Category Archives: Environment

Does your Environment Fuel your Creativity ?

You can always tell what your major reference point is when you first meet someone. What’s the first question you’ll ask them ?

Mine is invariably : Where do you live ? or maybe : Where are you from ?

My reference is geography. I want to put you on the map, visualize you in your surroundings and culture.

Du Haut du Bleu Profond,

I realize now how crucial geography and environment are for creatives, and how much we draw from our surroundlings for resonant energy and inspiration. I have a lifetime habit of following my heart to the places that I feel will feed and nourish my creative soul.

As do so many, many others, yourself perhaps included.

A few famous examples of artists who sought out specific places to live and work spring to mind :

Picasso at Vauvenargues

Picasso moved first from Spain to Paris in 1904, the then absolute capital of the arts, and much later to the South of France and his own castle at Vauvenargues.

David Hockney, Mulhulland Drive

David Hockney, who left England for inspiration in sunny Los Angeles where he lived and painted his fantastically colorful paintings for many years.

Or Willem De Kooning  who left Rotterdam at a very early age in the 20’s, crossed the ocean as a stowaway and moved to Manhattan, drawn to the pulsing, dynamic energy of the city and the call of the American dream.

Georgia Okeeffe headed to New Mexico from New York to put herself in the environment she needed to nourish her soul and inform her painting. On the one occassion she succomed to pressure not to go from her husband, and buried her need for stimulation in her chosen environment, she suffered a debilitating depression. She wound up moving out west for good later in her life and is famous for it.

One of my very  favorite painters is Zao Wou-Ki, who moved from Peking to Paris and created an entirely new style of abstract painting that unites both easter and western aesthetics.

So what do you think this is all about ? Do you choose the environment you need to fuel your creativity, or does it somehow choose you and call you to it ?