Colors as saviors

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Some years ago, 2013-14 I think, when I lived through my worst burn-out period and could neither read nor write due to difficulties to concentrate, I was saved by coloring. Coloring instead of writing, let my inner self find a way to express my need to be creative.

Actually, I began having fun with photos already in 2009, but from that time I seem to have destroyed more images than I actually created any. A couple of “hits”, but then it was more of a learning period than anything else. Fun yes, so nothing wrong with that, but I seem to have almost nothing left from those early years.

Four, five years later, I hadn’t yet experienced this type of coloring, an app with already drawn images to choose from. Not even any physical coloring book! Instead, I somehow began to use my own photos more frequently, and with them as a base, playing around with overlays, filters and such.

Very amusing it was, and after a while, I found out I was good at it. Well, not the very first trials of course, but soon enough. And I enjoyed it immensely!

Image based on an old photo of mine

Not long after, I happened to be placed at a church, and that led to that I began to make posters for the Sunday sermons. And that task grew to also make folders, adds, brochures and the monthly internal “newspaper”.

It was amazing to see how much the choice of colors, fonts, images etc influence the total. The layout and the interaction between dark and light are utterly important for what the poster, folder etc will say to the viewer. And this work for the church took over some of the time I earlier had spent on making my own images.

Now, I no longer have a church to make posters for, and actually – I don’t miss it! Not that I couldn’t make images in poster-format… I could if I wanted to.

Just an excerpt from a photo, which I’ve meddled with.

It’s just that I still don’t take many photos! I thought I would, once I came home, but I haven’t! Hopefully, I will again, sooner or later. Instead, during these two years, the coloring has grown on me. And also the apps, have developed into having more sophistic and varied possibilities. So I use these fairly simple drawings, which I color, and then finish with one or more added layers on Pixlr.

And Now?!?
I’m actually considering trying to paint on canvas!

I am considering what?!?!?!?!
I who can’t draw! Not a straight line! Or even less a curved one!!!

But I have three canvases at home, and I have acrylic paint and lots of pencils…

Okay! So it has been on my mind for several years actually. I have tried to paint with watercolors, aquarelle, the technique where you dilute the paint with water to get a paler, more or less transparent look, but that seemed to NOT be my cup of tea. (Oh, these British expressions…) Using watercolor without diluting it with water, seems to be more coherent to me. Painting gouache, in other words. Or with acrylic paint!

I admit!!! I’ve been storing this equipment, paint, pencils, and canvases for several years now – because I’m afraid! It’s so much easier just to take something where the sketch is already made, and just add colors! Clicking on icons on the iPad. EASY! How could my hands obey what my mind tells them when they never have done so in the past?

But just now, I came to think of those short “sketches” we did when I studied writing. Not draw, but write for five minutes or ten, whatever came into one’s mind. Perhaps we had a photo as inspiration, or a random sentence, or a couple of words…

At first, it was terrifying and difficult, the first years actually. But oddly enough! The closer I came to that “brain shut down burn out”, the easier it became for me to just let go in these short training sessions! That was really odd…

It must be the same with painting. I “just” have to relax and let go!

(And I have lately been having fantasies about having an easel standing here in the window corner… )

One of my latest coloring pieces.