Monday, October 10, 2005

The Creative Impulse...

...hit me at the pumpkin patch just a little over a week ago. This sight, though wonderful in it's own right for all of it's seasonal sensory delightfulness didn't push my creative start button.



Taking a walk down Scarecrow Alley didn't jumpstart the creative batteries either.



Though, some of these Scarecrows are really cool...







No, my "ah-ha moment" happened when I waltzed by a bin full of these moldy, crusty examples of gourdy goodness...



Yes, gourds!

I cannot believe that I have overlooked these glorious hardshell gems in the moldy rough before! I mean, think of the artful possibilities!

I know what you're thinking.

You're saying to yourselves, she's lost it. Finally driven over the edge by desicated Fall fruit. Stay with me peeps. There is always a method to my madness, however bizarre it might happen to be.

Yes, back to the glorious gourds! First of all did you know that gourds are a member of the Cucurbitaceae Family? What the hell is the Cucurbitaceae Family you inquire? In horticultural-tard terms (yes, I am a horticultural-tard, but that discussion is another post in and of itself) the Cucurbitaceae Family and the Cucumber Family are one and the same. Who knew? Well, not moi. That's fer sure. Did this "lost on me" knowledge turn my creative knob from stop to start? Well, no. Hel-lo? Horticultural-tard, remember? I digress.

Perhaps it could be that my knowledge of the amazingly deep and varied history of gourd as craft and art caused my creative juices to sluice about the crevices of my brain with abandon? Ah, that would also be a no. Don't get me wrong. I think all of those gourdy gourd ladles, vessels and even gourd birdhouses and banjos are pretty darn neato, but the images of those objects parading about my mind sure didn't provoke me into gourd bin dumpster diving mode (dumpster diving is a rite of creative passage for many a sculptor out there - you just never know what treasures lurk in your local trash heap).

No, what I was thinking as I happened upon these ready-made future objets d'art was, "Man, all that these gourds need are some eyeballs and some weapons and they'd look awesome..." So, I bought a cartload. Yes, I did...Despite the look on both my husband's and daughter's faces as I wheeled my blackened moldy treasures up to the checkout line.

You know the look.

Remember Ellyn Burstyn's expression in The Exoricist as Linda Blair's body heaved willy nilly from bed to ceiling while in the throws of demonic possession??? Yeah, that would be the look. However peeps, my vision for this gourd posse was startlingly clear and I wasn't about to let any member of my family dissuade me. Nosirree!

Their expressions have since softened due to the fact that I've fervently scrubbed the mold off of my gourd buddies...Treasures I tell you! I have THE VISION. Yes, I do. Stop looking at me like that! Jeesh.



So what about these particular fibrous fantasy objects caught my eye and sent me into a creative frenzy? In fact, let's take that question one step further, shall we? What is it about any object, idea, substance, errata that provokes one to purchase a cartload full of them? Or boosts them headlong into a trash receptacle looking for them? Or pushes sleep from beyond the bedside realm during the wee hours of the morning in favor of obsessing over wrestling T-bone steaks, I mean them (going back to the pronoun, a safer alternative)?

For me, it could be a shape or form (I am attracted to organic forms, human anatomy, nature in all of its myriad twists and turns), a texture (the sleek sheen of silk, the exquisite bobbles of boucle, the warmth and softness of freshly sanded wood), pattern (golden honeycomb, a cobblestone road, a twill weft) and oftentimes color (deep reds, vibrant greens, rich ochres) that start my wheels aturnin'. Sometimes it is simply a word or an idea (um, yeah, like crocheted meat). And like the gourd acquisition, these inspirations hit me when I least expect it, but are welcome nonetheless.

I'm really interested as to where you find your inspiration, impulse, muse. Are you taken creative hostage by fruits or vegetables at your local supermarket? Maybe a certain piece of music rockets you into the creative stars? Maybe it is simply the outline of a leaf, the brush of your child's hair against your cheek, the glow of the moonlight in the night sky? I want to know what pushes your envelope into the creative zone. I want to know where, when, why and how your muse drags you over to art and craft sooplies exclaiming, "You NEED these! Acquire them now by any means necessary!" And how do you feel about that damned muse anyway?

Feel free to comment here or blog about it if you'd like. Let's shoot for making my gourd story seem normal!

19 comments:

Nancy said...

Sounds like a good blog subject...hummmmm


short version: I get "hooked" by an errant thought, odd word combinations, a half remembered dream...

Pam said...

I'll have to ponder on the creativity jump-starter.

You know the only possible name for your newest creation is The Cucurbit-er Family. Including Zombie Zucchini, Putrifying Pumpkin and Squished Squash. Oh, and don't forget Wall-Eyed Watermelon!

Of course, when I saw all those gourds my mind went to the dirty place...

lisa s said...

you are not alone... i can fall for anything for any reason... really the slightest thing ever.... and yes then you get the impulse to horde and get as many as humanly possible... even if whatever it is just sits for a very long time somehow there is that spark!

yay for gourds!

