August 3, 2016

Long ago, when my sons went to school, they each in turn came home in Year 1 or 2 saying it wasn’t fair that they didn’t paint much anymore, or play games in class, like in Prep (the first transitional year of school).

Learning gradually became less about play and more about absorbing the knowledge of others.

Speaking with a friend today about joining a drawing class she said no I can’t draw. Oh but I did a watercolour workshop once, every day for a week, but failed miserably. I asked how so? In reply, one of those stories came out where the teacher’s rigid method and criticism left no room to move, and no desire or confidence to paint again.


Lately I’ve started to paint again, with watercolour also. Just playing really. To reacquaint myself with what watercolour is, what it does, what I can learn, what I can encourage it to do.



Ode to the Common Cold

March 28, 2011

Last Sunday evening I sneezed a few times, and again on Monday. On Tuesday I went to work but was home in bed by lunchtime. It was a great relief to sink into my bed under the doona in the middle of the day. That’s the first good thing about having a cold.

As a child I had a cold every winter, and stayed home from school for a week. My nose was stuffed full of snot and my throat sore, but I had mum to myself. Sure I had to stay in bed but she brought me vegemite toast and cordial at regular intervals. Believe me, when you have eight brothers and sisters, its something you don’t forget. I think I might even have told that story already on this blog.

Back to last week. After that moment of relief things went rapidly downhill. Drip drip went my nose, and by evening my head felt like the bends might – too much pressure and too much pain. So I lay about for two days while the Cold had its way with me.

When I was finally strong enough to go out I went to my studio, knowing, for the first time since January, exactly what I wanted to do there. When I arrived I did something completely different, but that was OK because it flowed easily out of me. My head was clear and calm. I was clear and calm.

I had to be calm because I hadn’t recovered yet. But the clarity was the gift – the second good thing about having that cold. Too ill to worry about anything else, my mind cleared along with my head.

And what I did in the studio was play with colour.

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