I believe whether you’re a writer, musician, artist or craftsperson that the creative process is the same. It’s about letting yourself go, blocking out everything else, trusting your own instincts and feelings, and just allowing the words to flow onto the paper / the colours to flow onto the canvas / the melody to flow from your instrument.
With that in mind, I wondered whether it was possible to exercise my creative skills by expanding into a new art form.
I haven’t picked up a paintbrush since I did 2nd Year art at school, over twenty years ago. I did enjoy art as a subject, but allowed myself to be convinced by others that there wouldn’t be any job opportunities if I pursued it. (One of my downfalls has always been listening to BAD advice!)
So, I jumped at the opportunity to take part in a “paint party” hosted by Lions Tigers and Bears Paint Nights. The concept is simple – a professional artist will guide you through a painting, step by step and at the end, you get to take your canvas home with you. A bit like Bob Ross, except this time we were painting the iconic local landmark, The Kelpies, instead of happy little mountains and trees.
I first met the artist, Tanya Tee Mahon, through Facebook, and she designed the front cover for my poetry book, The Goddess Collection, so I already knew the standard of her work. I was a little doubtful at first that I’d be able to recreate one of her paintings, and I arrived at the studio a little nervous but eager to learn.
Tanya explained everything in a way that seemed so simple, and immediately I felt at ease. My confidence grew as I relaxed into it, and started making my own decisions where I thought certain colours should go. We sank a couple of glasses of wine, we chatted, listened to music and danced while we painted, and the three-hour session passed in a flash. I thought I’d only been painting for about 40 minutes.
I was buzzing afterwards, as I’d never imagined my painting would have turned out so good. Will expanding my creativity into painting help with my writing process? That remains to be seen… but I do have a really great piece of art, which I have hung proudly on my bathroom wall!