April 25th, 2012
Our own Sue Merakian, a STAR Company Bookkeeper & Administrator, muses on making time and space in your own life to revel in your creative spirit.
As an early birthday present, my mom recently sent me a cornucopia of professional-grade water colour supplies; sheaves of heavy, soft paper, tiny tubes in myriad hues, and oh the brushes…from big fluffies to the tiniest spotters, and everything in between. Masking fluid and special erasers. A huge white tray waiting for pools of potential.
I was in eleventh heaven. I couldn’t get to them for a couple of weeks, but finally I had a whole day to devote to the exploration of the new medium. Most of my dabbling has been in oils; and though I love how easily they blend and the multidimensional possibilities of palette knife (and fingers), they don’t lend themselves to spur-of-the-moment creativity, or quick clean ups. How great is this, I thought, grabbing a simple jar of water and some paper towels.
Very quickly I discovered that these innocent pastel washes were possessed of some malign spirit. They dripped. They splattered. They oozed outside the lines. The paper pilled, swelled, and warped. The brushes kept dipping themselves in my coffee cup instead of the water jar. An hour later I was feeling more than a little frustrated. Clearly, a new approach was required. I decided to stop striving for a masterpiece, and start experimenting. Sheets of paper fell off table and piled up like damp leaves at my feet. Four hours went by in about a minute. It turns out that painting with water colours is all about turning rude surprises into I-meant-to-do-that. It forced me outside my artistic comfort zone, and to lose my perfection frame. Oh yes, some of the paintings were truly scoff-worthy. But three of them were amazing (if I do say so myself). The best part was how completely different these pieces were than anything I’d ever done before.
Like most people, I try to avoid looking foolish or incompetent. But I’m starting to wonder how much that protective instinct has limited not just my creativity, but all areas of my life. It is said that we should do one thing that scares us every day…
…tomorrow I’m going to make a pie crust.