Last week, for a creative challenge, I suggested drawing the view from a window. I have to admit that being in Lockdown with two children who need my attention constantly, I found it hard; not least because the window I wanted to draw out of is in my son’s bedroom and, as my children turned down the idea of us all drawing it together, the only time I would have the chance to do it was when he was in bed. So, I took a photo at sunset with some lovely vibrant colours. However, in the process of taking it from photo to painting/drawing I decided I liked the monochrome line drawing made with old fashioned carbon paper. I realised that because it is taken in the evening and the rooftops are very dark that I haven't distinguished one house's roof from the next. This led me to feel that it is quite apt for the moment and have titled it 'We are all Under the Same Roof'. My drawing is below, don’t forget to share yours if you want to, details of how to are at the end.
Last weekend I was due to hold a workshop at Bridlington Contemporary Gallery called ‘Painting an Abstract Self Portrait.’
It was to go like this: After a short meditation/visualisation we paint a canvas in whichever way it feels good to do, with freedom to purely express. This is a representation of how we see ourselves or feel in general which can be taken however you want it to be taken; it is fun to do while at the same time you have the opportunity to listen to yourself and tune in to many of the below the surface elements that lead to insights and revelations, possibilities and self connection. There would of course be a tea and cake break. Then there is an opportunity to investigate the colour choices, shapes or patterns and what they mean to us. How do we really depict ourselves?
The workshop has obviously been postponed. Being in lockdown can be challenging, so being able to vent, or emote, with paint, pens, paper or canvas brings relief and resolution to uncomfortable events, I seriously recommend it.
I’m considering offering the workshop online, you can email me with a ‘Yes Please!’ if it is something you’d be interested in.
It has got me thinking that if we had done this exercise before lockdown and then repeated it during or afterwards, it would be interesting to observe the differences, whatever and whenever ‘afterwards’ may look like.
So here is the creative challenge for this week:
Yes, you’ve guessed right; it is a self portrait. It can be done in any way whatsoever; if it is a line drawing on the back of an envelope, or a canvas splodged with a rainbow of colour; or a collage or detailed sketch. Anything goes as long as you're not considering how it might be received by other people and are focused on how you are feeling and the enjoyment of self expression. That in itself is the challenge, and one that will be as much on a level for me as it will be for you.
If you’re in need of inspiration or wish to explore self portraits in more detail, this is a nice article about Picasso which shows as well that experimenting with different styles and media is cool. Read it HERE.
I can’t write about self portraits without mentioning Frida Kahlo; the queen of self portraiture. There is a great piece about her work HERE.
So, I invite you to have a meeting with yourself and display it in any way you want to. There is no obligation to show it to anyone. It is just you meeting you.
If you want to share then wonderful, if you don’t then it’s fine. Just have a good time.
You can share it in the Attentive Art Group on Facebook
Or put in on instagram and tag @attentive_art
Or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
PS If you’re looking for a lockdown gift then I have a range of pretty pebbles, Zen Creativity Art Kits and more over at THE ELEVEN O FOUR STORE