Monday, November 8, 2010

The Creative Impulse, and its Power...

Many who altered the course of history were subjected to forms of escapism by way of the creative process, an impulse that cannot be erased.
Two youngsters were choir-boys, each in a different culture, and contemporaries.
They both were strongly drawn to the purity of the music they heard and sang.
The young German boy sang in a Benedictine surrounding, and the young Russian boy had such a pure voice that he was enlisted, from time to time, to sing solos at various occasions.
The German boy was Adolf Hitler, the Russian youth Josef Stalin.
Winston Churchill, who for about a year stood alone against the Nazi menace, constantly found time to paint, especially in his yard on his estate, with a brush in one hand, and a cigar planted firmly in mouth. His paintings can be seen. He also found a special kind of solace in brick-laying, and completed several projects with loving care, again on his estate, even during the London Blitz.
The man chosen by Roosevelt to lead the Allies on June 6, 1944, in history's largest amphibious invasion in order to free a suffering humanity was Dwight David Eisenhower, quite soon to become an American president. Not generally known is the existence of a few really attractive and captivating outdoor scenes he did in oils, and may very well be at the Eisenhower Library.
One of Eisenhower's generals, Omar Bradley, who became one of the most skillful military minds of this period, found escape, even during the infamous Battle of the Bulge, by working on creative aspects of calculus - Bradley was a superb mathematician, who thought of this subject in artistic terms.
Among great artists, who found other forms of art to become involved in, included such luminaries as composer George Gershwin, a highly accomplished painter in his spare time, whose portrait of Arnold Schoenberg is one of his best projects, and whose work with the brush was always a subject of avid interest.
What about Frank Sinatra? And Tony Bennett? Sinatra was a truly gifted painter, and Bennett is a highly competent and well-regarded artist, whose works can be seen today. Bennett has exhibits, from time to time.
The world - renowned player of the harmonica, Larry Adler, who captivated the musical world with his transcriptions and works by noted composers for this tiny instrument, found time, for a short period, to be a food critic for Harper's magazine.
And on it goes...



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