Signature

I’ve taken the step and have signed my painting. Seascape is the first painting I’ve signed! (I’m disregarding the paintings done at school)

It’s long overdue, I have finally signed my most recent painting. It is a big deal. For one, I never felt a painting was feeling finished enough to sign. And two, how was I going to sign my name?

Isn’t it interesting what I was hung up on? What did it matter how I signed my name? As long as I signed it. I thought about writing my initials, or my full name, or a shortened version of my name. Then I realised it didn’t matter.

What mattered was that I took the step to sign my artwork. Because in doing so, I was saying to the world, but more importantly to myself, that I am happy, proud, and content with what I’ve created. And I am just that with this seascape. My signature might change with time, but of course that won’t matter. It’s all part of my development as an artist.

Driven to finally take the step of signing my name on my painting I realised I didn’t know what brush to use. Or what colour. These details do sort of matter. I asked my teacher. The colour didn’t have to be black, but a colour used in the painting. So I used a blue tone. I borrowed the teachers brush. I didn’t have a brush that was thin enough. Then I jumped in. I didn’t practise. I simply signed my name. And I think that it’s the best part of this painting.

I look forward to signing many more paintings.

 

The Perspective of Art

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We’ve all heard this saying and something similar can be said about art and the creation of art. During the first lesson of my intermediate art class, the teacher took us through mixing colours to create tones, tints, and shades. The mixed colours were used to create a colour palette on canvas and then to paint a small image, the purpose to attempt to create the colours seen.

I’m very nervous in art classes. For me, I’m not so good, I’m learning and trying to develop my own skill in its intuitive uniqueness. I’m more of a free-from artist, even when I write, so it was natural for me to add my own approach to what I was painting. When the teacher came by and asked me what I was doing, I answered I was making it up. She re-illiterate the task, and left me to it. Re-create the colours you see in the still life. At one point I had to add more blue to the purple and something about high or low tones. But why, if what I was doing was painting what I was seeing?

I was painting the colours in my own perspective, which was unique to me – just as I do when writing. If describing a scene or an object, I use my perspective and so my words would be different to someone else who saw the same scene or object. The point here for me, is that I gained an insight to my creative expression which is similar in both writing and painting. I create what I see, but I don’t always see what everyone else sees.

This makes it tricky to teach art. How can art be taught when it’s down to the personal perspective and expression of the creator? There needs to be a basic understanding, which of course that’s what the teacher was trying to teach me. I don’t want to mix colours and always get brown, but it’s in the creativity where the perspective changes right from the first brush stroke. Once the basics are learnt, then it’s about bringing alive my own perspective, whether hidden or intuitive. It’s about valuing the perspective of art, the creating, applying intuition, adding a little logical thought, and then simply letting it be to shine out in the world.

Balancing Act

I used to wish for time where I could write uninterrupted. Through life events I’d rather not have happened, I found myself able to take time out from a full time teaching job to write. It wasn’t quiet the romantic idea I had in mind, and as time went on, I needed to go back to work to earn money.

Then began a time of inner conflict as my job drained my energy. I found it difficult to have the time, and space I needed to find the inspiration to write. But slowly I began to adjust. I learnt to carve out time for my writing (this has taken two years to achieve) and find a balance between work (which I do enjoy) and also my writing (which I love).

It hasn’t been easy.

In the process, I’ve found some hidden benefits to not writing full time.

On the ground level, work has provided a chance for me to have a break from writing, and it takes me away from spending too much time alone. As much as I would love to, it’s not healthy for me to write all the time, spending long hours each day alone with my imagination. The real world calls me to be a part of it. Teaching primary school children is a big reality check.

When at school I’m listening to student’s stories, usually about how they are so excited and proud to have a loose tooth. I’m reminded how when five I used to show off my wobbly teeth to adults. I see now from watching students my finger was in the way, and no one saw my tooth, but not once did they let on, just as I don’t now. While working, I’m also interacting with adults, sharing stories, ideas, and teaching practices, which stirs up emotions, memories, just like a wobbly tooth.

At work, I’m interacting with a lot of people, I’m talking and listening, and while this doesn’t feed directly into my writing it helps me to feel part of life. Meeting people at work provides an outside influence, it draws me out of my head and into the real world, and it stirs up sparks of creativity within my mind. It also gives me a chance to help others and provides further purpose to my life.

It’s a complicated relationship between work and writing. I express myself differently at both places. But by realising these two areas of my life can work together in harmony is freeing.

I never thought work and writing could find a balance. But now, my ideas flow just as much whether I’m teaching or not and that’s a good position to be in.