Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Wild Thing, you make my heart sing...

Sylvester on the roof

Stray cat Sylvester, eager to get into the house

The first time I got close enough to take his picture

He still doesn't trust me...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Blogging from the Heart

Two weeks ago Susannah Conway’s Blogging from the heart finally started (I enrolled for this course in summer – did I tell you?).

Autumn is slowly turning into winter, and here I am, as promised, back for my second blogpost.

Coffee on the table and a cat on my lap…

I have been feeling this itch to blog for years, but every time I sat down to write a post, my mind went blank. Completely. Everything I was going to write about suddenly seemed so pointless, so meaningless. So I would sit and stare at my blogsite for a while, and then leave, feeling frustrated.

But the longing remained.

And when I stumbled upon Susannah Conway’s course, something clicked, and I signed up almost immediately (after sleeping on it).

Then another course crossed my path: Tamara LaPorte’s LifeBook2014. Not about blogging, but a course on mixed media. And as I have been creatively blocked for years, it seemed a very good idea to sign up for that one, too.

And then I found out I could still sign up for the previous two LifeBook courses (LB12 and LB13, LB13 is still running), at a huge discount – and yes, couldn’t help myself: I signed up for those as well.

So, here I was at the beginning of November, suddenly following three courses at the same time, and feeling A Tiny Bit Overwhelmed, I must say.

And still rather clueless about what I was going to blog about exactly.

Until about a week ago, when things started to fall into place:
of course, this was all so easy and obvious: I was going to blog about LifeBook! About my journey back home, about, finally, step by step, finding myself able to create again.

Because this is what is happening. I watched Tams first two lessons of LB12 on video, and watched them a few more times. And then I sort of started to draw. Just like that. And found I rather liked it. After 15 years of total misery, I am starting my journey back home.

Of course it is not easy, and I have had days where I just cried in front of my first sketches, and could do nothing but sit there, feeling miserable. But after a walk, and a cup of tea, I would return to my drawing, and found it to be a little bit less scary. And I would spend 10 minutes or so adding one layer. Just one. And that would be enough.

And that is where I am now:
I started a collage,
I started a drawing, which will eventually become a mixed media project of some sort,
I have been stuck for a week,
and now I am slowly feeling ready to go on and do another tiny bit of work.


Yes, I know, an introduction is supposed to be what you start with. But I like it this way.

This is what I posted on the LifeBook2014 FaceBook Group, to introduce myself:

“Hello everybody!

I just signed up for Life Book 2014 too (and decided to order Life Book 2012 as well, because it looked so good, AND I did not want to wait until January to get started!).

So, let me introduce myself: I am Dutch, in my fifties (I choose not to remember where exactly).

I am not a newbee to the creative world: I did a couple of years of art school when I was in my late twenties, and I am trained as a bookbinder (I LOVE Coptic Bindings, so I was thrilled to read we will use it for our 2014 Life Book!!).

Fifteen years ago I had a major burn out and I have been suffering from a serious Creative Block since.

I start a creative project, do not like my first results (like almost everybody else, and I know that, and it does not help), lose heart, and stop. And then hate myself for my lack of courage, discipline, or whatever, which does not help either.

I now decided to break with this habit, seriously and For Real this time.

And it seemed so fitting that Life Book starts on January 1st, the day of realising our Good Intentions for the New Year.

Therefore I told my therapist (!) - oh, doesn't this make me sound American..! - to supervise me on this, and force me (using whatever methods she deems necessary) to come up with tangible results next year, however awful they may be.

Because my soul is perishing here, without creativity.

See you all next year!”