42. Paint a canvas

Ok, I admit it… Friends, the canvas you bought me for my birthday has been wedged (unpainted) behind a cabinet in my living room since May… Until tonight…

The issue with this challenge… is that I fundamentally didn’t believe that I could paint. Which is obviously why it was on the list of challenges, and also why I have procrastinated so long about doing it!! Eventually I decided that unless I took myself somewhere where the sole reason for being there was to paint, I would possibly never commit to putting paint on canvas. And so it was that straight from work this evening I headed to Woods of Whitchurch to an ‘Art from the Heart’ class run by artist Amanda Hamilton (www.amanda-hamilton.com).

I was early; I made my way into the cafe with my paints and paraphernalia safely tucked in my bag, leaving my huge canvas in the car …just for the moment 😉 Amanda arrived around the same time, and as she prepared the space I had a cup of tea and prepared myself for the task to come. Thankfully tonight the class was small – just three of us, two of whom had plans to create delicate watercolour Christmas cards. And me, with my huge canvas, which I hadpaint-a-canvas1 now produced from my boot!

It didn’t matter how much I complained that I couldn’t paint, or didn’t know what I wanted to paint. I was here, and painting was the only option unless I turned tail and headed for home!! Time to be brave. And so I began. Using acrylics and a palette knife, I began to apply my colours to my canvas. Blobs and splurges of colour were swept across the canvas, blending into one another until the 30″x 20″ canvas was covered. It was quite relaxing and therapeutic…and I was actually beginning to enjoy myself!

But what now?

I sat and looked at what was in front of me. What was I seeing? I imagined a forest in darkness, and as I contemplated that as my background I began to see shapes and have ideas. Amanda sat next to me as I explained what I was thinking, and she offered some guidance on how to experiment with my ideas. Always reassuring me that with acrylics, the worst that could happen would be that I paint over it and have another go!!

I didn’t use a brush the entire evening. The next steps were carried out using my fingers, dipped in white paint, sometimes in water to soften lines as I picked out details and created my ‘scene’. I enjoyed the freedom of getting mucky and of really connecting with my chosen medium. And because I am me, I ended up with an angel, then moon and of course some sparkles…! I think in all of my forays into creativity – scrapbooking, card-making, word art – I have discovered an affinity for ‘mixed media’, so why would tonight be any different?!

The two-hour class flew by far too quickly. I was thoroughly immersed and relaxed, and I’m pretty proud of what I created – not because it’s wonderful (in fact when I got home, my kids took the wind out of my sails rather by asking ‘what is it?’!!!), but because I had the courage to do it. And that, after all, is what the challenge was about.

I may even try it again 🙂


[42 down, 8 to go]

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