Looking at the newspaper this morning I came upon a photo of an oil-covered bird forlornly leaning against the rusty hull of a cleanup vessel in the Gulf of Mexico.  The image carries so much weight – in looking at it you know this bird is not going to make it.

That got me thinking about creativity in the face of disaster.  At the onset of this mess in the Gulf, key people involved in finding solutions are tapping into their own creative juices to try and come up with a way to stop the mile-deep leak.  The pressure is on and at these moments we can do some of our best work – let’s hope so.

What about the rest of us – can we tap into our creativity and make a difference?  Some of us will don yellow hazmat suits and flock to the coast to clean birds and other marine animals. Others will lament and find it all much too overwhelming.  But as artists (remember- we are all artists!) we can do something else – we can manifest these feelings in our daily acts, and in our art.


One of the artists on the ArtThread Gallery has a thread called “doomday” and in it is this maelstrom called “2012,” shown above.  Made with Splash, ArtThread’s online art-making tool, this piece is a powerful expression of chaos.  In creating this, the artist opens a window and allows us to see the realization of their vision.  As for what goes on in the artist’s mind at the moment of creation, we have no idea, but something is transferred from artist to viewer – something is left behind and something is gained.

The ducks aren’t any cleaner, but perhaps a bit of our selves is washed clean in that moment of creation.  Give it a try…