As part of the Psychologies Get Back Your Bedtime campaign, Eminé Ali Rushton rediscovers her love of painting
I was never ‘good at art’, but I did have a thing for watercolour. Probably because I am a water-baby, a lover of baths, a Cancerian, an islander twice over (both Cypriot and Brit). That first light dampening of the canvas with a clean brush, and the little tins I inherited from my Aunt, with their grooved lids. The patience and care, the delicate brush fibres, the dipping of the brush into clean water and watching colour clouds appear and disperse. It all comes flooding back.
Going back to it is incredibly pleasurable. It’s a silent evening, the sun setting outside, and both children are fast asleep. I have a thick sheet of 300gsm paper, a tin and a row of little brushes lined up on the kitchen table. I am excited. My aunt, who used to spend time teaching me, lovingly and generously, would always ensure that I did my draft sketches first. Wasting paint and paper felt, somehow, cruel. Tonight I sit down without forethought. I wash the paper, working on a pale blue sky. I add blots of green, brown, yellow. It’s the countryside, or a garden, the most innocuous thing I can think of. I have no interest in finished product, but simply savour the process, the rinsing and patting dry, the waiting to see what happens as the colours meet and chromatograms appear, beautiful blots that become other things.
I don’t linger long. Just 40 minutes, working on this beginning, has soothed me as deeply as the deepest bath or most innocuous novel. I realise that I am breathing differently. That my shoulders have dropped. That I feel…content. I pack things away, close the drawer, and find myself already looking forward to my next painting. Whenever that may be.
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