My earliest lessons on creativity were absorbed from watching the resourceful habits of my mom. The older I get, the more I think about little lessons I picked up from her. Most valuable life lessons are caught rather than taught.
Mom’s lessons were in her everyday approach to situations. Her philosophy was that there was always an answer. There was always a solution. She made it a habit to use what was at hand to meet a need or a desire. Whether it was creating a stylish Barbie outfit with a hankerchief, recovering the couch with old curtains or making a swim suit out of tea towels, she lived by the mantra, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
In preparing to paint the “Dream Portrait” of Pepper Fluke as the next “Durham Dreamer.” I’ve been ruminating on the topic of creativity. Resourcefulness is the seed source of creativity. Defined as the quality of being capable or clever, resourcefulness is the ablity to put available resources to efficient or ingenious use.
Pepper Fluke, a local artist and potter, is cut from that same sturdy stock of fabric that made my Mom a fortress of possibilities. Pepper is credited in spearheading the crusade for the remodeling of the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham,NC. One of the favorite stories from my interview with her, was an amazing tale of resourcefulness. With limited finances for the plans to refurbish the theatre, Pepper creatively solved the dilemma of acquiring paint. She summoned all interested persons to bring in their “spare beige paint.” Laughing as she recounted the adventure, Pepper relayed how that simple resourceful idea transformed the cosmetic appearance of the time worn theatre. “Everyone simply brought in their cans of beige paint, we stirred it all together, and we had plenty to use!" (And this was BEFORE social media!)
Sketches for Pepper’s “Dream Portrait” are underway. I’ll purchase the canvas this Friday and away we go! Pepper’s portrait will be number 6. There is a total of 12 to be painted. So, I’m halfway there!
The image at the top of this post is an example of resourcefulness and is from my Redemption Series. It is made entirely from recycled and repurposed materials. Proceeds from sales of this body of work go to help finance housing for AIDS orphans from Uganda.