The Whidbey Working Artists this weekend throw open their studios to the public. What you will find there is inspiration, at least if you’re paying attention.
by Jack Penland
Art comes from everywhere and nowhere.
Insight and inspiration duel with failure and fiasco.
Things and thoughts crash, splinter, congeal, ferment.
Creativity is messy, unplanned, forced, restrained.
It’s risky business, laying one’s art before others.
Art is a dare to the fates and to the friends.
It’s riskier, still, staring at one’s own efforts,
Daring yourself to see your work done.
Everyone but the artist can separate the art from its maker.
The artist knows this to be a fictitious partition.
The work came from the artist, through the artist,
And chipped the artist a bit in doing so.
Artists on the Islands
Whidbey and Camano islands are full of these “chipped a bit” people who found their perfectly workable space on a rural-colored island in Puget Sound. And, its not really an accident that they’re here.
In the 1960’s psychologist Frank X. Barron started studying the era’s most creative people. He looked at mathematicians, architects, writers like Truman Capote, and more. He found they were, “both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner than the average person.”
He found them better to extract order from chaos, yet have a high tolerance for disorder and disarray. Blogger and entrepreneur Jory MacKay describes how the creative mind does this, and distils it to a single sentence: “You want to block out the external world and retreat inwards.”
Which is way our islands provide the prime habitat for artists. There’s time and space for that retreat.
The physical part of that retreat is sometimes open to the public. This weekend, August 27 and 28, are one of those times. The Whidbey Working Artists have their summer open studio tour. 52 artists, working with all kinds of media are showing their work, their place, and where the artist and the art are one.
If you want to read more from MacKay about the research into the creative process, you can do so here:
Read MacKay’s story on creativity…