January is often a month that signals new beginnings and resolutions. It is a time to slow down and reflect on yourself after the busy season of Christmas where the focus is on giving. This was a great January for me. I was selfish and spent time with me! If you know me you will understand that this was difficult for me. I am always busy doing stuff, helping where I can. Outgoing, sometimes obnoxious (yes, if you really really know me you know this). This January I was selfish.
I am creative by nature. I show my creative side in many ways, crafting, sewing, cooking and the like. The one thing I long to do is paint. It is the one thing that my world interferes with. I used to paint. When my kids were little and I had a great group of artist friends around me to encourage. Life got busy. People moved. It became more difficult to set aside time and space to paint. Yes you need space away from little fingers that want to help. I would paint the odd picture but there were years between. After a while I lost confidence in my ability to put paint to canvas. So it was time.
The challenge came over an August cup of tea with a wonderful painter friend. Since we don’t live close anymore we decided it was time to challenge each other to paint. Three pictures this winter and we had to try something different, to stretch ourselves. In an effort to share with her I posted to Facebook. This was an encouragement I did not count on or fully appreciate the affect it would have. Thank you all my friends for the likes and positive feedback. Apparently I can still paint recognizable paintings. It has been fun having friends even find out I paint. Yes it has been that long.
Once I got started it started to flow and as one friend said it is spewing forth. Now I normally paint with oil paints and a palette knife. So my challenge was to try out Acrylic paint, use a brush and to paint quick impressionistic pictures. No time to over think. I painted out a bunch of canvases with a background underpainting and got busy. I started with bales and prairie. Something I love and am very familiar with. I tried an abstract mountain scene and then a harbour scene. My limited white paint supply dictated a change. I even did a “paint by number” art tutorial with my Granddaughter which was fun for both of us.
What I really gained was a peace I haven’t felt in a long time. My soul has longed to use this Spirit gift and I wasn’t really happy until I did. Blogging is another one I have wanted to practise. Today it’s two for one. In these difficult economic times it has been wonderful to retreat into appreciating beauty, simpler things and an opportunity to be truly grateful. I highly recommend doing something you want to do, just for you. What gifts do you have?