You may have read it in my monthly update of May already; thanks to the play Bedtime Stories I have accomplished on of my goals! I didn’t have time to blog about it yet, but I am dyeing (pun intended) to let you see the results of this goal! The goal I achieved was:
No. 29: Paint on a canvas.
I had never paint on a canvas before, because I’m a perfectionist. And once you paint on it, you cannot change what you did. That doesn’t work well together. But I wanted to tone my perfectionism down a little bit, because it is holding me back in so many ways. Seriously. I found a quote which I really love and I am trying to keep this in the back of my mind at all times:
Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly. – Robert H. Schuller
So the canvas might be imperfect, so what? At least I would paint! Yet the mantra wasn’t enough, something was still holding me back.
Until the day of the play came near. In this play there would be a scene in which mental patients would each paint a canvas. Two of the paintings already had been done, but we had a need for nine of them. This was my chance! If I could paint just one of these paintings, I would have accomplished my goal. And as a plus, my canvas would become famous on stage.
I ended up painting six. Yes. Six! Partially because the others didn’t have the time to paint, but also because I happened to love doing it! I must say I got some help. Ruud and I started the painting project together. He wasn’t really keen on doing the detailed work, because he feared he would be really bad at it. The paintings would be displayed on stage after all. So he painted backgrounds with rollers and larger pieces of one color. The more precise work was left for me. In the end there were two paintings I completely painted myself. The others we did together. It was so much fun!
Okay, enough talking, let’s have a look at the results! Each patient had to paint something that was on their minds. This made it so much easier for me to choose painting subjects!
My very first stroke on a canvas, ever! Do you recognize the drawing? It is our Bedtime Stories poster!
See? This poster linked to so many things in the play, the girl in the circle always being Abby, the main character. I thought it would be cool to have Abby’s very close friend Robyn paint the poster picture, now with Robyn being the person in the middle. Robyn is trying to hold on to Abby, but knows (sooner than Abby at this point) that she has to let her go and set her free. If only just one person in the audience noticed this reference, it would be totally awesome. The painting ended up looking like this (but less blotchy in real life):
I even painted more than the actual poster reveals. In my painting, you can see the two girls being reflections of each other. I almost painted the complete painting myself, except for the black sides of the canvas. Ruud helped out with that.
The second one was Kai’s painting. Kai is a tough person who doesn’t trust anyone and likes to keep things to himself. For that reason, I thought it would be cool if he would draw a very abstract painting. This guy doesn’t show what he feels easily! Ruud actually painted all the colorful areas, he also chose the colors. Afterwards I painted the black borders.
This is DJ’s painting. She is a moody, tough girl. She is not afraid of showing her emotions at all, as long as it’s a bad-ass emotion. She kicks kick-boxing pads while screaming loudly and one of the patients always gets hit by her when she laughs. DJ is not someone who would paint like Bob Ross. Instead, she would stir her brush in a lot of paint and then splash it onto the canvas. So that’s what Ruud and I did!
Oh my god, this was so much fun! We found out that splashing works best if you hold the paint brush tightly in one hand over the painting and then tap on the brush with your other hand. The harder you tap, the bigger the splashes. I absolutely love this painting! It was the easiest one of all, but for me this expresses a lot of creativity and fun.
The cutest painting of all was for our happy and cheerful patient Lin. She always laughs (mostly at very inappropriate moments, but still) and is a very sweet character. This cotton candy color pink and the cute bird fit her so well. I painted this one with a smile on my face. (And Ruud painted the sweet pink background. Isn’t that lovely?)
Kirsten, ‘the cool one’. Obviously she would paint some graffiti. And because she’s always making jokes about everything, and encourages Abby to make the trip of her dreams, ‘enjoy’ seemed the best word for her to paint. I honestly thought this would be one of the easier paintings, but it took me the longest! I’m not even done with this one. I have to paint another layer of blue to make it less streaky. I also like to add something around the word, maybe some dark blue stripes or something. I don’t know yet. This is one of the paintings I made myself completely.
And then there was Jasmine. A really nice person who has been through a lot. She says the past is in the past and we’d better not dwell on it. We have to focus on the future and how to change things now. She doesn’t really know how, though.
I had so much trouble coming up with something to paint for Jasmine. I wanted this painting to really reflect both her inner struggle and her philosophy. I could think of several things, all of which required a very realistic painting style. And I cannot do that. I can do abstract, cartoon, silhouette, even graffiti thanks to Google. But realistic painting (or drawing for that matter) would really require a lot more training.
But then one of the actors mentioned doors. I could draw doors! No problem! So I did. Jasmine got a lot of doors to choose from and an open cage to hide. You can even see the dark past behind her. I like the little bird, waiting for her to step out of the cage. For me this shows that moving on and opening a new chapter in your life doesn’t only change your own world, but also that of others.
I love the deeper meaning behind this painting and the way it turned out! This is also a painting I completely made myself. Maybe I will paint the sides later, or maybe I will just leave it like this. I haven’t decided yet. What I do know is that this painting will get a special place in our home.
They all will. I love them all for different reasons. But a few reasons belong to all the paintings: I explored my creativity. I had fun. I dared. I didn’t let any negative thought or inner obstruction hold me back. I accomplished my goal graciously.