Crafting A World of Creative Expression


“Clear To Fly” Recovery Resource Women’s Recovery Group

20 Women are asked to collaborate on the Theme  Recovery from Addiction.  No boundaries just express!  I facilitate the event and later finalize the piece in studio.

20 Women are asked to collaborate on the theme;  Recovering from Addiction. No boundaries just express! I facilitate the event and later finalize the piece in studio.

I recently gave a bid to a local organization with the desire to create a unique event for their “Young Professional Group.”  The fantastic women running the event had heard about me and my work through two of my favorite friends & promoters (MAM & Santa).  The sparks of imagination flew between us as she announced her wishes and I crafted the event.  From the first moments it was clear the event would manifest as the energy was already building fast and furious.  One can imagine my shock when the correspondence came the group was leaning more towards the classes where everyone paints the same thing.  hmmm curiosity.

Playing with Paint each participant is encouraged to create their own original piece of work around a central theme.

Playing with Paint each participant is encouraged to create their own original piece of work around a central theme.

As I stayed in  my wonderment of  Why the obvious was more appealing  then the unique, my daughters school delivered me a message.  As I entered Kinderplatz to gather my girl the KFA Newsletter jumped into eyesight.  Across the front Page “Art Vs Crafts” this wonderful article aligned with my own mission in my work.  I was not alone in my thinking!  The author simple states the distinction between Art as an unstructured and free experience to create whatever one wants with minimal intrusion from the instructor.  Verse Crafts, by contrast, are structured, follow a pattern and instruction or direction leads to a desired product.  This author believes crafts are overused in schools by teachers who is not properly trained in art. (I ask the question is it training in Art or Creativity?)  I believe crafts are overused in a society where free thinking and originality are feared and the value to get that “A” with that one “right answer” and the need for approval has generated a culture where being a good mimic is ones final destination.

My son Logan "Going to Work with Mom Day"

My son Logan “Going to Work with Mom Day”

Logan inspired by our first TCU football game!

Logan inspired by our first TCU football game!

I admit I also love a good craft!   I was raised by a grandmother who always carried a pattern of her  latest craft she was building.  She took the time to share these with me and I believe those moments became my first lessons on using my hands as the tool I continue to create.  I also find for myself their is a value in both, Art & Craft, in my home, my life and what I share with my children.  However, I see the greatness and power that lies in those who choose to develop their unique expression.  I don’t spend as many hours in my studio as one might assume being a working artist.  I find my creativity is expressed largely in the kitchen (what can I make out of whats in the cabinet without another trip to the store?), in my household budget (how can I live abundantly on a “Starving Artist” salary?)and mostly in my daily schedule (being a single mom of 2 active children how do I design our life to be everywhere at once and feel peace?).


How Pancakes are created from my Mother’s Kitchen.

I believe Art is a active state while Craft is an inactive state.  Art is about “being” and craft is  focused on “doing.”  During her last visit to Texas my mother brought a “Paint by Number” project into my home at first I thought “Sacrilege!”  And then I saw through my judgement as her way to participate around my dining room table of art projects!   My mother would admit she would rather Craft than Art when it comes to painting.  However give her the task to create a centerpiece and she’ll be in the back yard collecting pine cones and trimming the branches off a Fir Tree!  I write this post only to bring forth the idea of distinctions.  To be aware of what we choose, opportunities we choose the ones we don’t and the power which lies in giving ourselves the freedom to know our creativity.  My invitation is to go on a journey take both paths and see for yourself what these ways will bring to you.  I love a good craft as an introduction into something new.  Once I get comfortable with the new medium it doesn’t take long until I’m bending and molding the pattern into my own unique expression!  It’s just how I Be with what I Do!  Allowing the Balance!  Keep Expressing-BIMG_8731

About brandicottingham

I'm a self taught artist, blogger, mom, bone collector, creative passionate soul with my life work to connect the collective consciousness to a lifestyle of "Right Thinking" meaning allowing the right brain creativity and imagination to flow through all aspects of life!
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2 Responses to Crafting A World of Creative Expression

  1. paula mcmillen says:

    hum…insightful! Paula McMillen Williamson EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KINDERPLATZ OF FINE ARTS 817-207-0660



  2. Andrew says:

    Your words recall debate that artist friends have often asked me: what distinguishes creative expression from design? Can painting become routine and therefore decorative? There is no easy answer to this question. I am moved at times by work that I consider decorative. For me, the distinction can be experienced when watching an artist create. I have seen the passionate emotions of a moment lead to unique expression that might explode onto a canvas in a moment. Or it can be more deliberate. This present day question that you raise made me (historian that I am) remember the story of one artist –Joseph Meeker–who in the 19th century earned acclaim among colleagues and collectors for his visions of the southern landscape. Scenes of the swamp that were soulful and, at times haunting in his unique vision. He was the first to make a living painting the swamp. As critical accolades led to sales, he continued to paint those same scenes of moss-laden cypress trees for thirty more years. Approval and security, to me eye, stifeled his authentic expression. The easy route of approval suffocated the soulfulness of his creativity.


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