As someone who is not particularly good at sitting still, activities which require elongated periods of staying in the one place are probably the best way to get me to happily stay put. It’s why I love craft activities, cooking, writing and believe it or not cleaning when I am at home to stop me from getting fidgety.
Quite unbelievably, I not as restless as I used to be. Which says more about how bad I used to be than how good at it I am now. For anyone who has ever completed an Honours degree, you might understand how strange it is to sit still and relax after what can only be described as a frantic year of being constantly overwhelmed, socially isolated and in perpetual motion. Needless to say, I was somewhat displaced when presented with time that was completely my own.
As a result, after finishing my Honours year I went into a very busy period of overexerting my new found freedom. Even though I was working almost full time hours, I managed to fill almost every spare minute with activities and seeing people.
It was in this post-Honours haze that I started oil painted lessons with a family friend. I absolutely love painting, but had never been truly taught what to do or had the resources to work on anything outside of school. Every week I used to drive to her house and spend a few hours in peaceful artistic bliss, with her dogs under my feet and paint all over my hands.
After I started full time work, fitting in activities that required daylight became exponentially harder. Consequently, my last painting lesson was so long ago that my unfinished oil painting had actually completely dried (which is impressively bad considering how long it takes for oil paintings to fully dry).
The first thing that I wanted to do after resigning was to start painting again. And so this afternoon, I finally went back to finish what I had started. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful it was.
I originally chose to paint a Jacaranda because the university that I studied at is covered in them and they flower in exam time – a beautiful juxtaposition to the hideous internal state whilst studying. It seemed fitting to finish such a seasonal painting given the amazing seasonal transition in my life right now (wow… how deeply symbolic am I getting lately?)
I actually feel such a sense of accomplishment about my first painting.
You may call me Da Vinci.
So there in lies the question – how do you know a painting is finished?
This is a beautiful piece Lizzie. You should be proud, and compliments from Colleen Holliday too who has spent many long hours in painting lessons. High praise indeed.
Thank you so much. And thank you to Colleen. Given the beautiful work she does I am very touched.