Saturday, 5 January 2013

Play

I don’t remember much about my early years. Just bits and pieces, blurry-edged fragments of memory and me myopically squinting into the past saying, ‘Eh? What was that? Where was I??’ Even if I don’t have vivid memories, what I can recall is a lighter feeling, a less furrowed brow. I remember being around six years old, at my school desk, my neighbour having pulled her tidybox out onto her lap, searching under swollen scrapbooks and Cuisenaire counting blocks for a rogue crayon. We pressed freshly-printed handouts to our noses, savouring the purple-inked paper’s smell and warmth. We giggled and talked as we made our pictures.  I glued crepe paper squares where I felt to, sprinkled glitter, chose colours from a shared bucket of crayons and felt pens, and filled the white spaces on my sheet with sunny yellows and oranges, deep blues…but not pink, never pink, not unless a dictatorial colour-by-numbers handout demanded it. My biggest exasperation was having to wait for someone else to finish using the lone cherry red crayon.
Today I hung out with my gorgeous artist friend Janine Whitling in her studio. I remembered what it was like to play as we painted, collaged, stamped and pow-wowed our way through the morning.
Here’s some of what I got up to…

collaging















mixing paints















painting over an old canvas...with crazy-bright orange :-)
















stamping and more collaging















No goals. No rules about how we should create or what looked best. And it was so much fun.
Sometimes grown-up life can feel a bit 'colour-by-numbers' - a bit rigid and unimaginative, with pressure to meet certain expectations. There’s something awesome about making time to paint or write, doing something creative. Not because I need to become a painter or writer, or because I need to produce something, but just to nurture that part of me that doesn’t have a furrowed brow, the kid inside that’s waiting to play - to remember that grown-up life can still be so very simple and lovely.
J xx



6 comments:

  1. how absolutely perfect your description of the day is. That's exactly how it felt for me too. Even though i'm in the studio every day, yesterday was really special because it was about play and hanging out with a friend. SO lovely and fun!

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  2. I can't remember the last time I played like that. Great description!

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  3. Wow, great blog post! You had me thinking of my daughters, the eldest of which is very arty and is about to embark on school this year. One of my great worries is to protect her creativity from being crushed by the regimental school system and society in general. how to capture that freedom of expression before it gets cruched by the way things should be done.

    I envy you in some ways. It has taken me years to free up my art as far as I have come now and I still have to strive for a product in the end, and am forced to bed towards my own self imposed 'the ways things should be'. The freedom you speak of is still outside my reach. But I will find it one day. I'll just keep trying to play.

    Thank you for the wake up call :D

    Best wishes,
    Liz

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    1. You're very welcome, Liz :-). Happy playing!
      J xx

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  4. How lucky that you got to create with Janine! I love what you said about no rules and not having a set end in mind. I need to create like that more often. Lovely post!

    :)

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    1. I know! I'm a very lucky (and grateful) chicken ;-).
      J xx

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