Sometimes you have to throw caution to wind – just let go.
It’s not always easy to do of course. Life throws us so many curve balls, right? And you either hit those out of the park or you swing and miss. Sometimes you see (or should see) those balls coming and sometimes they are totally wild pitches. Hmmm. I have no idea where these baseball analogies are coming from, I don’t even like the game … maybe became the home team (San Francisco Giants) won the World Series this week??? No clue.
But much like this past World Series was for those that are passionate about the game, my life has been a roller coaster of emotions lately. So much so that it has been hard to find any creative mojo. However, one of the Life Book 2014 weekly classes caught my attention – called Expressive Florals taught by Tamara Laporte. In the class Tam used her hands and very few tools (the other end of a paintbrush, acrylic paint and some watercolor crayons) to create a pair of gorgeous flowers. Actually they are “expressive” flowers – meaning they are not meant to be specific flowers or even defined flowers.
Two things about this class immediately grabbed my attention: (1) she used her HANDS – childhood finger painting!!!! and (2) there was no intent to try to paint a real flower, so no pressure to make something necessarily recognizable. This was something I could wrap my over crowded brain around!
Up until now, I’ve only worked on a relatively small scale – 9 x 11 watercolor paper is as brave as I’ve been able to bring myself to be. After all, the bigger the piece, the more glaring it’s shortcomings, right? But I had an 11 x 14 canvas in reserve (for something special, someday) and I decided if I was going swing for a home run I might as well have both hands on the bat. (Geesh! What is the matter with me??)
Full disclosure: I take no ownership at all of the subject matter here. I merely followed along with the lesson and didn’t deviate in terms of color or composition. What Tam did, I did (or tried to do) – my brain couldn’t handle more than that. But I tell you what … getting my hands in that paint – literally tapping it around and smearing it? Then blending with my fingers and scraping at it with the wrong end of a paint brush? I actually started to see some of my pent up emotions on the canvas. Although you can’t seem them now (and it wasn’t part of the lesson), under some of those layers of paint are the names of a couple of people in my thoughts lately, along with a few words representing some of the emotions I’ve been feeling. I realized that I was letting go … not that the things on my mind had been resolved. Not at all. But it was like a pressure value had been released. When I finished the piece, it really did feel like a bases-loaded home run. Not that I made the best art piece in the world, but rather I had accomplished something integral to creating art. For just a little while, I stopped thinking. I permitted myself to let go and just enjoyed the process. When I was finished, my heart was just a little lighter – I guess you could say “the crowd roared”. Lol. Enough already with the baseball metaphors. You get the idea right? I’d love to hear about your pressure value releases – how do you work through life’s wild pitches?
And just because, I’ve got a freebie for you – for both my mixed media and digital friends. It’s a printable collage fodder sheet (both U.S. Letter and A4 sizes) and individual PNGs. I hope you find it useful – click on the image to download.