Creativity, Life Adventures, St Louis
Comments 4

Topping up Creativity.


I am pleased to say that my creativity levels are usually brimming and this week was no different. Just to keep everything bubbling and brewing in my imagination I decided to get myself onto the Metrolink, jump off at Skinker and scamper across Forest Park to the Art Museum.

In fact I scampered to the Missouri History Museum first catching a couple of Pokemon on the way (for my son, I know, I am a good/crazy Mum!).  It was a lovely day, not quite cool, but certainly better than it has been in the humidity department.


The Little Black Dress exhibit at the  History Museum is about to close, so the pressure was on to see it.  I wandered the dresses for a few minutes, sketched one or two and snapped a couple of pictures. Honestly I was underwhelmed, I mean it did what it said on the can, there were black dresses, but it was nothing amazing.


No matter, the St Louis Art Museum had been calling to me all morning, so even though it had started to rain by now, I walked to the Art Museum and into the Contemporary wing which houses my favourite Art Museum pieces (apart from the Mummies and the Andy Goldsworthy arches which I didn’t see this time).



Once I had visited with ‘Betty’ by Gerhard Richter and ‘Keith’ by Chuck Close, I decided to hand over some cash and see the ‘Self Taught Genius’ exhibit.

I am so pleased I did.  The very second thing I saw was a gold tower made from chicken and turkey bones glued together with model glue and painted gold. No, I am not inspired to gather bones and glue them together, but many other items did inspire me to literally make things.

Usually I am inspired and uplifted by the art museum, but I don’t very often get ideas to make things immediately!


It was this handmade book which got me started, it was made from envelopes and sewn together with string.  The artist had drawn in it not worrying a jot about addresses or postmarks. I stood and admired it as I planned my own envelope book. It was a fabulous thing and I want to make a book with envelopes right now. Ironically we received no mail today! Ha ha very funny..



Another piece which caught my skittish attention was ‘Funeral for Titanic’ which was drawn on napkins (all glued together) by a calendar savant called George Widener. The way he has included the date of every Tuesday from April 16th 1912 going forward seven hundred years alongside careful drawings of a cross section of the ship is amazing. The details are compacted into the artwork so they look like background until you almost press your nose up to it (not recommended, you may be asked to leave) and see the dates all written out.

While I may not rush out and stock up on napkins, I was totally inspired by the compact information which blends into the background. How cool would a sketchbook page be with lots of writing all compacted into the background.  Fabulous.

Here are a few more items in the exhibit which caught my eye.


This coyote has glass marbles for his eyes and real animal teeth!


Always good to check the insides of a person.


This pelican weathervane was fabulous and huge!


I was inspired by the way the writing on this piece was laid out with the lines between and the pointing hands.

A morning well spent topping up my creative levels!

Here are some ways to top up creativity levels –

1. Visit a local museum, doesn’t have to be an art museum, ideas can come from anywhere!

2. Walk at least part of the way there and back, walking there will boost your energies and walking back will let the ideas percolate.

3. Carry a notebook and pencil. I walked back across Forest Park to the Metro Station scribbling notes as ideas came along.

4. Take photos as you walk and at the museum (check they allow photos).

5. Walk around your neighborhood or a local park, observe your surroundings and take photos or sit and note ideas or sketch what you see.

6. Don’t forget to sketch or note any ideas you have, it is so easy to get right back into your routine and any ideas will scuttle right off. Grab them and keep them in a book and don’t forget to use them.

Happy Thursday x



  1. I feel so inspired reading this Clare! I love visiting galleries and unusual exhibitions – shame about the black dresses, but the envelope sketchbook reminded me that I once had a big folder of ‘saved’ envelopes of all different colours and sizes with the hope of ‘one day’ making a book out of them all. Needless to say when we moved house a few years ago I recycled them because I’d never done it. I was sad because there were some really good ones, but I can definitely see the potential in doing this again (though the mail just isn’t as exciting anymore since everything went online?)

    Thanks for sharing your creative inspirations 😀

    • I know what you mean about the quality of envelopes, I would love to make a book of envelopes with handwriting on them, but I get about three letters per year, so it may take a while!

  2. I love your ideas for topping up. We are going into the Degas Exhibition at the National Gallery Victoria (NGV) (in Melbourne, Australia) today for Fathers’ Day. I bought my husband a new set of water colours, brushes, a pallet and water colour paper pad for Fathers’ Day. He is super-inspired so a trip into NGV will be exactly what he needs. I’ll take your advice and walk part of the way. NGV is on a beautiful tree-lined boulevard and today the sun is shining down for all the Dads. Perhaps I’ll pack mine and kids sketch books too, the gallery os opposite the Botanic Gardens, so perfect for a sketch pit stop. Lovely post, thank you.

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