Apropos painting

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Never say: I can’t!
Maybe it was true when you were five, or maybe ten years ago. Maybe it was true even yesterday, or an hour ago. Does that mean it will be true tomorrow or for the rest of your life? No!

I can’t draw and I can’t paint. That’s something I’ve said to myself for as long as I can remember. And one fact is, that my hands never have obeyed what my mind has ordered them to do.

Of course, I’ve been drawing now and then during my life. In school, when I was very young, we actually had lessons in drawing. At that time, it was obviously important to have artistic and creative skills on the menu. Not only drawing. We also had music, both singing and learning some instrument. I’ve gone through the flute, a small wooden one, mandolin, guitar and then ended up with a piano for several years.

I was never any good in drawing, and I can just wonder – was this due to an actual lack of talent, or did I as a little one get so much negative critic that I started to believe it myself?

I don’t know! It may be one or the other, or a mix of both. On the other hand, it seemed that I already at a very early age had some flair for words. Learned early how to read, and not too long afterward I also started to write.

What I do remember is, that I, as a young girl for several years during school, had a best friend who was very skilled in drawing. So her skills in drawing and mine in writing naturally led to us making “books”. We made up some kind of stories, I wrote them down, and she made the illustrations.

Fair and square…

So it may be true, that my skills are painting with words, not with paint. However, I’ve realized I do have an “eye” for images, so in my head, there is some kind of talent for painting after all. It’s just that there is not much of a connection between my mind and how my hands respond to what my mind imagines.

Does that mean I could never learn to paint at all? Never say never! I told you that when I began this post. But there is a second question as well! Do I really, really want to be able to paint – and do it well?

Of course, I can already put paint on a piece of paper or on canvas! That’s not the hard part, per se! But can I do it and at least to myself feel content with the result? Fairly content?

First of all: I think one can learn almost anything one sets one’s mind to learn. I also know, I can hardly be a new Rembrandt or Gauguin or like any of the big painters. But that isn’t my goal anyway! I would like to paint just for the fun of it, and feel good about doing it!

When aiming for some kind of creativity to pursue, my main goal is and has always been, to write.

My first attempt to paint with watercolors, as a grown-up, was in spring 2014. I was in one of those “unemployeds-activities” we had to undertake, and one of the women in my group there, was also a painter. She offered us a couple of lessons in “how to paint aquarelle”!

I thought it sounded interesting, joined the group and it was really fun. But, as a matter of fact – it was also extremely difficult! It was a little bit easier after I had quit the floating water part, and instead used the color as it was. Creamy.

Those two paintings I made then and there, I later throw away. They were just too bad!

A year ago it was time for a new painting experiment. At that time I was back here in my hometown, had reconnected to some old friends and got some new ones. In one of my groups of new friends, we had the possibility to do different stuff, like, for example, paint! I tried acrylic colors on a small canvas.

Not a particularly beautiful result, but it was easier to do than to paint with  watercolors, and I thought it was very fun doing it. Kind of satisfying!

About 6 months later, autumn 2018, with the same people and in the same place, I tried the water color again. There were no acrylic paint left…
Also this time I had absolutely no idea what I would make of it, but apart from the huge “A-tower” – which I have absolutely no idea why I painted it or why I even got the idea. But! Besides that, it turned out fairly good. Not GOOD, just fairly. From some distance, it is quite okay! Especially the see and the boat.

And was fun to do too! (to-do-too…)

The small one, I made last week. The canvas only 15 x 15 cm, and I was trying to paint a mandala. On free-hand…. HAHAHAHAHAHA

When making the photo of that one smaller in pixlr, I also found a frame I thought was fun, and added it…

 

I’m inclined to say, that those lessons in painting with watercolor in 2014, did something to me. I had friends who was painters in the other city, went to their exhibitions, talked to them, enjoyed their company. For about three years I’ve had three rather big canvases lying around together with acrylic colors, wax crayons, colorpens, glitterglue… without using them. Don’t laugh at me now! I have two small easels. One I use for my iPad… HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I have always liked to visit museums and exhibitions showing photos and paintings, so the concept per se wasn’t new to me. I had also since sometime around 2007 become more and more into making blog appearances and home pages. Mostly I enjoyed doing the layouts, with colors, fonts, images etc. I got nervous over the technical stuff behind it all…

And now! Since at least five or six years ago, I’ve been doing more and more experimenting with photos and other kinds of images on the computer and on the iPad especially. Also, the curiosity and appetite on painting with real paint on paper/canvas has grown stronger. PLUS the longing for new things in my life, meeting new friends and adding good things on the whole.

