Last year, I did some great creative courses run by the fabulous Pip Lincolne of Meet Me At Mike’s. I learned SO much great stuff, stuff that’s changed how I look at the world, and how I spend my time. You can read all about the courses Pip’s offering over the next few months here.
What has really struck me, as I reflect on my year of online learning, is how much of what I’m excited about and enjoying in my life now, wasn’t even on my radar 12 months ago.
One of the best things that came out of doing her course on boosting your creativity, Inspiration Information, was that I went out and bought art supplies. I’ve never done that outside of needing something for an assignment at primary school – anyone remember going to buy craft paper at the newsagent? That was in a time called ‘the olden days’ when children wrote out assignments on big coloured pieces of card, and stuck pictures from magazines on them. When Google was a big row of books at home called Encyclopedia Britannica. The good ol’ days!
Buying art supplies, then enjoying using them, even though I felt awkward at first, has been a real life lesson to me.
Just because I hadn’t painted since I was about 15, and I’d never thought I had much talent for it, it didn’t mean I couldn’t take up painting now and find it really enjoyable.
With Pip’s encouragement to just explore and PLAY, I have discovered that I really enjoy painting with watercolours. I’m no Picasso, and I still can’t draw an apple convincingly. Heck, I’d hardly even rank myself an amateur, but I am an enthusiast, and I think that’s something that often we consider ourselves ‘too busy’ to be.
I mean think about it, what do you do, as a grown-up, that’s just for fun, for play?
I can almost hear your response to that – ha, play, who has time for that? Between my job and running around with the kids and laundry and study and paying the mortgage…. who has time for play?
Playing is powerful. Playing is fun. Play makes you forget about the work stresses, the mortgage, the laundry, even if it is just for 10 or 15 minutes. Try it. Go on, your life isn’t so full that you can’t find 10 minutes just to play. And if it is, well, that’s a whole other blog post. At first, it may feel very strange, or even ‘self indulgent’. It is absolutely not! It is good for you.
People may not get it. That’s okay. People might be bemused, and ask you why you’ve got the paint brushes out. That’s happened to me.
Here’s what you tell them – I’m playing.
Just let it hang there, ‘I’m playing’. No end game, no master plan, no ‘reason’ other than I’m just playing.
And I feel so good while I’m painting, it wakes up my creativity. And the good feelings continue after I’ve painted.
Once I could switch off my own ‘what for?’, and just allow myself to play, I was hooked!
I proudly play now, I paint! Paint is a verb.
I’ve decided to share a painting on the blog once a week, not for critique or praise (or to have eggs chucked at it), but simply to remind me to continue to play, to access that part of my brain that comes alive when I get out my paints and paper, wet the brushes and just dive in, with no idea what’s going to come next. It’s so relaxing, and enjoyable.
Maybe by the end of the year there will be some ‘improvement’, maybe there won’t. That’s not the point. The painting itself is.
So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, here is work 1/2015.
Don’t forget to play, okay?
It will make you happy, and who doesn’t want more of that!
Do you play? What do you do, create, practice? I’d love to hear about it.
You can check out my paintings on Instagram, I’ll be using the hashtag #paintisaverb.
PS Don’t forget to check out Pip’s online courses – right here – that’s not at all sponsored, I’m just a student and fangirl!