Kari said...

I blogged mine
http://blog.dogwooddreams.com/?p=266


I heart gourds.

Deneen said...

Okay, the whole gourd thing has always fascinated me. I want some to make birdhouses with cause I am a dork. BTW, the ones you have look very phallic like.

Also, the things that inspire me most are textures. I adore anything with different textures, etc. I am always tossing in a strand of this, that, just to change the look of something. I have a bunch of odd yarns I use just to add to regular yarn.

I am a weirdo!

PS-I buy all the tiny gourds every year around this time because I love the colors and bumpiness of them all. However, I tend to leave them out way after season til they dry and am intriqued how ugly they get, but how neat they sound when you tap them. I truly am strange.

Jessi said...

Ok, I for one, am all for gourds. I get a bunch of the mini ones when we go to the cider mill, and they have a place of display in the front bay window. My kids don't understand why I want to get them and not just the perfect pumpkins. I am so freakin excited to see your eyeballin gourds. Perfect.

My muse.....inspiration. I will blog about them. Give me a day or two.

Stacey said...

I can't wait to see the finished gourdfolk!

My muse...you know, I'm not sure. I'll have to think on that a while.

Ellen Bloom said...

Any and everything ORANGE inspires me. Pumpkins, oranges, poppies, Cheetos, etc. When I paint and/or collage, I like to work flat-ish. Gourds will not come into play in my work. HOWEVER, pieces of gourds and drawings of gourds could be inspirational. Looking forward to seeing the Monster Gourds!

Tifffany said...

Wooo can't wait to see what your crazy brain makes of those ;) And I mean that in only the best (and most fun) way possible!

Kimberly said...

Looking at those gourds the possibilities seem to be endless! Can not wait to see what your devious and oh so creative mind can turn those into!

I must admit that my muse has been sorely lacking and gone far far away.....one of these days I will find it....creativity has gone by the wayside and I am left standing alone looking around with a bewildered air.....what country am I in again????

rodentia said...

Gourds also make fantastic drums if you float them in some water and whack em with a stick. They make a lovely sound. Erm...I only know this because during one of my "creative seizures" at a craft show I thoroughly embarrassed friends and family alike with my one-woman gourd-playing show.

I don't know what triggers it, it just happens and I can't stop it.

Heather said...

Love the gourd idea! Smashing! I blogged my reply to your questions. :)

ladylinoleum said...

Nancy - I'm always envious of people who are inspired by their dreams. Believe it or not, my dreams are dullsville.

ladylinoleum said...

Pam, I know they are kinda phallic huh? LOL

I am totally keeping your comment for veggie monster reference. Awesome. Thank you so much!!!

ladylinoleum said...

Lisa, I know it's totally scary. I think that each and every time I look at the gross of plastic vampire teeth I acquired. LOL

The Shrone said...

This past Sunday at the wedding I did, there was a string trio--the usual violin, viola, and cello. I stared transfixed to the cellist, watching her perform, even reading the music from afar. My heart ached to have a cello once again! All of the songs they played, I had played in my youth in orchestra, and I thought how I wish I could get a cello again and make music!

But, my creative impulse has been re-directed, another spark of creative juice has settled into my soul. Often I get "fascinated" by an author or historical figure and I'll saturate my brain with all and anything about the person. My current focus is C.S. Lewis.

Other things that inspire me...it seems that my sparks come from anywhere, anytime. But music and inspiring people seem to be consistant in my life.

anonymousbacktacker said...

I knew I wasn't the only one who loved these bizarre little hollow creatures! I've been indoctrinated into the world of growing my own gourds, so hopefully next year I will have a big weird crop of my own to molest.

Speaking of crops -- that is my inspiration. I love crops. And really, big groupings of any one thing. Rows and rows of almond trees, big mounds of african daisies, a hornets nest covered with stinging nasties. I love that when you have a big group of any one thing you get to see all the little details that differentiate them. Stuff you'd probably miss if one of them was just sitting alone.

Wendy said...

My muse? They are my little happy factories (Madeleine and Sierra.) I love colors that happen from nature, but since a rainbow happens in nature...well, then that is every color, ha ha... Really, though, it all goes back to the kiddos. I suppose if they get to old to like the things I make them I will have to find something else to inspire me.

ps...my husband wants to purchase some of your millitant veggies. I will be emailing you shortly.

Jane said...

I'm with you on the inspiration value of vegetables. I love street markets full of beautifully arranged fruit and veg (nothing fancy, but the way good market traders do it), allotments full of neat rows of veg, and productive kitchen and cottage gardens. There's something about the repetition and rows and groups of the same shapes. And the colours are just amazing. If you throw in some flowers like in French potagers, then that's my idea of heaven.

It's great to read about another vegophile.