It’s a special treat to be doing stuff in the neighborhood. The local library has a lot going on, and the people you meet there, most of them, live nearby. On the same street, or the next one!
And I have lived in this neighborhood before, for quite many years, so I know where this is or that is! After been living 11 years in another city where you have no family and no roots, and then coming back to where you belong… it’s like coming to heaven!

So today I took the next step. In the afternoon I went to the nearby library, and attended a group of painting-people! And every Monday from now on, from 4 PM to 6.30 PM, I’ll gather together with these wonderful people. Yeah! I really had such a  good time today and I so look forward to next Monday.

The result, considering painting? Well, yes! Not good, but it felt good!

By the way! I REFUSE to feel bad about these awkward paintings! I know they’re aren’t beautiful, but I’ve had fun painting them – they are mine, and they are born through my stubborn, uncooperative hands.

 

So this is today’s “work”. The “teacher” insinuated I worked too fast, I should have used at least 3 Mondays á 2,5 hours to create an image this size (A3). Well, maybe I AM a speedy person when creating something? Or not! Maybe I have to learn how to draw? If that’s even possible…

Anyhow! I think this lady looks so angry! I didn’t mean her to be this angry. Then I thought, this is some subconscious part of me. Imaging some, to the conscious me, unknown anger. I wonder what? And if so, how I can free it, release it, let it go?

Now, when looking at the photo of the painting, it’s like there is another face beneath the woman’s face. Not under the chin or so, more like it’s inside her! If you focus on the nose, you can see it. Her mouth is covered by the womans big red lips like a sticking plaster. And the eyes! Like if one is closed and the other one slightly dimmed, and almost – but not yet – covered by the womans big angry, filled with despair…

Or is she breaking free?  Is THAT why the angry women is so askew? And not really angry? Just falling apart. No wonder there is pain involved…

AND! I CAN! In my own way…

 

Oh! My! God!

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This new blank page, totally empty – and demanding – it’s scary like hell…

“Now, now! Be strong, Thêa! You know you can do it!”

“I know… but… still scared…”

“See it for what it is, an old, untrue belief, then put it away.
Say: I’m good at this! I can do it!”

“Okay!
I’m good at this!
I can do it!
I’m good at this!
I can do it!
I’m good at this!
I can do it!
I can!”

Like a blindfolded fool

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Like a blindfolded fool,
you don’t see what is obvious,
right in front of your eyes.

Then you get a bit surprised,
when you see you actually had
acted cleverly,
and dated the last writing session.

(chapter seven)

Apropos writing

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Things are growing on me!

One of my friends in my Thursday afternoon group, M, also wants to participate in a writing class. We have been talking about this earlier, and yesterday we brought up the topic again. It doesn’t have to be posh or anything! It doesn’t even have to have a teacher.

What we want is someplace to be, someplace where we can meet. To write, to talk about writing, help each other, read each other’s texts, express some thoughts about it. Briefly speaking – to pep each other in letting the inspiration grow. I’ve never been writing as much, never having a more blooming fantasy, than during those 6 years I attended writing classes. And I want to do that again. For inspiration and for friendship!

I found nothing of the sort on any of the adult educational facilities in this town. Which is really lousy!!! In this rather big city, not even ONE class for us author wannabes. One can choose to learn a language, even Farsi, Chinese, or Swahili if one wants. One can learn how to cook, or – of course – learn to work on a computer, how to build a homepage or – at my surprise actually – how to use WordPress…

Not. One. Single. Class. For. Enhancing. Writing skills.

On the other hand – we save some money that way!

There might be an opening after all, at this church we attend Thursday afternoons. The Deaconess is trying to be allowed to have an “open house” Tuesday forenoons. If the priest in charge says yes to this, M and I and a couple more if there is interest for it, can squeeze ourselves in behind any free table. So! Let’s hope for that!

 

Late the evening before yesterday, I suddenly opened Scrivener to see what I might have lying there. And! There was a draft, of a kind of a “Murder mystery” I started working on years ago. I read it through, had written 10 827 words, and it was good! Only a couple of minor things to change, would probably only take a few minutes to refresh…

I got very tempted to continue on this draft, but then there was this question banging around in my head. What would I write? How might this story proceed? What happens after this?

I remember I got stuck at this very spot, had absolutely no idea how to continue. I’ve experienced that before. But at that time I was at the end of the story, and the problem was easily solved by deleting the last paragraphs. Then, there was the end of it!

Is that how I should proceed here as well? By deleting the last 1, 2 or 3 paragraphs? And then restart writing from that point?

That could be a reasonable solution!

Do I want to proceed writing on this “Murder Mystery” (which NOT is a traditional murder mystery)? I have other drafts as well, both more and less voluminous. And not all of them are murder mysteries. So far, as far as I can remember, this is the only one I’ve written that begins with someone finding a dead body…

I seem to be a multi-genre-versatile writer… or something…