“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso
I’ve always loved to paint. I’d paint all day long if I could. I love getting lost in watercolours and experimenting with acrylics. So for June my Happiness Project Resolution was to spend a little more time being creative, nurturing any shred of artistic ability I may still have. (The last art class I took was a good five years ago..five but it may as well be fifty, I’m that rusty).
Being creative is very much a luxury for me. These luxuries mainly include painting, sewing, and scrap-booking and they come very far down on my list of priorities after “scrub bathroom floor”, “tidy Maia’s room”, “hoover EVERYWHERE”. A sense of guilt arises as it occurs to me that I should be doing something more productive with my precious evening hours than sloshing a paintbrush around. – Like finally having that “stocks and shares” lesson with my Dad or re-arranging that kitchen cupboard. (He enjoys teaching me about Finance, and occasionally I get these bursts of enthusiasm where I want to learn all about Investments and the stock market and what dividends are..I know this might actually be of use one day). But then I think no this can wait, and maybe clearing out the kitchen cupboards can wait too. Maybe I should allow myself this time. Maybe this flower needs to be painted…
I adore that moment when I sit down to a blank page. The endless possibility. It’s like when I open a new word document, it’s the freedom to say whatever I want -be it in brush strokes or words- knowing it’s not going to be assessed or graded by anyone.
My painting doesn’t really have a focus. I haven’t developed a particular style yet. Technique is clearly lacking but it doesn’t take away from my sense of achievement when I finish something. I still find it hugely satisfying. No one’s judging so I can just do it for me.
Sewing is another little love. I make various unnecessary things for Maia like cushions and random bits of fabric with her name quilted on that I really must attach to something. Fabrics bring me a lot of joy. Fabrics, buttons and quilting threads. I am Angie, I am twenty-three and I am an old lady. At least I know I won’t be idle post retirement.
Another creative endeavour I could pursue for hours is scrap-booking. (I’m an old lady but I’m also seven apparently). I have several scrapbooks. There’s the kind for photos/postcards/tickets, little bits and pieces from travels. Then I’ve got articles I don’t want to forget and little words of wisdom collected from magazines. (I like to document clever people saying clever things..) And lastly- an idea from Anna Spiro’s book “Absolutely Beautiful Things” (below) I have Interior and Style Ideas, which is sort of a 3D Pinterest Board, a mood board of room/furniture/fabric ideas. Images are collected from Elle Decoration, Vogue and -because I can’t really afford to buy The World of Interiors– The Times Magazine Style Section. This is the sort of thing I’m going for (below).
Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro
I know to many this will seem a little pointless, sad even. – The idea of a someone sitting alone at night tearing pages out of magazines, cutting and sticking like a small child. But it’s these seemingly meaningless activities that are actually not meaningless at all. They have a purpose. They take me out of myself. -Get me out of my head. They don’t require too much thought and often the less thought the better. A sort of meditation. A flow. I’m transported to my happy place, a state of bliss, where it’s all freedom expression and colour. Those few hours spent being creative are some of the most enriching and gratifying hours of my week. (But it doesn’t quite come close to the “I wuv you Mummy” I received yesterday.) Twenty-three or eighty-three, as long as I can still hold a paintbrush I will always hold onto my little joys. They are far too wonderful to ever let go of.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso