Category: Creativity

April 13, 2017 Sandra Linville-Thomas
Credit: Copyright © 2013 Karen B. Jones. All rights reserved.

#TimeForRecessThursday. You deserve a recess today. Renew and revitalize your creative spirit with recess tips and virtual field trips. Regular recess is good business.

1. See life from a new perspective

Jumpstart your journey to a fresh frame of mind. Indulge your inner Jackson Pollock at Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas. Place your cursor on the blank screen, start clicking and move it around that blank canvas at different speeds.


For more info, watch a Portrait of an Artist: Jackson Pollock at YouTube and see more of Pollock’s work at Artnet. Miltos Manetas gives you plenty to change your perspective at his website.



2. Get out…of this world

 Me as Flannery Shan in-world with the Greenies
Credit: Second Life website,

When everything seems too much of more of the same, learning something can be exhilarating. Second Life is a free 3D virtual world where users socialize, connect and create. It has a steep learning curve so will take more commitment, but if you enjoy spreading your wings through technology this could be a terrific tonic. Get acquainted with Second Life on its Facebook page. Try it out and your first life may get a much-needed infusion of creativity.


I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the past learning how to navigate Second Life and admiring what the residents have created, but I haven’t visited lately. “Second Life is Back for a Third Life, This Time in Virtual Reality” in the MIT Technology Review sparked my curiosity again so I may take some time soon to see what’s new. About 10 years ago, Second Life was touted as a promising place to hold corporate and educational gatherings in articles like this in the Los Angeles Times.


It’s always fun to see what all the makers in the world are doing. And I’m always on the lookout for the newest ways that technology helps us communicate and form community.



3. Take 5 minutes and go to a world of wonder

Disney Parks has bundled a bunch of mini vacations when you’re ready for recess. Disney knows how to use YouTube and other social media platforms. You may find inspiration for your own business social media plans, but remember recess.


Enjoy an entire day at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in a few moments.
Watch this tilt-shift video — a complete story without words.


For some new adventure window-shopping, browse through some of the best travel places for 2017 at AOL Travel.

4. Be still

 Credit: from

 Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself. — Zen proverb

Unstructured time for unhurried, undirected thinking keeps you creative. Acts of creation are strengthened by moments of rest to allow for the “great aha” moments. Stay in one place and watch the world. Reflect. Imagine. Ponder. Daydream. Watch. See. Let your mind wander. Take time, stop and think.


Creativity is seeing what everyone sees and thinking what no one has thought. — Einstein


What activities do you enjoy for creative renewal and to gain fresh perspective?  

April 12, 2017 Sandra Linville-Thomas

Words pretty much hit me in the face while walking through the Whitney Museum of American Art in the spring of 2004. My only visit to the Whitney Biennial left an impression.


I anticipate a magic moment, maybe an epiphany, but feel a bit overwhelmed. I turn a corner and am delighted to find words among all these images. Walking through the exhibit, seeing the world through artists’ eyes transports me, but the Whitney Biennial is a lot to take in, particularly in one speedy trip. Now I find focus in the five word paintings of accomplished and veteran conceptual artist Mel Bochner.


Words in bright, candy colors

Each painting begins with one word in the upper left corner and then begins a trek through a thesaurus. The word “nothing” leads to “negation,” “goose egg,” etc. The other four words in the paintings include: “indifference,” “stupid, “meaningless,” and “mistake.” “Mistake” leads him to words such as “botch,” “boner,” “fumble,” “fluff,” “gaffe,” and “snafu.” All words are painted in bright, candy colors and I see them as if for the first time.


I don’t even try to interpret the message, if any, from the artist. I merely experience the paintings in the moment and find them powerful as words can be, even with no context. Maybe more so with no context. They stand alone.


Minimalist, conceptual art isn’t for everyone. But, I would suggest following John Cage’s advice: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then 16. Then 32. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”


It’s never comfortable

I enjoy conceptual art. It’s not always comfortable. Actually. It’s never comfortable. I don’t always know if I understand, but I always connect in some way that’s hidden in my conscious mind. So, I don’t try to connect with the art in a disciplined way. I just meet it head on and let it wash over me.


As I experience these words in a new environment and way, I feel the power of art to slow down time. My senses sharpen and I stuff any preconceived notions into my pockets, resisting the urge of my own ego to make this an intellectual experience. I stand in front of the five paintings and contemplate the orange, blue and red words: “Nothing,” “Indifference,” “Stupid,” “Meaningless,” and “Mistake.”

Blah, Blah, Blah, 2014
I-70 Sign Show, Hatton, MO
Credit: Mel Bochner website,

Intrigued and want more? Watch this short video, “Blah Blah Blah: Mel Bochner in His Own Words”. Don’t miss the end of the trailer. Also, see what the 2017 Whitney Biennial offers.


Have words displayed in unexpected ways in unexpected places ever captured your attention?