I was at the start of a challenge. A challenge I had brought on myself one morning when I had asked a friend to encourage me to do something each day for 30 days to enhance my creativity, to get me doing some painting or drawing.
I am in no way an artist but I do enjoy the process of getting lost in time creating something, exploring different shapes but especially colours. I feel that I experience ‘flow’ when I truly allow myself the time and space. My thoughts drift in and out of the day, to and fro between the past and future, with everything in the now focussed on my creation.
I love taking photos but there is something different about taking a blank piece of paper that transforms in minutes with just pencil, pen, felt tips or paint. It is very personal, not something I would usually share with the world. But what I wanted to share was the story of my experience. How this 30 day artist’s challenge on Facebook (because that is what happened!) really got me thinking about how little sketches captured a fragment of my life at a particular point in time. Sometimes we may think that art is only for those who have the gift to create, but we are missing out on so much if we never venture into this special world.
Just by looking at this picture now, done back in November, there is so much that can spring from it personally for me.
Each little mark or object can be the starting point for a different story. To start with, it reminds me of a long-distance friendship that has developed from a brief encounter on a road trip in the Summer.
The border lines marked at intervals remind me of the sharing of knowledge by a very talented artist, which led me to create viewfinders from cereal boxes to help get everything in the right place in the picture.
The fireplace is one of the features of the lovely home in which I am currently living and only in the past week found out more about its history and that the place where I sat drawing this picture used to be a hairdressing salon.
The little plaque above the fireplace was a gift from my dear mum and dad when they visited Las Vegas, and the little wooden plate below the wall lights another gift from them when they visited Austria. This reminds me of fond memories of a holiday with my parents in Austria in the snow when I was just 16 years old, staying in Mayrhofen when I had the opportunity to learn to ski-bob and what fun that was. I later went on a cheap coach trip to the same place and had a wonderful summer holiday, getting a chairlift up into the mountains. I recall the magical feeling of being literally on top of a mountain, the amazing peace and sense of freedom. This turned out to be the calm before the storm, realising that zig zags on the map of a real mountain equate to a very lengthy and exhausting ramble downhill which left us painfully achy the next morning!
All this from an unfinished picture, and that is just the start …
I must admit I didn’t complete the whole challenge but really think I have benefited from the experience. I may share one or two more of my pictures if anyone is interested. The one I am most proud of is one that is very childlike in nature – a painting done from a photo – but for me represents so much that is important to me.
All it takes is some blank paper and your choice of pencil, felt-tips, paints etc. Have a go and see where it leads you, what stories come to your mind from what you create. If you are used to writing as your medium for creation, see how this can bring a new layer to your life. Go out into the world and see what draws you in, or sit in the comfort of your home and let the memories drift onto the page.