Picking up my brushes after a very long time...

May 12, 2016

Lately, I have been eager to write a new update on how I've been doing so far. As you see, I am still not back to full time blogging, but I can tell you that I am almost there. I actually enjoy the thought of blogging again.

Last year, and this one, I was infested with an uneasy and restless feeling, and this was also one of the (surely many) reasons I quit blogging for the time being; there was too much going on and it irritated me to no extent that I could not find the source of the restless feeling inside of me that apparently wanted to burst out so badly. It consumed me.

 Photography is still one of the things I can find peace in. I love taking nature photos,
and look at these gorgeous Lilacs I photographed. My hometown, Zutphen, is full of them. Imagine all the historic buildings, dating back to the medieval time, as a backdrop to so many colorful flowers.

I decided to go on an inner journey; I wanted to find inner peace, calmness, self-love and acceptance, and, mainly, find the answer to who I am as a person and what I stand for. I also wanted to learn how to be the best possible person I can be to myself and to others. I can tell you: I have learned a great damn deal about myself in quite a short amount of time. Some things that I learned about myself made me happy, and other things did not.

Last year I quit coffee, but a few months back I started again. It's 
my fuel for everday and I just love it too damn much!
Dress: Doggy dress by the Seamstress of Bloomsbury

In a former blog post, I told you I am working on two major traumas (together with my trusted therapist of six years) that caused my Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although the treatment, which is called Imaginaire Exposure, is very hard, it gave me already -even though I am still in the very beginning stages of the treatment- much insight in how my brain works.

I've always had an interest in psychology, so the philosopher and analyst inside of me think of this journey as not only véry tough, but interesting and full of insight, too, in how sometimes the human mind copes with traumatic experiences.

The treatment not only helps me to process my traumas, but it also gives me a starting point toward a better life; keeping in mind that in the past I let my traumas shape my personality and distort my view on the world. But no more! Finally, for me, unanswered questions that I had are being answered. This gave me so much already.

Still, besides all this, I couldn't shake the restless feeling I had gnawing inside of me, and I didn't know where it came from. Then suddenly, during a sleepless night, it dawned on me. It was my creativity gnawing. It wanted to get out. And it wanted to get out NOW.

I had a huge urge to just rise from my warm bed in the middle of night, and to paint all my emotions on a canvas, even though abstract painting is usually not for me.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Pablo Picasso
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_art.html
 The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. — Pablo Picasso
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Pablo Picasso
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_art.html
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Pablo Picasso
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_art.html

I have been toying with the idea of painting again for quite some time, yet I never really started with it. I used to paint a lot as a young child and adolescent. I was always sitting next to my father, who is, next to his job as a teacher and soldier, an artist in heart and soul, and I was always painting (well, trying to) what he was painting - which learned me a great deal about techniques and such. My father is a magnificent still life painter, by the way. The father of my mother, and thus my grandfather of course, was also a painter.

 Me painting in my fathers atelier. On the photo I was 4 years old.

These two artistic men in my life have always been a huge inspiration to me in the art area; they learned me to appreciate and value art, and they also always encouraged me to follow my own creative path. Though in the past I did not always give in to my creative outbursts when I actually just should have, I decided to finally follow them in their footsteps.

Me and my father at Art Eindhoven, where my father was exhibiting his work, which you can see behind us.

It was time for me to pick up my brushes again and start painting. I am crazy about watercolor paint, and last Christmas my father gifted me his old box of watercolors and pastels, which meant a great deal to me, and these were the ones I decided to start with. I had absolutely no idea if I would succeed, but who cares!? I decided to start small, paint something simple. Just to get the feeling again and to get the hang of it.

I've shunned painting for a long time because I could not find the patience, but also my ongoing pursuit of perfection got in the way (a typical Capricorn trait). Then I reminded myself of a quote by Salvador Dalí, whose work I had the pleasure of admiring in an art gallery in Prague back in 2011, and this gave me the ultimate push I needed to finally start painting again. It is as follows:

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." — Salvador Dalí

 Brushes in my signature color: lipstick red. Ofcourse. ;-)

Together with my father, I went shopping for stuff to start my painting. The day after, I immediately went to work. I made a large pot of my favorite tea (Lapsang Souchong laced with Lavender), put on some of my favorite music and there I went. Brushstroke after brushstroke. And what a magnificent feeling thát was! I felt complete, whole again. I felt like a happy, living human being again; something I haven't felt for quite some time.

