52 Paintings – 3/2015

It’s Friday again, which means my weekly 52 Paintings post aka #paintisaverb time. Here’s 3/2015. It’s also the start of the Australia Day long weekend in only 8 hours. I should have painted a kangaroo or something else patriotic! Damn you beginner skill levels. 

This week I’ve been reading about painting and I am even more in awe of artists than I usually am! As I go from just liking paintings in a gallery, or now on my Instagram feed as I follow more artists, and realise what’s involved, it makes me think painting (done well) really is incredible. 

The layers, the choices of materials and mediums, choosing subject matter, finding inspiration and time, the practice… sheesh. 

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I’m experimenting. I don’t know what’s working and what’s not, but I’m posting this because I really want to make sure I don’t fall into “that’s not good enough to share”. This is just me playing with paint, exercising my creativity, looking for my style or voice or whatever it is people look for. Or it is nothing but amateur and silly play. Either works for me! 

In fact, I think that’s something worth challenging – all the “good enough” noise in our heads. Who the hell gets to decide what’s good enough (or not) about my creative play? And why should I care? 

Well, there’s my humanity and desire to get a thumbs up or a well done every now and then. BUT I can’t live solely on external validation – not as a painter anyway! 

So, here’s 3/2015. 

And here’s to play being play, and that being my thumbs up for the week. 

I hope you make time to play this weekend – paint, doodle, throw a frisbee, make popcorn the old fashioned way, get your crochet on… do something that makes you feel good. 

Happy weekend friends. 

Cheers, 

Annette 

 

paint is a verb

Paint is a verb

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.

paint is a verb
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.

Cheers,

Annette

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!

 

Christmas Creativity

Perhaps it’s living without kids, perhaps it is pushing back against the idea that Christmas has been “on sale” in the major department stores for more than 100 days already, but I can be a slow adapter when it comes to festive feelings and matching home decor. 

This week one of the girls at the office dug out their big box of tinsel, and decorated the office in a sweet, haphazard way. It made me happy, so I got out my calico bag of baubles earlier in the week and got my Christmas on. 

This week has also been a cracker (see what I did there?) for my letterbox. 

Three days running I have received beautiful gifts, sweet cards and encouraging words. 

A really fun parcel arrived from my Blog With Pip Secret Santa! Thank you Ammber ❤️

As Wednesday is the end of my working week, today has a distinct “Saturday” vibe – pjs, coffee and toast at 10, laundry, dishes… and tree painting! 

No, not the trees outside, the ply Christmas trees I bought last year. They’re coming up a treat and I’m thinking next year this might be a great gift idea for friends – perhaps a new take on giving Christmas cards? 

I’m expanding my ideas of what creative skills and gifts I have. I’m busting out the sketch pad, the watercolours, and the words here on my blog. 

At 46 and 3/4 it really encourages me that I sat and drew something today, for the first time in decades. I enjoyed it, even though I don’t really think I’ve got much creative skill with the pencils. 

It leaves me wondering, if we approached Christmas as an opportunity for creativity, rather than a slog through credit card driven consumerism, how much less stressful might it be? 

Today, I’m painting trees and feeling uber relaxed, and mildly chuffed with myself. 

How’s your Christmas shaping up? Do you decorate the house? Make gifts? Spill! 

Jingle all the way, 

Annette x