Cogitation, re-wilding ourselves and banned books

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, books, business of art, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, fine art, illustrated recipe, Kim Cooks Sue Draws, mental health, Odditerrarium, poetry, sketchbook, Sustainable creativity, visual thinking, words and pictures, writing and illustrating

I think a lot about thinking. So do cats I think. Here’s another painting in my Odditerrarium series for upcoming exhibit at Caplan Art Designs in October. My painting is titled “Cognition”. Sometimes it seems like brains are fish bowls with thoughts swimming about.

Here’s the sketchbook page that began my Odditerrarium series.

Besides forming a theory of mind as related to other living beings – I find it’s helpful in my creative life to keep notes, in a sketchbook/notebook, on things that happen in my life, things that catch my eye, my feelings, thoughts and responses to the world. My sketchbook/notebook becomes part of a collection of objects, photos, books, places etc that resonate with me in some way and yet may also be relatable to someone else. I think creativity is a way to connect with both ourselves and each other. To the elements of my ongoing collection I add my imagination…

… like in my current project for Nil-Tech I free-associated or imaginatively mixed a feeling experience in my life (of enjoying a coffee) with a real life cup from my kitchen and a photo of a dog. Almost everyone has has the experience of sinking into the relaxation of a pleasant beverage – almost like a hot tub – so it’s a safe bet that my feeling is relatable. A cup and a dog are common reference points too. Anyway, here’s a photo below and link to one of my videos on Nil-tech:

My point here is that my system of getting creative ideas is a lot like cultivating a garden: carefully planting perennials, evergreens, planning to rotate annuals etc regular cultivation for ongoing use in cooking or decor. This helps me sustain my creativity over the long term. Also for sustainable creativity I find it helpful to keep an uncultivated wild patch or two, some experimental ground areas where anything goes and uncertainty reigns, where I’m in the classic “beginner mindset”, or in the spirit of a kid flopped on their belly coloring to their heart’s content with no thought of their scribbles being “good”. All of this in my mind when I say I’m re-wilding myself.

The term “re-wilding” typically refers to ecological conservation, a way of letting the land be naturally whatever it is as a way of restoring the ecosystem.

I really think we can do this with our minds too, we can re-wild ourselves and our own mental landscape, from time to time by allowing ourselves a more expansive diverse habitat of the mind, to sidestep our own habits, group-think, expectations and presumptions. To deliberately try a new methods or materials just to be playful. (Play, at any age, is necessary for good mental health.) As creative people re-wilding is a neccessary part of a creative life. Generally speaking re-wilding is allowing ourselves to play off-leash now and then so we can reconnect and restore ourselves.

I re-wild myself most regularly by reading and reading as widely as possible. I read banned books and obscure books — here’s a booklist of wild (and banned) books I’ve collected

I wrote over on A. M. Sketching about re-wilding ourselves and included this page from my published sketchbook “Another Sketchbook” as a reason why cultivating a mental life is helpful. For us creative types our mental lives are what we create with so the quality of our mental lives is also a precious piece of equipment.

Below are some more pages from Another Sketchbook with my reading techniques.

Here below is a picture of our household lion guarding a part of our library.

Here’s what the cover of Another Sketchbook looks like.

My 3d block project mentioned in my last post is coming along.

Another fun project currently in progress is also using ordinary things as prompts. I’m doing illustrations for a cookbook by Chef Kim Mahan! More on that as I go.

The experimental “re-wilding” projects I’m working on are two different poetry book projects. Possibly for Storyberries experimental art books section! Here’s a peek at my two projects. Both are about the size of a credit card when closed but they open out to about 20 inches long. The patterned and colored papers you see will possibly be the book covers of one book. I’ll share more as I go along.

I hope your week is wild in the best ways. See you next Monday.

11 thoughts on “Cogitation, re-wilding ourselves and banned books

  1. I am absolutely enchanted by your “re-wilding” concept. I completely agree with you about using that as creative fuel but I love the association with nurturing and growth that your chosen word suggests. The dog block looks amazing so far. Asparagus with poached egg and hollandaise is one of my favourite things. My oldest son actually taught himself to make hollandaise so that he and his brothers could make me precisely that meal for Mother’s Day this year.

    1. Wow!!! Lucky you that your son made that meal for you for Mother’s day!!! Bravo to your son for mastering it so well!!! Thank you for your kind words about my dog block. I’m pleased with how it’s coming along. I’m glad to know you heard my association with nurturing and growth!! Nurture, kindness, gentleness in my opinion do more to encourage creative growth than anything else. I hope your day is both gentle and wild in the nicest ways. Congrats again to your son for mastering hollandaise – and you can quote me!!! ❤

    1. Yes!! Entirely too easy!! And yet as creative people we need regular work habits, and ongoing topics, that we explore in depth. How to have both the necessary regularity for sustainable creativity and to also have the curiosity and enthusiasm we need to maintain our own interest… that’s the challenge. I enjoy the re-wilding concept as I find it a helpful tool that fits the challenge. Thanks for your comment!!! ❤

  2. So many wonderful projects in the works! I love the 3D block one, especially. And the new tiny books look enchanting. What fun to illustrate someone’s cookbook too. As always, thanks for the many reminders to be kind and consider others and ourselves day to day. We could all use some of that flopping on our bellies and coloring to our heart’s content time in all of our efforts and relationships, I think. I love the way you expressed that idea. It’s so important and fun to have fun and let whatever happens happen – especially in our most ‘important’ goals and pursuits. Have a wonderful week, Sue!!

    1. Thank you so much for writing!! I’m glad you’re enjoying seeing my projects unfold! I’m trying to remember to take photos as I go! Lol! And thank you for helping me to remember to have fun too! I appreciate you! I hope you have a good week too!!

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!