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”
― George Bernard Shaw

I am so happy to tell you that I feel really good lately; I'm happy, cheery. Painting made me a much calmer person than I was before... even my friends and family noticed it. Something in my life fell back into its place. The feeling that I missed something... is gone. The urge to create is finally freed from being caged for so many years. It felt like coming home.

I noticed that when I am done with a painting, and I have been painting for several hours, I feel drained... in a good way. I feel relieved. Satisfied. I feel like a happy human being should feel.

I started with a simple painting. Those who have the book Your Beauty Mark by Dita von Teese, will most likely recognize this painting. Many of my friends have remarked that it actually looks a lot like yours truly - which was entirely unintentional. Click to enlarge for the detail of the eye.

I am toying with the idea of searching for a little place which I can turn into an atelier. If you know me, you know that I have a very high need, at times, of time spent entirely alone to come to my senses. I am an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person - which is not a disorder, but it's just something you are or are not) and the world can become very overwhelming to me. I need a little sanctuary to come to my senses, so it would be ideal to realize a little atelier, where I can paint, or just create things in general (I'd love to start a ceramics course one day, and start making my own rustic dinner- and serve ware.) Cross your fingers for me that I'll find that perfect little place in the near future. 

Because of my creativity being on the loose these weeks, I found more creativity in other areas as well, and that's, I think, very convenient for my blogging, too. You can expect my blog up and running in the near future again, though I have promised myself to take it slow first.

Now, did I eventually make the abstract paintings I craved during that sleepless night? Did I give a tangible shape to my emotions? I did. Will I share it? No. While I have no problem sharing other paintings, I think painting one's emotions in the heat of the moment is very personal. Art is personal, in many aspects, but while I love for people to give their own interpretation of my creative projects, my painted emotions are mine and mine alone, and I would feel vulnerable sharing them. Some of them would put Rorschach to shame... (nah, just kidding)!

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” ― Aristotle

It reminded me of a conversation I had a few months ago, with a (undeniably talented) painter on an art exhibition who told me he had a hard time finding the right audience for his paintings. He made abstract art; more specifically: his own emotions. People did not understand it, he said, and it frustrated him. I told him that what I think might be the "problem," is that people love to give their own personal interpretation to art. As I said before in this post: art is personal. More often than not, people interpret artwork differently than how the painter might have intended it to be. And that's perfectly ok, of course, but their interpretations may be at odds with what the painter meant. Painting emotions are very, very personal and not everyone will understand what you meant with the brush strokes on the canvas. And that is why I choose not to share my painted emotions. I see them more as a visual diary, only for my eyes, rather than pieces to display for everyone and their mother to see.

As for my other paintings, which all, of course, have certain emotions painted into them: will I ever be able to reach the level of my dad and grandfather? To exhibit my paintings, and even sell it? I don't know. It's nice to daydream about it, but for now, I am happy to just go with the flow and paint to my heart's content, to practice, and above all: to relieve me of stress and uneasy feelings. To feel like a complete human being again. Cause that's what art does to me.

Until the next update, my lovely readers!

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  1. It's wonderful that you've found something that puts you into that all-important flow state. It's sewing and designing clothes, for me. Your paintings are great.

    1. Thank you ever so, Lisa! I love to sew, too, and I used to do it, but I am not very good at it. You, on the other hand, are a magnificent seamstress, I love your work!

      Much love, Lindsay

  2. So happy to read a new post of you! Glad you're back with your brushes. I saw the Dita painting on Instagram and I was amazed!

    1. Thank you so much, Amyh. It means a lot to me! Xx.

  3. It's so lovely just to hear what you've been up too ~ and it's so good that you've found a passion to stir your soul and keep you feeling like yourself. That flow is an amazing feeling for sure ~ I love it and chase it wherever I can! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  4. Thank you so much, lovely Bonita!

  5. Thank you so much, lovely Bonita!

  6. I wish you the best Lindsay, your paintings are great and I am sure that making art will také all your troubles away... :)

  7. Hi Lindsay, thank you so much for sharing this. I can empathise with everything you write here. I just recently discovered your blog and am looking forward to reading more of your posts. :)


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