Did you ever begin something for fun that then turned on its head and
became something more?
Late one night in the middle of
March, I started fooling around on the
computer with my old photographs –
all 8000 or so of them. I started to
layer them. And layer and layer
and layer until they became
Then something else happened.
People liked them. Then something
else happened. They started to sell.
And now for the first time I joined
facebook and got an artist page.
by Elizabeth Welles
Then came a slew of questions.
Does one have a artist page on facebook just for their art?
And another page for their writing, and another page for their story-acting-and performance work?
Or does the creator combine them all in one place and space?
What about Pinterest or Google + or the innumerable other sites out there?
Do I copyright the images?
Start a new website?
Add a gallery to my current site?
How involved is this going to get?
Did I create a way to relax for myself late at night, a way to kickback?
Is this a temporary side thing? Or is it going to take center stage?
Will it distract or take away from what I already love to do and pursue?
Or will it contribute through the back door?
And so there I was like a train that starts slowly down the tracks and then found itself running, chugging and puffing, a runaway train. It all happened so fast. And then I stopped.
While I don’t know the answers to all these questions, maybe I don’t need to know. What I do know is that I need to play. That’s how my best work occurs. So this summer in hot Arizona, when closeted indoors, I played on the computer, and that’s how all this art started. Then I put the play out there for others to enjoy.
In Stephen Nachmanovitch’s book, “Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art,” he writes: “Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art.” He says, “Improvisation, composition, writing, painting, theater, invention, all creative acts are forms of play, the starting place of creativity in the human growth cycle, and one of the great primal life functions… Technique itself springs from play… Creative work is play… In play we manifest fresh, interactive ways of relating with people, animals, things, ideas, images, ourselves…”
I love that! Let’s play some more.
And while I titled this article The Accidental Artist, what if there were no accidents in play? But rather an unseen hand guiding our exploration, “doing and being for its own pure joy.” Allowing this rich play, which sets our creativity in motion, to gradually unfold to gratefully add beauty, spice, and peace to our lives, making us all ‘Accidental’ Artists.
To see the art, please visit my new facebook page:
Elizabeth Welles (the artist page)
If you are interested in acquiring a piece of art for your home or office, they are for sale. Just send an email or call. And feel free to tell the world!