In this (slightly vulnerable!) blog post I have shared why I paint and why I like to wear this fraying grey sweatshirt with holes in whilst I do!
When my father died 5 years ago, I remember in my daze that I drew a picture of him. It was not a very good depiction but the end result wasn’t the reason I did it. I just needed to do it. Drawing gave me some peace from all the big thoughts and emotions I was feeling. During my life I have come up against anxiety and postnatal depression. At times I wasn’t sure how to manage it but now I know that being creative lifts my mood.
In recent years I have now started to see painting as a form of ’self care’. I know that this is a new buzz word but I think we all have something we do which is a creative outlet even if is not in the traditional sense. This can help us to switch off from our hectic, noisy world. What I love about painting is that my body is busy but my mind is still. I know that my husband finds the same thing with gardening and my mother in law with baking (her's is the tastiest fruit cake in the world!). When people ask me how often I paint I say that I try and do something creative every day, whether it is just for five minutes or several blissful hours of painting. In full transparency, if I don’t do something I can get a bit crabby and I am probably not as nice to be around! So, despite the Mum guilt at a weekend when I might sneak into the studio to do a quick session, I now know that I am a better wife, mother and generally a calmer, more smiley person afterwards.
So, whatever your outlet might be, whether it’s reading, running or doing The Times crossword… allow yourself a bit of time if you can. I appreciate that everyone has a different story and is not at the same point in their life. I am aware that I am very fortunate that I can do what I love and do it as a vocation too...which, as a consequence can sometimes be the actual cause of feelings of stress and frustration (but that is another story!). I know that there are lots of people out there who may be busy parents, carers or working full time and have lots of other demands on their precious time. If it’s possible, whether it’s for a few minutes or longer, it can be worthwhile to try and see if you can balance your life with a little bit of what makes you happy because ultimately, I believe, you are not the only one who will feel the benefit!
If you would like to give yourself a bit of time to be creative then it would be lovely to have you join me on one of my painting workshops. Details can be found on the Workshop tab.
P.S The scruffy sweatshirt was my Dad’s…