Blog: Why are straight lines bad for me?

Christine Alfery

Posted on January 06 2021

Blog: Why are straight lines bad for me?

Featured image: Walked Away

There are some things that just hit the spot.  The spot being just what you need, whether you realize it or not, at just the right moment.  Like when you first climb into bed and snuggle in under a cozy down and your body says, "Ah, I needed that."  Well, something happened to me that just hit the spot, and I did not realize I needed it.

I was watching the science channel and they were talking about travel into outer space.  I was watching that channel waiting for something to come on and it was the most interesting out of all my choices.  It was New Years Eve and most of the channels were broadcasting New Year celebrations all over the country.  So, really, it wasnt the interest in the science channel that really drew me in. It was what they were talking about and how these scientists were envisioning themselves and how through their thinking they hoped that they would leave a mark behind for future scientists and generations when it came to thinking about alternative places to live other than earth in space. 

They talked about how to make energy on Mars, how to make food in space, how most living on another planet in the beginning would be vegetarians because plants were easier to grow than animals and about zero gravity and its effect on the body. One example they gave was how would we make love in zero gravity.  This one caught my attention!  They said it would be like making love in the water.  One person would need to hold on to something to ground them both. Or perhaps folks would make love like dolphins make love, there would need to be three in the love making process.  Did you know that dolphins needed three to make love?  I did not.  But I am off -point now.  Back to what inspired me. 

With all these little tidbits, along with their visions, their explorations, their trials, their successes, and their failures, I thought I have found kindred souls.  Their ability to get up and change and try again just because they enjoyed the process of problem solving and exploring reminded me of a blog I wrote a while back about DaVinci and his use of science and art.  


“There are many ways to be creative. The beauty of creativity is that there is no right and wrong way. Creativity begins with abstractions that need to become – to become visible, to become an idea – to become.   Creativity is unique to the one who is creating – defined by spirit, the heart, and the soul of that individual. “ Da Vinci.  

Scientists are creative. Da Vinci knew that. The similarities are amazing – the idea, the thought, the concept that artists have, and that these scientists have are the same.  The process is to have an idea, a thought, a concept, the idea is to think, and then figure out how you are going to make this abstract thought become something. 

Those creative threads were woven into everything they talked about.  The episode was so very inspirational, so moving.  I really enjoyed it.

When I woke up to the new year, as always, the year begins with hope rebirth and renewal.  I again began thinking about space.  Space dominated my thinking over coffee.  Watching the sun come up on the first morning in the new year, feeling hopeful, and yes, thinking about how I could create space in my work. Not just outer space, but space like the space in between things. 

I immediately came to a roadblock. Would I have to work with straight lines and rulers and numbers? That is how I am visualizing the future in outer space and how I saw most of scientists in the program were visualizing how things would work.  But wait, there was one who ended up building a very successful spaceship and he started with parts from the local junk yard as he was visualizing his space ship.  He was using what he had and visualizing them differently.  I would not help but wonder if once humans begin to live on another plant, what will they have to visualize things differently?  Wait. Everything, will be new and they will be in a constant state of creating.  I could not visualize art as we know it in their environment, but I could visualize creativity.  I am sure Da Vinci had no idea how art would be today when he was creating.  The idea of creating is necessary.  The idea of an object called art isn’t. So perhaps in the future the concept of art will survive along with the concept of uniqueness, and moving forward, thinking differently.

Thinking differently.  Why did I think space wouldn’t have gestural lines and it would only have straight lines?  And why did I not create many straight lines? This science episode illustrated to me that straight lines are quite innovative, progressive and full of discovery.  

There are so many different kinds of lines – and creative folks can use all of them. It is not that one line is bad or better than another, it is because of my uniqueness and one of a kindness.  And they will have ones they prefer, ones that settle in with them and they are comfortable with.  For me, that is a gestural line and the freedom it offers me.  That is perhaps when I do not like a work like “Which Way?” It is not that it is a bad work. It’s that it just doesn’t sit right with me and what I visualize. Is the work less creative because of that?  Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no.  Is it because it doesn’t feel unique?  No.  

I have learned, through my own searching of self that the originality, the uniqueness of my work I could never get rid of even if I wanted to.  Like trying to use straight lines.  I have learned that my originality sticks to me and always shows up for better or worse in spite of all I do or what anyone else tries to convince me to do.  The key I have discovered is to never give away the power of your uniqueness, your one of a kindness; be it in art, science, music, being a writer, being a parent, or caregiver, to anyone else.  And today that is a very very difficult thing to do and to protect.  

I have learned that ideas, concepts, thinking is a creative tool that will always let you be you if you just use it. And this tool makes life very exciting. 

So straight lines – they aren’t for me but they will show up every once in a while, and every once in a while I will let them be.  But I didn’t for “Which Way I ?”  And I didn’t for “Which Way III.”  I think I am settled into this current “Which Way” but I have given it a different name, “She Just Walked Away.”

As you see it is a completely different piece.  It has been reborn, like the new year.


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