Thursday, 2 February 2012

Painting for pleasure: my distraction therapy

Ooh, where did January go? I guess it's been a flurry of activity here on Planet Baby since the bombshell dropped. People to see, meetings to attend, paperwork to receive, request and even ransack the house for (hmm, The Great Unpack is *still* underway), companies to notify, interviews to attend, file-notes to keep - yes, I can see where January went. 

In the midst of this chaos and uncertainty, I am so grateful to have had the distraction of organising *my room of my own*. I have relished playing *stylist* (not a word I would ever have associated with me in my wildest dreams before I started this bloggy caper ☺). But hey, if you can't *style* your own room, then you're missing out on a lot of fun, don't you think? My 3 moodboards are nearly complete and are waiting to be hung. Here's a sneak peek just to hint at the joy they're already bringing me.
The whole process has brought me some much-needed clarity. I've realised that to be truly happy, I need to do something creative. Every day. 

For some of you, that might be as obvious as needing to breathe to live. 

But not for me. For the longest time, I just haven't had the quietness, that solitude my heart yearns for, to realise it. But now I have.

I've started reading Julia Cameron's 'The Artist's Way', a book I've coveted for years. Are any of you familiar with it? I'm only a chapter in but already I feel like she's talking to my soul. Truly. She is so incredibly insightful and inspirational. I can't wait to read more. 

Reading it prompted me to get out my watercolours for the first time in about a year. I can't believe they've lain dormant in my desk for so long. But I guess last year was such a hard year as Dad's health declined that I didn't really have the heart to paint much.
But taking them out was like finding dear old friends. I loved opening up my wooden box to see them all displayed there.
I revelled in reading their names - the colours 'cerulean' and 'Prussian' always excite me!
And then I set to, fixing my paper to my desk with masking tape, choosing my brushes, fetching my water and preparing my palette.
I washed the paper with water and a hint of blue paint, letting it almost dry.
I then started with swirls of blue, white and green (quelle surprise!), letting them mingle with one another and create their little eddies of colour, pooling in spots as the paper started to crinkle under the paint's weight.
Here's more blue.
And some green.

And then I sat back and smiled. I felt alive. I had created something.  

I left them to dry. Then I can pull back the masking tape to reveal beautifully straight, crisp white borders!

I don't have any formal training - only what I learnt when in the Mother Baby Unit back in 2009 under the guidance of wise Suzanne, the art therapist who helped me rediscover my creative side. I can never thank her enough for giving me that gift.

I started an online watercolour course with Alisa Burke shortly before Dad died. I haven't had time to look at the lessons - they'll wait for another day. 

But for the moment, I'm content with just dabbling. It fills my heart, seeping into the gaping hole left behind by recent sad times.

It's but one of many creative outlets which appeal to me. Here are some of them:
  • I have almost finished Sam's cross-stitch birth sampler - all I have left to do is the writing which I haven't touched since I started blogging! I'll show you some of my handiwork one day.
  • I want to make a quilt for Sam. Friends and family made quilts when Joshua and India were born but Sam missed out. I can't wait to pour my love into making that for him.
  • I want to learn to crochet like so many of you crafty girls. My grandmother made me a granny quilt about 40 years ago with black edging. I want to make one with white instead like this one - the lighter look really appeals to me. Have any of you made one? 
  • I want to make oodles of projects using silhouettes - Vana Chupp's book has been waiting patiently for me to open it for the past year.
So, there you have it. Give this girl a little time to collect her thoughts and look at the enthusiasm which bubbles up! Hmm, now to find the time to fit all this crafting in...Tell me, how do you all make the time to create? Is it in fits and starts with lots of UFOs in your cupboards? Or are you a finisher? I'm intrigued - and all tips will be gratefully received! 
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