I believe the way to exercise your creative muscles is to give them something new to work on every now and again. It does not matter whether it is a new technique, medium, colour or style – the fact that it is new is the key.
In life if we always do the same thing over and over we do get more proficient at it, but the downside is we may stop exploring, adventuring and exercising the right side of our brains. Why does that matter? Well the right side of the brain is where our source of endless possibilities sits, the voice that tells us “you can do it” the voice that encourages and inspires us. Amazingly by exercising the right side of the brain we open the door to endless possibilities in the whole of our lives and not just our creative lives.
With this in mind several weekends ago I decided I needed a new challenge, I have been working with acrylics for some time and getting to know them pretty well. I decided I wanted to learn a new media – I wanted to learn to paint in oils. I’ve always steered away from oils as I thought it’s too hard, it takes too long to dry, I am too impatient (actually this one is true, and I am working on it) and really I found it just a wee bit too scary!
That was until I met a local Auckland artist Vjekoslav Nemesh I am a big fan of Nemeshs work, it’s colourful, full of energy and spiritual at the same time, and what a bonus he teaches oil painting! OK I thought I am going to throw myself into the deep end, and give it a go and conquer my fear of painting in oils.
Nemesh was wonderful, so patient with a great sense of humour that immediately put you at ease. On the first day we were taught how to paint a landscape with mountains, blue sky and my favourite fluffy white clouds. Learning to push the paint around was tricky to say the least, but Nemesh persisted with me, and I managed to finish my first ever oil painting. Woo hoo!
Day two we learned to paint a koru, or NZ fern using only two colours – again this was great fun and much more difficult than it looked to master. I was pretty happy with myself, and appreciated so much the skills Nemesh was teaching me but something in my soul was craving to burst out of conventional images.
So when I began my third painting, I started pushing paint around without trying to create a specific image, this was my free flowing intuitive painting style coming through. Oh my gosh I was having so much fun, and yet I did not know what was coming next. Then I suddenly saw that the flowing colours were the wild curly mane of my true inner self, and as she emerged from the canvas I was mesmerised by her. I certainly can’t take all the credit, I needed help from Nemesh to bring her to life, and she now hangs proudly in my home.
I guess the messages I took from this whole experience were to face my fears, trust in others to guide and support me, and listen to my intuitive soul and above all to have fun! If you would like to learn how to break free of your fear of painting why not come along to one of my creative workshops and I would love to be your guide.
To check out Nemeshs work please go to www.nemeshart.com