Waking the Sleeping Artist

January 10, 2013

My daughter, Amy, reminded me recently that I’m still an artist even though I haven’t produced any physical works of art in quite some time. I know that, of course, but it sure helps to hear it from someone other than myself (especially a loved one). I’ve been so busy focusing on my holistic health and healing practice that I’ve neglected a very major part of myself.

It was my own article Let There Be Light! that reminded me of the importance art has played in my entire life so far. It’s deeply embedded in my soul and it can only lie dormant for so long before it begs to be released. There have been many times when I have gone for long stretches without making art. Eventually, I would feel something palpable building up inside, emotionally and physically, until I had no choice but to wake my sleeping artist and begin to work again. It’s that time again…I can feel it in my bones and there is an ever-so-subtle energetic buzzing that I know won’t stop until I give my soul what it needs.

I live in NYC, an artist’s dream town. But I have become complacent for such a long time–not taking advantage of the plethora of experiences right outside my door. Thankfully, I have good friends who lately seem to intuitively know that I need a push. Last week, Amy and I were invited to experience a multi-sensory installation by artist Ann Hamilton called “the event of a thread” at the Park Avenue Armory.

Waking the Sleeping Artist Barbara Sinclair at the Ann Hamilton Event

The minute we walked through the door with my friend, Stacey, and her two-year-old, Mabel, we knew we were part of something special. The Armory is a massive space and because the show was ending in two days, it was quite crowded. But as Amy remarked: “The energy is so peaceful in here. Everyone seems calm and happy.” There were babies, young children, old people, and lots of ages in-between. By swinging on the massive wooden swings, the threads attached at the top would make the white fabric undulate. People were laying on the floor under the fabric, listening to radios wrapped in brown paper bags tied with string. The words emanating from the radios were mesmerizing. It’s hard to convey the feeling–you really had to be there. And there we were. I felt my heart opening and my soul was satisfied.

Waking the Sleeping Artist Barbara Sinclair photo Mabel & Stacey
Waking the Sleeping Artist Barbara Sinclair Cy Twombly small picJust a few weeks prior, a friend who knows of my love affair with the artist, Cy Twombly, informed me that there was an exhibit uptown of Cy’s last paintings. The artist  died in Rome in 2011. Cy Twombly had influenced my art more than any other artist, and he passed on just two days after I had returned to the States from Rome. So I came out of hibernation and dragged myself Uptown to view the paintings. More heart-opening and soul-feeding.

Now it’s up to me to do the work. I’m sure many of you can relate to my experience. No matter what your form of creativity is (could be cooking, building a business, or anything in-between that feeds your soul), no one else can make it happen but you. My sister, Carol, always laments that she’s not creative like me. But creativity is not limited to the creative arts. No way. Using your mind, body and spirit in unique and inspiring ways is my definition of creativity. Use it or lose it. Time to get to work.


  1. Barbara, your sharings are always so interesting, insightful and delightful. Love this one especially!

  2. Wonderful job, as always, my creative soul sister! I’ve always thought that just the way you dress is creative, and your writing certainly is. And of course I love your “art” in the sense most people think of it, paintings or wall decorations or other visible tactile creations. And did I mention your photography?!! You are the eclectic Leonardo da Vinci in my circle of friends! Have an inspired creative day.

  3. Thank You Barbara, inspiring me to play with my art as well, have been using my creativity in so many areas of my life, but I love the process of artmaking, mixed media, lots of inexpensive materials to just begin, have an Art Room in my home that I used for the 8 years I was taking University Art classes, and now it is the Art Room I take my grandchildren in to “just be” and make a mess if needed, it is o.k. in there to experiment and express themselves. They like to muck alot. It is fun. I don’t mind cleaning up after, as the room is meant to appear comfortable and relaxed.

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