Monday, November 8, 2010

October's Colorado Photos and Thoughts About Creativity

For a delightful side trip to Colorado, check out last month's photo entries and the winners, now available online at The Fort Collins Coloradoan. There were 99 amazing entries in October.

Every time I look at the photos in this contest, I want to give up writing and take up photography. Buy a new camera. Lenses. Take classes. Study. Take millions of shots. Learn how to use PhotoShop. Learn how to turn my photos into posters.

So I do take a few photographs and occasionally post one on my blog. But I still spend most of my time writing.

I felt the same way about painting in watercolor when I saw Barbara Moore's gallery showing at the Northern Colorado Writers studio. Her work is precise, the colors sharp. I don't know how she does that, because my attempts over the years were fuzzy, the colors bland. I look at Barbara's work and I want to give up writing and buy fresh paints and new brushes. Take more classes. Paint hundreds of watercolors until I get it right.

I took a watercolor class while I lived in France in the mid-80s. And I took a month of Sunday art workshops on painting with acrylics about five years ago. Occasionally, I pull out my paints and spend a relaxing afternoon pretending I'm an artist. But when I clean my brushes and put the paints away, I'm a writer.

And then when Jeff Finlin, a Colorado songwriter and performer, took the stage at the NCW studio last night and performed his songs in his Bob Dylan style, I wanted to give up writing and buy a guitar. Take lessons. Maybe even try to write a song.

I bought a guitar and took a few lessons back in the 70s. It didn't take. A couple of years ago, I bought an inexpensive Sony keyboard ($99 Christmas special at K-Mart). I already know how to read music since I took piano lessons when I was younger. I play with the keyboard from time to time.

Then I return to my computer and write.

At least I don't want to give up writing and become a singer. That would be pathetic, since I'm an alto with a very narrow range. I'd be known as Patty Three-Note.


Jenny said...

Pat, I know exactly what you mean. I admire and get inspired by talented people, too. I've dabbled in photography, painting, and guitar-playing. And beading. And who knows what else. But writing is the one that sticks.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I love anything to do with writing and music, but will try my hand at anything new.
Most ionteresting post Patricia.


Terry Odell said...

I used to do a lot more creative photography. My son definitely has the 'spark' - he just quit his day job to take up photography full time, and I admire his talent (some of you may have seen his guest slots on my Friday Field Trips at my blog.)

Writing definitely fulfills a creative need for me. I ran out of room for my previous outlet--needlepoint.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Clarissa Draper said...

I once took up photography. Even developing my own photos but it became too expensive a hobby and I figured if I couldn't make money with photography, I might as well not make money and take up writing.


Margot Kinberg said...

Patricia - I love the way that stretching ourselves in other areas also allows us to stretch our writing. Your 'photos are a great example of that! My outlet is music; I think I really must have music in my life to keep my "spark."

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've been fortunate to spend twenty years taking professional photos. I probably do that better than the writing! (Although not by much.) Singing? Not a chance. I come in dead last in Kareoke Revolution for a reason.

Jan Morrison said...

Oh, I know what you're saying. I'm always pulled with photography and I do think it comes in a close second to my writing. I painted for a few years - oils - and liked what I did and the state of mind it produced but as much as I like any of it - and I'd include acting and directing in there too - I am a writer.

Monti said...

The color of the paints and the photos pull and tug so hard at me. Several years ago we were in Breckenridge in early Oct. hoping to enjoy the fall colors. Instead, there was a major snow storm that dumped well over 20 inches. I got some beautiful unexpected snow photos walking around in a light coat and sandals!!!

I will probably always write but I love taking pictures more!


KK Brees said...

The nice thing about being older (geezer, if you've been following the thread on dorothyl, is that you can dabble in all sorts of wonderful hobbies and don't have to become an expert in any of them.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good morning, blogger friends. I think everyone has a creative spark that only needs the tiniest bit of encouragement to flare into a talent we didn't know we had. I especially like KK's comment about dabbling...I think that's the one thing I may be an expert at (that and not finishing projects). And it's fun!

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I would LOVE to be able to paint. Sadly, my drawing looks liek a three-years-old's! All I can do is 'modern' art. Sigh!

Lynda Young said...

Art, music, photography and writing are all ways to express's no wonder many writers are also creative in other forms as well.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Patty Three-Note! Now that's going to stick. I love photography, but I'd not consider doing it professionally or buy an expensive camera. My dad always carried a camera with him. He taught me to love reading as well. I'm a healer that writes, rather than a writer. I like doing everything well so once my mind is made up there's no stopping me. I want to be good at the thing I've chosen to do.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I am envious of people who are not only talented writers, but are gifted in the other arts as well. I can’t carry a tune (my grandson isn’t the first to point this out), I struggle with stick figures, better cameras have improved my pictures (but they wouldn’t fall under the heading of art), etc. Oh well, writing satisfies a certain need, so I won’t complain…too much.

Sheila Deeth said...

Got my guitar in the 80s. Youngest son plays much better than me.

Arlee Bird said...

My photos never turn out like that, and I rarely take pictures anyway. I haven't played any of my instruments in ages. I've been writing, but I've slacked off at most everything else.

Tossing It Out

Anonymous said...

Don't know about your musical and painting abilities, but I do know you're a great writer!!

I played piano, too, when I was a teenager. Was pretty good. And I can remember first and third positions on the violin. But I just write now. I love music, and I'd love to able to paint, but...there's only so much time in a day.