Creativity Talks: Suzanne Kingsbury, Discovering the Genius Within

During our MFA residencies at the Bennington Writing Seminars, I often noticed a tall, radiant woman. She was in the fiction cohort, so I didn’t work with her, but I always noticed her because of her aura. I called her “The Siren,” because she seemed blessed with an unflagging, joyous spirit.
After graduation, Suzanne founded Gateless Writing, a national organization based on creative brain science and ancient Zen that supports writers to the point of publication and beyond.
I recently caught up with her to learn more about her inspiration for founding the organization, and about her creative process…
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Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Suzanne Kingsbury, Discovering the Genius Within”

Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow

dogfish.sesowIn 2009, I heard about Matt Sesow, a D.C. artist who was described to me as “a modern-day Picasso.” I was skeptical (I tend to be skeptical about most things just-met dates tell me). But when I looked at Sesow’s website, I felt as though my fingers had just been stuck into an electric outlet: the paintings’ energy pulsated, jumped and vibrated. His colors burned.
Continue reading “Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow”

Keeping the Yarn Moving

Sometimes my daily life is doing, not writing about doing. This past month was pretty much doing: I’ve been knitting like a whirlwind. Socks for a friend; a hat for a COSTCO clerk who liked my hat so much that I had to make her one of her own; 4 tightly-knit birds nests for a North Carolina waterfowl rescue group who had put an SOS for them. Continue reading “Keeping the Yarn Moving”

Creativity Talks: Vicki Teague-Cooper

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Photo by Karen Kuehn

I met Vicki Teague-Cooper in the 1980s, and bought one of her encaustic paintings while photographing her in her Santa Fe studio. She has been making and showing her art for about 35 years.

Primarily a painter, her work has included oil paintings, encaustic paintings, drawings, watercolors installation art, and monoprints. Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Vicki Teague-Cooper”

Thinking, But “Not Feeling It” at the Bill Traylor Show

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Sometimes I’m grabbed by the heart when I look at art. In those times, I don’t look for “meaning” in the painting, I don’t do anything but feel: pleasure, love, excitement, sometimes a physicality that is like melting or merging with shapes or color or line. It’s like falling in love.

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul,
and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
— Henry Ward Beecher

Continue reading “Thinking, But “Not Feeling It” at the Bill Traylor Show”

Creativity Talks: Pamela Viola

In January, I announced a new feature of my blog: Creativity Talks, short interviews with creative people about what drives them to create, how they work, what advice they might give us, and whatever else comes up…
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Pamela Viola is a photographer and mixed media artist who lives in Old Town Alexandria, not far from me. I met her about 14 years ago, in creative writing classes at Duke University, in North Carolina. I recently reconnected with her.
Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Pamela Viola”