Creativity: A Sensory Experience


Wow! I haven’t logged in in sometime, yikes! I have felt some guilt about my lack of posting, even though I have been unearthing so many fabulous artists that I adore on Pinterest. Check out these boards titled  Bright Art and Artists, Romantic Art  and Narrative Art.  I have also been up to painting, painting, painting when I am not traveling, traveling, traveling. Earlier this summer I sold my remaining handbag inventory to TJMax. That move and putting the podcast on sabbatical  has freed me up enormously. (Although, I have a bit of  Artist and Mentors series planned…stay tuned.) This summer I have  completely indulged in jumping offline into real life and frankly, it has been fabulous!

I imagine that I am not alone when I say had a bad case of  online burnout. Sometimes there is just too much information is coming at us from all different directions. I needed to go out and experience life  without being glued to the studio or to my computer. Granted my phone was often still in my hand, still tempting me to check out social media, still asking me why I hadn’t posted this or that. What?!  Your phone doesn’t ask this of you? Lucky you. I eventually got to the point where I felt  an “unhook” from needing to check in and check up and it made me feel so carefree.

All of that has led me into something that I have not really experienced sometime, the  sheer pleasure in the act of creating, not creating to post or garner a response. While I understand there is a time to get your creations out there, I have come to embrace this “quiet time.”  I started having dreams (the kind you get when you sleep) on how to problem solve paintings that I am working on. I am working rather large, big step for me and it is quite new and freeing for me. Then something else sort of strange happened… and to preface this, I will say my beliefs around creativity are quite practical. I have always been a “commercial” artist and have thought that you can easily be creative in half hour segments at a time or in a set time frame like 9 to 5, sort of like dialing a phone. Need to be creative? Just sit down and dial in. Kind of unromantic, I know. This is a little different than Elizabeth Gilbert’s “muse” theory from her book, Big Magic, which is quite romantic where capturing moments of magical creativity as it swoops towards you. The caveat seems to be, if your reflexes are not swift enough, the magic will move to someone else. Yikes! My ideas around sound a bit generic and her’s make me feel behind the curve already. Neither one was sitting well with me.

I have been spending some time question both theories and then I had another dream.  I was with my deceased grandmother, who was a painter, and she said that “creativity is a state of being.” A state of being? As soon as she said it, it made sense …somewhat. Am I sounding woo-woo enough for you?  Frankly, I don’t have a complete idea of what that means BUT I do have some ideas about living in a constant state of being, opening all your senses and having all your actions translate into creative acts. What do you think? Do you have any thoughts about how you access or live in a “state of being” with your creativity?

I know I am getting a bit deep but I have some ways that I am going to play around with this idea as I head to Europe for 2 weeks, if you want to see pics, follow me on Instagram at @xo_monicalee. I am so so excited!

I have been completely absorbed the most gorgeous summer I have experienced in years! I managed to visit Block Island RI, Newport RI, California, Nantucket, New Hampshire and then to end the summer on a high note, Paris! One the water, near the water and over the water, heaven for me! Below are some of my very favorite shots for you. I listened, I smelled, I watched and I let these beautiful locations sink in to my soul fueling my creativity. It was lovely!

Now I am headed to London, Berlin, Prague, and Vienna. Ok, that may be the ultimate high note. It is a big birthday for Tom and we a doing a bit of a grand tour! London, Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Frankfurt.





Ocean Mysteries 18 x 24 Monica Lee









Hydrangea 24 x24 Monica Lee