The Artist’s Thoughts on Creativity, Inspiration, New Projects

First and foremost, I believe we are all creative spirits, but some of us have, well, been talked out of it. I have run into so many folks who have said, “I used to love to draw, but I found out I wasn’t good at it when a teacher/brother/parent/best friend said… so I don’t draw anymore.” The power we give to those stray words! In all likelihood, the people who said the negative comments have long forgotten they said them, but we carry their foul words like a wound festering in our hearts, barring us from exploring our true creative selves. My advice, for what it is worth – forget the critics! Who cares! Creativity must out!

For myself, I so enjoy venturing into anything creative. I don’t need to be the best at it – I need to ENJOY it! Following is one of my favorite examples – I am not a singer (as you will hear), but thanks to the belief and amazing talent of composer Robin Frost, I had the delightful experience of hearing my poetry come to life as lyrics for the first time. Since then other musicians have asked and used my lyrics for their songs, and I love the experience every time! Here are the results of one of my collaborations with Robin Frost, “House Cleaning Rag” – I think it will make you smile – I know I smile every time I hear it!

Encouraged by the fun of writing lyrics, I have now written an entire musical – or rather the lyrics for a musical. I am seeking a composer to team up with for the rest – so if you are interested in composing an entire musical to my lyrics, give me a holler!

Following is an excerpt from one of my books – “Tempo – The Rhythm and Rhyme of the Artist.” In this book, I paired up my art with my poetry and musings:

Creating is automatic and difficult to stifle – I see something and am inspired either to celebrate its spirit, or to borrow from its essence.? It is my way of both sharing my excitement of being with the world, and of being in harmony in our world.? In each work, in some way, I comprehend and communicate the soul of what I experience, or what I wish could be, and as I create I am lost in that work, in what “is.” Oddly, once the work is done, it is almost as if someone else created it – the work becomes akin to a lost photo of a distant vacation unexpectedly found – triggering something real in my heart yet intangible in definition – a slice of a past life captured within four corners of canvas,? by its nature destined to shine from that canvas to express the “me” as I was in that moment, to the “you” as you are today.?

Thinking about art and creativity, how they connect us not only today but across the generations, inspired me to write the following poem:
Undiscovered dreams
an unexpected journey
Drifting along memories and hopes
a sweet yearning

Of what could be
Should be
May still

All there for my eye to see
In this painting on the wall.

The above thoughts and poem reprinted from “Tempo – The Rhythm and Rhyme of the Artist.”? (c) and TM M. Nicole van Dam.? All Rights Reserved.

Following are insights into the inspiration behind some of the artworks in Nicole’s portfolio and some recent projects:
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Following are some of the day-to-day thoughts from Nicole – ENJOY!


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Below is screen show of some additional posts on a variety of things that might interest you – you can click on whichever post interests you to read the full post – ENJOY!





It just so happens I LOVE COFFEE!? Rarely do I create a painting without a handy cup of coffee standing by, and of course my iPod playing tunes!? I created a Coffee Carousel website with all my favorite coffees for each of our three (3!) coffee machines?– enjoy at!

Here is a poem I wrote for my java habit:

Daily Ritual

Every morning
Sleepy out of bed
Tussled head
I stumble to the kitchen sink
Seeking one precious drink
Ever so slowly from my mug, sip by sip
Savoring every dark, rich drip
Precious nectar, warming heart and waking mind
That magic potion that fuels mankind…


Wonderful Coffee
Warm Coffee
Irresistible to this java addict

In 2017, I was asked to read two of my works for television broadcast – very fun indeed! Of course I wore my “Dance of the Fall” Leaves kaftan based on my “Dance of the Fall” Leaves artwork. Here is the first of the two to be broadcast – my poem “Life is Like Knitting.” I chose two of my works that had a knitting reference to tickle my Mother’s sense of humor. Following is the video of the reading, and below the video I have put the poem itself.

As background on the poem itself, I had written about knitting, and life, some years ago, when I was starting anew before I met my wonderful husband. Knitting was a lovely part of my relationship with my Mother and also with my wonderful Aunt Barbara and her daughters Rika and Claire. The poem is apropos of so many of life’s changes and decisions:

Life is Like Knitting

Life is like knitting
Sometimes each stitch falls easily into place
Each row upon row flowing with grace
And then, a mistake, not easy to erase

A choice must be had
Do we go ahead flawed, looking a bit bad
Or do we unravel and then
Begin, begin, begin again?

With each new start
The old design deliberately picked apart
Carefully the yarn from the needle unfurls
Undoing all the knits and pearls
Cautious not to harm
The tender texture of the yarn

This life’s thread must be used to stitch again
In our universal pattern of row upon row, til time’s end
There is no shame in each start anew
No matter how many restarts or how few

The rows undone
In the redoing are part of life’s fun
The lessons learned along each knitted way
Can be used another day
To last, to warm our souls a little longer
Making our life’s knitting that much stronger.

(c) 2006 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved.

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