited wall space in galleries. There IS a scarcity of wall space within galleries and there are fewer and fewer galleries. The economy closed doors and poor management closed even more. It is easy to be discouraged, looking at an empty pie tin. But I am a more-the-merrier kind of gal.  There IS room for more.

We are in a season of flux.  Social media and the internet are making room for MORE.  There is a new abundance in the art world.  There has never been a better time to be an artist or an art collector. The world of art is at our fingertips and we can visit in our jammies!

Did you see the quote from President Obama floating around facebook today?  Set politics aside for a moment and imagine why artists of all varieties are sparkling today:

“The arts are what makes life worth living. You’ve got food, you’ve got shelter, yeah.  
But the things that make you laugh, make you cry, make you connect – make you love are communicated through the arts.  They aren’t extras.” 

The pie mentality says that the arts ARE extra.  There is not enough to go around.  Not enough time.  Not enough money.  Not enough pie.

I grew up Southern Baptist.  Now somehow my little corner of the Baptist world mine was a kinder, gentler Baptist.  We danced AND played cards- oh my.  Still, there was pie-think.  Not enough.  If your work didn’t point people to Jesus it lacked value.  Imagine what that kind of pie mindset does to an artist, actor, writer, dancer?  When “gifts” were discussed, art was NOT ON THE LIST!  “Art is a talent not a gift.  We will put you down your gift as hospitality.”  (SOMEHOW the musicians and singers could be gifted but not visual artists or actors or dancers.)  Hospitality was the catchall gift when the labelers couldn’t squeeze the congregant into a gift box.   Turns out the problem was with the boxes, not the artists.

So many of us grew up with the mindset that the arts are extras, frivolous.  Sometimes the old sound track creeps onto the play-list inside of my head.   I fight it by painting furiously!  Sometimes, not often, but sometimes it wins.

“As American as motherhood, baseball and apple pie.”   Somehow we stopped embracing the artistry of apple pie and started seeing the pie as embodying limitation, not enough, scarcity in America.  

It is time to ditch the pie mentality and embrace a PI mentality. 

Mathematical pi never ends.  It keeps on going. 

Because creativity thrives when shared it offers a path for combating scarcity.   The arts (participants and supporters) have a purpose beyond “frivolous extra” in the fight against scarcity.  FIGHT FOR MORE!   Embrace creativity and embrace abundance.   The arts make something out of nothing.  The arts bring life back to dying neighborhoods.  Arts make life worth living.

There is enough to go around, it just sometimes takes a while. Watching the refugees/ migrants on the news it is easy to believe that scarcity wins. The pie mindset can’t see solutions because it doesn’t believe there is enough.  If you don’t believe there is enough you are blinded to possibility.

I am a tiny cog.  I mourn with those who mourn, but I also celebrate with those who celebrate.  I can be happy for their success because I believe there is enough for all of us.  I paint paintings that move from chaos to beauty.  I paint paintings that defy the disorder of the world and proclaim the possibility of beauty.

Today Steve Garber wrote:  

What we believe about the end of the story shapes the way we live the story.  

I believe the end of the story is beautiful and generous and lacking in nothing.   My paintings give voice to hope and happy endings.  So, THANK YOU!

Thank you for joining the newsletter.  Thank you for visiting my website.  Thank you for liking and commenting on facebook.   Thank you for sharing my work with your friends.   Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend with me and with my art.  Thank you for being part of my story.   

Thank you for inviting me to share my art with you.   E-cards of my paintings are free and so are encouraging words.   Prime your creative juices today and send someone an encouraging note.  And maybe enjoy a slice of pie while you write it. (Let me know what kind.  Strawberry rhubarb is my favorite, well maybe blueberry, but then raspberry, than again coconut cream…)



PS:  I have added a few new places to interact more directly with me and share some of my art that isn’t on a website.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/gwenmehargart



Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery (or Keyboards)

I have pond scum. I was moving rocks around on the bottom of  Roy Meharg‘s catfish pond in the front yard to keep a new potted plant (not a pot plant) from tipping over and OUCH, I thought something bit me. I pulled my hand out of the water and I had blisters on my wrist.  It itched like the devil. The itch traveled as did the blisters. Wrist, belly, arms, face, eye lid, neck, back.

Visit to the doctor and- well, she didn’t call it Pond Scum, but she did prescribe a cream to get rid of it and said it could take up to 4 to 6 weeks! Lordy, Lordy! No good deed, and all that. But in the big scheme of things what are a few blisters and a little itching. (Gonna cut my finger nails short, short, short before bed.)

Gives me character, right? David tells me I am already a character-hmph! (Wonder what he means by THAT!) 

I wrote a brilliant artist bio yesterday. It only took me four hours and guess what?  No, I mean it, guess. Yep. Jesus saves, but I didn’t. Tonight I spent 2 hours writing a solid mediocre artist bio and I am exhausted. Fingers crossed. Hope a single cheek bio is good enough. (Notice how I was delicate and didn’t say half-assed? I am really working on being more sophisticated.)

In addition to the cream there is a pill for itching. I am not supposed to drive or operate heavy machinery after I take the pill. I am beginning to think maybe it should also include a warning about operating a keyboard. (Note to self: Have David check that mediocre artist bio in the morning. It may be more cheeky than you think!)

Sweet dreams! Is it the weekend yet? I am ready for it to be the weekend.