CREATIVITY, COVID-19 AND ME Ava Lee Millman Fisher

Editors Note:
Liz Pearl

Creativity is an incredible gift to ourselves and a wonderful gift to share with others. The magical blend of colour, texture, images and symbols produce unique masterpieces; and the possibilities are infinite. Let us continue to be inspired and passionate about the creative arts. I’m delighted that Ava Lee and I have crossed paths; and I’m pleased to feature her vibrant and innovative artistic style.

Ava’s daily posts of her creative art can be viewed on her Facebook page.

Ava Lee Millman Fisher

Despite (or, maybe because of) the horror and sorrow of Covid-19, I found myself in the position of trying to make sense of this new normal.  It gradually became glowingly apparent that I could over-ride my feelings of despair and dejection by engaging in the creative process.

I believe that creativity involves the ability to think outside of society’s norms; it is characterized by being able to perceive the world in new and original ways.  Creativity involves stepping outside the box and meandering down new paths.  What better time to look to the creative process as a means toward relief, relaxation, and repose than during Covid-19!

During this unprecedented time, I feel I have managed, somewhat, to reinvent myself. I have perused some long-forgotten avenues and discovered some which I never knew existed.  As a result, I am delighted to have found myself in a few new settings; ones that are all at once calming, charming, and challenging. 

During normal times I wear a few varied hats. I am a visual artist, a classically trained soprano, and an accredited music therapist.  I decided to explore each of these avenues in an attempt to come up with some sort of recipe that might assist me in dealing with Covid-19.

As a visual artist, I find I have become very productive during this most difficult of times. My concentration is highly focused, and I enjoy very few interruptions.  I do seem to be gravitating towards painting Judaic themes and nature themes (flowers, trees, outdoor scenes, etc.)  I continue to create in watercolour, acrylic, and mixed media.  I was recently challenged to post 10 images of my paintings on Facebook for 10 consecutive days.  At the time of this writing, I have reached the second half of this journey.  I am especially delighted to have this initiative on my agenda during Covid-19.

As a soprano, I have time and energy to explore many arias and songs, both familiar and not so much.  I find myself humming and singing as I paint.  I do, at this stage in my life (at my next birthday, I shall achieve the grand age of 75) consider painting to be my “visual voice”.

I often think in musical terminology when creating a work of art ‒ a little more fortissimo here; a little less legato there. I feel most gleeful to have been able to create this milieu for myself.

As an accredited music therapist, I decided to consciously apply some of the basic principles and practices of this awesome discipline to myself.  Music at approximately 60 beats per minute coincides with the resting heart rate.  Entrainment occurs when the heart rate relaxes to this tempo. What could be better for a sense of well-being and repose? Classical music has always been a passion of mine, and the middle movement (usually the second movement) of most of the world’s great sonatas and symphonies are somewhere around this tempo.

Some composers of such music are Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms … and the list goes on.  Of course, there are many other forms of music at approximately 60 beats per minute. 

For me, once the goal of relaxation was identified and accomplished, it altered into one of exploration and education as I listened to many second movements of these compositions. It is often said that “good things come out of bad”.  I believe that this statement can well be applied to me at this time.  Covid-19 has allowed me to hit the pause button.  It has also given me time for reflection, contemplation, examination, and creation.  For this, I am most appreciative and grateful.

Ava Lee Millman Fisher, MTA, BMT, LMus, AMus, DipEd is a lover of the creative arts and is professionally engaged in a few of them. She is a staunch advocate in this realm for young children. Just ask her grandchildren!

1. “HER STORY: Heroic Heritage And Hallowed Harmonies”
mixed media; 24″ x 18″; on cradled wood panel (featured image above)

2. “TREBLE TRANSCENDENCE: Homage By A Solo Soprano”. mixed media: 36″ x 24″; on cradled wood panel

3. “LAUGHTER OF THE EARTH” watercolour with gold illumination: 16″ x 12″; on cotton rag paper

4. “LIBRETTO OF THE LILIES” watercolour and acrylic; 24″ x 30″; on cradled wood panel


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