The Poetry of Painting



I have recently begun the age old craft of learning to paint. It doesn't feel like a beginning though, but rather a returning to an art form I have always loved. Before I ever picked up a camera or learnt graphic design, painting and drawing was my very first love. I remember art classes in high school were the highlight of my days in an otherwise fraught season of adolescence, the library too was a place of quiet retreat from the tumult of the playground outside. Over the years, I discovered other mediums in which to express my creativity and wildly, they also became a source of income. An itch, however, had started to grow in the past couple of years to find an outlet that was not behind a lens or in front of a computer, but rather in front of a canvas or behind a potter's wheel. Currently residing on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, opportunities for both these things have been aptly available to do. I enrolled into an arts class at The Art School Co a few months ago, and am currently continuing each term for as long as this place is called home. I also have done a couple of pottery classes at Syndicate Creative, for which I will shamelessly plug because I had the most wonderful time and if I find a chance to support a local business, well, I shall. I also attend art therapy classes each wednesday with my support care client, where we spend a delicious amount of hours pouring over artists and creating our own pieces of art. Suffice to say, the itch is being well attended to.

process— the beginning my first oil painting at the art school co.


In each term of art classes, we play with different mediums which I find so helpful as I am able to see what I gel with and potentially pursue further. I also learn mediums that I most likely never would've tried outside of the school. Towards the end of last term, we learnt to paint with oils. Since I can hardly remember, I have desired within every inch of my being to learn how to paint with this medium that all the masters of old used. Did I cancel myself out early on because I thought, how could I ever possibly achieve that? Unfortunately, yes. The dream lay dormant for many years. I am so thankful for the teachers at the art school for their patience and guidance in making an almost impossible medium to me, more accessible than I ever thought possible. I am utterly and unequivocally in love with this strangely enough, quite forgiving medium. In the madness of the world outside and more often than not, within, I am finding solace in every stroke upon the canvas. I am equally terrified and excited about the prospect about where this could lead, if not but just for the joy of the process of creating, which in essence is everything. Anything else is a beautiful bonus. There is nothing really ever quite like the feeling of being in the silvery slip stream of creativity, of tending to the call that lives within your bones to create. More often then not it takes a stepping out, as Juliette writes, into the wilderness carrying only a gentle whisper of 'yes, you can' that leads you into open fields where possibilities are endless. I believe to live an abundant and exuberant life full of joy is the Creator's will for us and His joy, is in our discovery and pursuit of what He has gifted to us in boundless supply. How will we ever know, if we do not try? There are desires of our heart that are born to be fulfilled. It never is when we think it to be, or even how, but it is always greater than we could have ever imagined.

One of the things I love about painting with oils is that it renders you to learn the rhythm of slow, the measured heartbeat of taking time. You cannot hurry this process, it demands your full attention. I am also thoroughly enjoying seeing how my background in photography and design marries well with painting, it is like another piece of the puzzle coming together. My first oil painting was inspired by a photograph I took in the studio a couple of years ago (pictured at the beginning of this post, a little outdoor studio I made for myself in the backyard, as idyllic as you can imagine) It is the longest I have taken on any artwork before. I have to remind myself that one, I am very new to this art form so it is okay to make mistakes and figure out as you go along, a continual reminder. Giving yourself the grace to be beginner is the best prayer of any artist, as Julia Cameron writes. Two, the masters of old took years and years on their artwork so what is a couple of months, reallyyyyyyy? What is pushing and pulling me to rush through this? And three, the fullness of joy is not found in the end product graced upon a wall, but right here, right now. In the process of muddying every piece of clothing, in the frustration and trepidation of mixing colours and in many moments of feeling way out of depth, but continuing anyway. I painted over a section of the artwork just after I took the photo so I could begin again as it just wasn't working (I learnt in this to not make the strokes of the underpainting too thick) and I thought, this frustration when tended to rightly led to a new beginning. In this sunny corner I call home, I put up a gentle protest to be guarded from the restlessness and hurriedness of the world. I quietly fight with every stroke of the brush and every linger upon a page of a book, with every moment I take in the glory of the sun setting over the pacific with nowhere else to be. Enraptured by the beauty of the world and my palette, a symphony of colours. Trusting that all shall be well and all is well when given into the hands, surrendering all into the tender and gentle embrace of Creator God.

not my first drawing ever, but definitely the first time attempting anything like this, guided by the best teachers at the art school co. from my very first class! how often can one say first in a sentence? 'drawing is the root of everything'—van gogh