Friday, June 12, 2015

A little thank you.

My friend, Marisa, is a talented photographer and just over a year ago she embarked on a gratitude project.  Each day for a whole year she posted a photographic image online that reflected her gratitude for an experience or moment.

I was really inspired by the project but wanted to find another way of creating images - mainly because the tech-skill requirement was too high for me.  Sometimes messing about with cameras, computers, cables, downloading, uploading, wifi etc kind of takes away the will to live, know what I mean?  

I have been on an amazing creative adventure over the last few years and have been learning many skills, but always felt useless at 'art'.   So - because I like to give myself a challenge - I decided that it would be fun to draw the images in my journal.  I find drawing very frustrating, things never look on paper the way they do in my head, so I felt that giving myself the task of drawing every day would help me overcome a belief that I can't draw and encourage me to develop the skills at the same time.

Of course a project like this requires just the right equipment and, as you may have already guessed, I needed little excuse to go shopping in search of art supplies.  

First the journal: plain pages, not too big, nice paper, easy to fit in my handbag. (I also realised that with 365 days to record there may be a need for more than one book). Of all the places, Ikea had exactly the right one.  Nice shape, right size pages and not too 'precious' that it would make me nervous to draw in.

Then, oh joy of joys, colouring pencils!  I can't tell you how ridiculously happy buying a big tin of colouring pencils made me. 

 Well, actually, I had to first spend a couple of minutes justifying the price, but after that I got the most enormous rush of childlike delight with a flashback memory of a gift of a set of crayons.  The woody, smokey smell of them, the strangely mouthwatering spectrum of colours and the sheer delicious, exciting anticipation of creating pictures.  I reclaimed all of that in one purchase of Faber-Castell watercolour pencils.  Priceless!

I usually write the journal at night - taking time to focus in on what I want to give thanks for and how best to convey it in an image.  I have to confess there have been a few dark times when I've got to the end of the day and wondered what to say...but after a few moments reflection something amazing shines through.  

Expressing gratitude and spending a few moments drawing (and colouring!) creates a wonderful end to the day.  

Not only do I also fall asleep faster, I sleep much deeper and, even in the short time since I started,  my drawing skills have improved hugely!

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