The post of an online friend lead me to explore painting in a healing sort of way. Painting, drawing, crafting, creativity is something that has been part of my life in some shape or form as long as I remember. My mum encouraged us to draw and paint from when we were very young. There are super-8-films of us as feisty (well only my youngest brother was feisty/chubby cheeked) pre-schoolers, painting with finger paint… and I have vivid memories drawing while listening to audio tapes, records and cassettes of classic children’s books. I remember drawing a fire engine in the garage of a the station and my mum telling me to fill the entire paper with the picture. So I learnt at an early age there is more in a picture than just the main object and that the sky has a color…
I remember linoleum printing, we would carve images in pieces of linoleum and then spread paint over the plate and print. I remember my first ever linoleum print the image of a monkey on an Island under a palm tree. My mum had a box of the little carving knives and the plates she had made amongst them my birth announcement, it was a linoleum print she had made herself and posted out to relatives and friends. It was an image of my older brother who was about 1 1/2 years when I was born reaching up towards the edge of the moses basket we had. I remember our dog, a lovely, placid boxer, being in the picture as well.
And I remember I did linoleum like prints in high school as well. Except we carved into wood. I still have one of the plates, I must dig it out and see if I can do something with it, maybe with photo software…
I remember my first oil painting was a portrait of my mum. It was a picture I painted from a photograph that was taken during a holiday in then Jugoslawia in the late 70s. She must have been around 35 years old in the picture, a mother of 4. I think I gave her the painting as a birthday present that year.
I remember learning to mix colours in art class in high school. We would select two or more colours and mix them. So let’s say, red and yellow and the overlap would be orange. But we didn’t do this with paints but with snippets from magazines. We had to find the right colour in the pictures/photographs in magazines and put them together like a collage.
I remember drawing a crumpled piece of paper with pencil on white.
I remember we had a wooden workshop in the basement and I would build a little wooden toy (a car!) for the baby brother of one of my high school friends.
I was fortunate to have a creative mother who showered us with creative art ideas and materials. I loved art as a subject in school.
For a while I did a lot of water colour paintings and I love taking pictures. I’m not or wasn’t necessarily trying to image as close to reality as possible. In painting I would use weird colours and try myself in simple abstract shapes, but everything I created so far is in some way related to my outside world. Up until now I only wanted to re-create or capture something I had seen somewhere in life, nature. But now I’m experiencing art completely differently for the first time in my life. The first project of this kind was the mother henna I posted about this in October. Now, I am beginning to express something deeper within me. It’s like an inner melody or a new language I am learning to speak. I use the painting to express something inside me.
I think this new style of painting has also somewhat been brought into being by the writing I did in November. At one point towards the end of the NaNoWriMo I did a sprint writing exercise with one of my fellow NaNo writers. During a type sprint you type, type, type for a set period of time without watching your diction, spelling, grammar, you just write what comes to mind. It is one of the most creative experiences I’ve ever had. It was amazing. Ideas, dialogues, pictures just flow.
A few weeks before Christmas, I painted a picture that came from within. it was a bit of a mizuko jizu meditation. It is a picture that I have had in my mind for a while now and have longed to paint for about 6 months. But I didn’t. For a while I blamed not having any paint or canvas, but even when i did, I still didn’t paint it. And then my friend’s blog post made me do it. I knew there was something inside me that I longed to get out. When I painted it, it took it’s own shape and a turn I hadn’t intended, but it did come out and I just drew it. The original image in my mind didn’t have a bump. This one does. I’ve decided to give the finished painting to one of my best friends as a Christmas present. She will have a big bump in a few months and I am so happy she is where she is.
I couldn’t post this the day that i painted because i didn’t want to ruin the surprise for my friend, but now that Christmas presents have arrived safely, I think it’s ok. For anyone who follows this blog, it slots sequentially before the first of the arty posts around the 10th of December…
The colours are a little bit off in the photograph, the right side is golden yellow, not as dark… but any picture I’ve take with the flash on, have reflections and highlights in the acrylic paint so this is the best one i could get without too much effort.