4 Sep

This is a very personal tale but it is significant in my process of getting to know myself again.

I’m a bit creative, I’d always drawn and written when I was younger, however as my confidence and self-esteem decreased over the years I did less and less. My only writing seemed to be my angst ridden journals?

The last art thing I did was a T-shirt for a friend of my ex husband, I loved doing it, but that was just before the ME arrived and everything changed.

In early 2010 I made a new friend, introduced through another friend and it turned out we had things in common, including a love for a guitarist who I was convinced only I’d known about since 1992!

Anyway he’s an artist, I loved what I saw, his work is full of colour, in your face almost, I loved the movement and spirit. I was looking for a present for myself as a reward for all the swimming training so I thought I’d get a print of one of his pieces.  After a discussion he said he’d do a unique piece for me at a reduced price, I was overjoyed and he came down to measure up and discuss what I’d like. His approach is very personal and I really liked that, we’d also talked a lot about what was happening to me, he understood mainly because he had his own story too.

While we were discussing colours, which in the end were influenced by that pink top I’ve already mentioned and my new purple sofa, he told me he thought I should paint my piece?  My head was all over the place, I was flattered, however I hadn’t done anything like that for years, so there was an element of panic too.

A few weeks later I found myself in his studio, the paint had arrived, the canvas was on the floor, it was though a blank canvas. The significance of why he thought I should do it was beginning to become clearer. I was a blank canvas, everything that happened in the past wasn’t important anymore, all I needed to focus on was the next hour or so and what was going to happen on that big sheet of whiteness.

Under his instruction the paint started to flow, it’s a building process, layering the colours and the paint, it changes very quickly, there is throwing of paint involved here which is very therapeutic I can tell you, what looks like a totally random arrangement is in fact a very measured process of what the paint needs to do, it reacts as it sits on or with adjoining colours, as you work with it, you are also working with its potential movement.

We continued with the process for a while, there was advice but the longer we continued the more I knew exactly what to do and what I wanted to put where, there was balance and form appearing. It was eye-opening for me, I’d been a very ‘form’ person before, my work was always more representative, more graphic driven?  This was very different, the randomness wasn’t random at all.

I then asked the question – ‘when will I know when to stop’, he told me I would just know and let me carry on.

A few minutes later, ladle in hand (a lot of kitchen implements are used in the process!) I stood back and stopped. It was done. Then I burst into uncontrollable tears, he held me and said he knew it would happen. He held me tightly while I sobbed it out.

I’d let go of what had happened before, on that canvas was my pink top, my renewed confidence and self belief.  I’d also even let go from how I’d produced Art before, I hadn’t worried about perspective or light, I’d just looked for balance and movement, it may all sound totally strange to a lot of you but what I needed to be able to do was to move on and I needed triggers and people who ‘got it’.

She’s called Blissful, she’s more than a painting. She marks a point in my life, on a sunny morning when I walk into the lounge and see her I still smile to myself. Often I stop and look very closely and see the magnitude of the detail, I still see new things over a year later.  And I am very grateful to my friend for recognising what I needed to do, I wouldn’t have found it on my own.

So my story is that sometimes we need to look in places we’d never even considered before to find those triggers to enable us to move on and leave the bad stuff behind, I had needed to start again from that blank canvas.  I knew now I could do anything I wanted to.

And now I take photographs and write.

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