Post Election Antidote: Creativity – Pat Coakley

Post Election Antidote: Creativity

By Pat Coakley | Creativity

Nov 07

I am spending election eve being creative with my pink pumpkin from last week’s farmer’s market and Japanese lanterns from Whole Foods.

The only comforting thought I have is that no matter the headline on Wednesday, my creativity doesn’t need 270 electoral votes.

Creativity makes my life more bearable (and Kurt Vonnegut’s, too, as it is his quote) and never is this more true than in 2016. Although, come to think of it, fall of 2009?   Right through to early spring of 2009 with that financial crisis? My teeth were chattering then, too.

I made an illustration back then (based on the tranquilizer Xanax) to signify what I needed less of: reality.


On this Wednesday, no matter what, thanks to many new tips and ideas I received from attending an artist demo on Sunday at the MFA (Jane Maxwell) , I am going to enter the collage state of mind.  She brought a sampling of her finished work as well as three 24 x 24 square wooden panels that showed the different stages of her work .  She usually works in much larger pieces.





She demonstrated her process with each of the panels, the loose but ever present driving idea behind them all,  as well as the specific tools she used to make decisions along the way.  The only color she uses in her collages is from paper and her color sense is one of the things I love about her work.

Made me think, “Ok, I’ll try it.”   A lady, who was much older than my 71 years, met me on the way out and she was excited, too.  “You know I was wondering what to do with all those papers I have at home!  Now I know!”

So, dear Jane Maxwell, you inspired two senior citizens yesterday and, as far as I’m concerned, your timing couldn’t have been better.

Today, I bought the Liquitex matte medium and I’m eyeing like a predator the thin, elegant pages of a century old Encyclopedia Britannica volume–perhaps, my equivalent of a friend living in Paris for a year who sends me poster paper every three weeks.

Word to the wise–Best to cue up your next project today or at least by tomorrow.

These times, even if they kill us, demand our creative attention.

What a way to go.



About the Author

Pat Coakley-From School Psychologist to Writer|Photographer in just 72 short years. Creativity is the thread that binds all the years together.