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Why Be Married? For the Creativity Boost

Today is the fifth anniversary for a couple of great friends of mine. They are two of the most creative people I know. Each of them provides a boost to the other's creative efforts.

He is Matthew Cornell, a photo-realistic painter with a thing for stormy weather. He won first place in painting at the Saint Louis Art Fair in Clayton, MO, this year. That's a big deal prize, in case you're as uninformed about these things as I am. And it's not the first time he's won it.

Lon Brauer Studios wrote on their blog, "Matthew Cornell was pretty spectacular. He had about 10 photo-realistic landscape paintings on the walls of his booth, one on each panel and several of them VERY small (business card size) but with large frames bringing the overall size of the pieces up to about 8″x10″ or so. The scale of the pieces FORCED us to go in and inspect them closely - I couldn't help but be pulled in by them. It was such a dramatic and effective way to show the work. He's definitely got the goods as evidenced by red dots (meaning SALES, for anyone not familiar with the art market) on at least half of the paintings on display."

Want to see what they're talking about? Check out these Matthew Cornell paintings. Or click on any painting on or visit the Matthew Cornell page at EVOKE Gallery.

Matthew has a great wife who cooks him really healthy meals, accompanies him to art shows and gallery openings, and travels with him to find the sites he paints. She encourages him when an economic downturn cuts into his sales or when bad weather keeps everyone away from a gallery opening. Being married makes it easier to be so creative.

But Matthew's wife does not live in his shadow. She is the wildly popular ProNagger, Rachel Z. Cornell. She coaches people struggling to finish their book or dissertation, to launch a new career, to earn a better position, or turn their life around. In just a few minutes a day, she can get you past all sorts of obstacles to creative success.

I have learned so much from her about how to be ready for opportunity, how to increase my creative inspiration, how to write to-do lists that actually encourage me to work, and how to avoid the post-creative-binge slump. Who knew nagging could be a creative outlet? It is for Rachel.

When she and Matthew married, Rachel was a working multimedia artist with a masters in fine arts from the University of Michigan, a pretty remarkable achievement for a woman who is legally blind. Since she decided instead to encourage other artists, writers, and creative folks by nagging them, Matthew has been by her side to support her new artistry.

He's her proofreader, her business advisor, her financial support as she launched her business, her driver, and her ongoing connection to the world of artists and art. Being married makes it so much easier for her to be creative, too.

I congratulate Rachel and Matthew on their strong and healthy marriage and all they have been able to create because of it. Five years of loving each other, encouraging each other, and helping each other through tough times is a wonderful start on a life-long happy marriage that will enrich both their lives, which means ours will be enriched, too.


Wow, what a nice tribute to such a lovely couple! They are each amazing in their own right, too.

I totally agree that marriage makes you more creative. Especially when you express your creativity through humor and your husband is a very funny guy like mine is! I am glad I found your blog and I will be exploring it! Thanks.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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