Home is my place of solitude and sanctuary. There needs to be an easy transition from outside/inside living. We have almost the same amount of covered deck space as we do inside space with fir trees providing the boundary of our daily living rather than the walls of our home. To flourish my creativity needs extended amounts of time with just me – in solitude, daily. For me, this kind of outside/inside space is the most inspiring solitude.

Usually my time for solitude is early morning just before daybreak. I like to rise before I sense that the rest of my world has stirred.

Quick 8”X11” sketch with artist pens and watercolour wash of bench on our front deck where we can sit and look over the valley.

Sprout Question: How does solitude influence your creativity?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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12 thoughts on “Solitude

  1. Sprout Question: “How does solitude influence your creativity?”

    The creative juices simmering on the back burner of my mind shift into a rolling boil when I experience solitude.

    There is a tremendous difference between being alone and being lonely. I love being alone; it provides me with the opportunity to stir the pot and see what’s ready.

  2. As I looked at your photograph of the fog…I began to write:

    the fog
    provides my solittude
    it shields me from the world around
    disorients the speeding drivers
    slow the buzzing of their wheels
    headed to pointless meetings
    and reintroduces them to fear
    and to the beating of their heart

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. solitude is a double edged sword for me. I can too quickly make the transition from being alone to being lonely.
    I try and balance this by working on my painting in solitude and my drawing out in the world. Balancing the relationship with self and others os important to me to fuel my art.

    • Thanks Jerry – your answer reminds me of when I do feel lonely – then I ask myself “when was the last time you picked up the phone and called someone, or had friends over or went for a walk with someone?” Usually if I am feeling lonely… it has been a long, long time and will not have noticed. For many years I lived in mobile home parks where when I went to check the mail or go to do the laundry or were working in the yard I ran into neighbours. This routine bumping into each other would balance my alone time with my community time in a way that worked for me.

      I particularly like your statement “Balancing the relationship with self and others os important to me to fuel my art.”

  4. I need lots of solitude. You would think it would be easy living in the middle of the woods to insure that solitude. But with the Internet, email, Gaia, Facebook, Twitter (then add husband and friends to the mix) it still becomes a challenge to balance the need for solitude and the desire for exchange. Meditation really helps to enter that space of openess from which creativity seems to flow in a grounded centered way. Thank you for asking these questions of us, Terrill.

    • Kathy I can empathize with you for exactly the same reasons. I sometimes tell myself in a stern voice “step away from the computer!” The other reminder is when my partner looks up through a little window of space into my studio and says “hey, what you doing up there?” I know then that I have lost track of time. I stop and negotiate for another 5 to 30 minutes depending on what I need and after that we head off into another activity – likely to eat a late lunch:)

  5. Well, this is certainly what can be said about ‘being one with nature’ and what a ravishing misty photo is on display here. Solitude can indeed fuel the creative juices, though like anything else, this time for reflection must be used in moderation. That window of time you mention – shortly after you wake – is certainly a span informed by acute attention, and as such a conceivably promising time for inspiration. This entire proposition if you will is interesting to me, as I rarely get solitude, what with my wife, five young kids (ages 13, 12, 10, 8 and 7) and a geographical proximity to Manhattan. You get the feeling your life is an open book! LOL!

    But this is really a lovely post.

    • Sam, welcome back to Creative Potager. I can appreciate how you feel your life is an open book:)

      When my children were at home was likely when I noticed and enjoyed my early morning solitude the most. Even 15 minutes felt like a luxury. Finding this quiet and self-time in a busy household amidst busy lives is often difficult. However, I’ve been in many homes that have designed a quiet space – sometimes in a closet even. This room is often bare except for a meditation cushion or a comfortable chair, maybe a candle or a painting that invites rather than demands your attention. Laurie who often comments here has one of these kinds of rooms for writing. But it could be just a corner of a room that you are comfortable and relaxed with no distractions, turning your chair to the window or a blank wall. If you can find 15 minutes a day everyday (even if it means setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier and sleep walking to your quiet space) I can almost guarantee that your days will flow with greater ease and deeper satisfaction because you will have taken care of you first – in a way no one else can. On some days you will only be able to find 3 minutes and other days you will have the added value of 20 minutes. What is more important than the exact amount of time spend in solitude is establishing the daily ritual of solitude — by whatever means are available to you. Our creativity flourishes with such a practice but so does our capacity to care and give to others in our lives. At least, this has been my experience:)

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