I recently took a break from writing (and thinking about writing) to allow my other muse to play. For three days, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., I participated in a watercolor painting workshop.
Now, I majored in art and taught art, but that was eons ago and I’ve never had formal lessons in using watercolors. (Of course, that didn’t stop me from painting with watercolors a few years ago.) I thought this workshop would be fun, and it was. Masterpieces were not expected, in fact we were told, since the work we produced had been influenced by the instructor, we should not exhibit it or sell it as original work. Considering the pieces I brought home, I don’t think that would ever enter my mind, but knowing this was just so I could learn different techniques was liberating. Oh, and the subject matter was to focus on water, above and under.
Here are a few of the results.
I was exhausted by the end of each day, didn’t spend more than 10 minutes on my computer, and while I was painting, I didn’t even think about writing or my story, but I think those three days were valuable. Most writers, I’ve discovered, have more than one creative talent (singing or playing an instrument; quilting; weaving or rug hooking; designing clothing; jewelry making; and on and on.). I think it’s good for us to put aside the writing at times and allow those other sides of our creative nature to emerge.
I also think I need to approach my writing, especially the first draft, as I approached these paintings: “Relax and have fun, stop worrying about the results, just let the paint (or words) flow.”
I can always go into these paintings and make improvements. The same is true of my writing.