Welcome to our Mindful Wednesday blog.
I say OUR,
because we are certainly building a little community here.
I get it. I really do.
We obviously want to enjoy our days more than perhaps we sometimes do.
And here is a place where we can go to,
to perhaps pick up a few pointers.
Not everything I say here will resonate with everyone.
That would be impossible.
But if anything, just one little thing,
can help somebody, anybody,
to relax and focus on their NOW,
instead of fretting about the future or crying about the past,
then I would say it was a blog worth writing.
And today I want to write about something very close to my heart:
What’s that got to do with Mindfulness?
Well, if mindfulness means clearing the mind
by concentrating on a simple pure action,
like the drinking of good tea,
colouring in a picture,
getting in the Groovi groove,
then I would say that a need to do everything perfectly
could stifle that relaxing moment perfectly!
You’re setting yourself up to probably fail
every time you do ANYTHING!
I can only speak from my own experience.
I used to be plagued by PERFECTIONISM.
It tormented me, it tore me down,
it made me feel useless, fat and ugly.
It robbed me of my sleep and my serenity.
It drove me to distraction and embarrassed me.
But not anymore.
Hahaha! This sounds like one of those miracle diet ads!
All that’s missing is the next line:
Then I discovered Dr Droppastone…
(say it with an American accent!)
But actually, the thing that cured me was the Gelli Plate.
I have the Gelli Plate to thank for quashing my perfectionism.
Let me explain…
A couple of years ago, we took on the distribution for the Gelli Plate, an ingenious piece of kit from America, which helps you create Monoprints without a printing press.
(We still sell them and I still love them)
Up until that point, I had focussed primarily on inks and card,
on brayering etc. You know!
Well, when the Gelli Plate landed, I was forced out of my comfort zone, because I had to start using acrylic paints, a medium I had never known how to use – so never had.
But the thing about the paint and the Gelli Plate was that I couldn’t really control the outcome, couldn’t get it to do what I had planned in my head.
Every time I pulled a print, it was in my opinion, rubbish.
Not good enough. In the bin.
Not what I wanted. In the bin.
Try again. In the bin.
Try again. In the bin.
Try again. In the bin.
You get the picture.
I had a huge bin,
was piling through paint and card like there was no tomorrow,
and nothing I was producing was anywhere near good enough.
You would laugh at me and I would make a fool of myself.
I was supposed to be launching these pesky things on TV,
and no way no how was I going to be able to pull it off.
Let alone pull a print off!
Then these two sad individuals,
Dispare and Despuration –
( second cousins of Wurka and Hollick )
moved in upstairs,
and announced that Pannick was coming to the party, too.
I hate Pannick.
He makes me feel physically sick. Good for nothing toad.
Remember when you deliberated about whether or not to invest in a Gelli Plate, or a Groovi Plate?
Imagine what was going on in my head, with 4 PALLET LOADS en route from Taiwan, and I couldn’t perfect the skill !!
That’s a whole heap of Gelli Plates!!!!
Well, one morning, I was given the gift of Despuration.
He clearly felt sorry for me, and while I was frantically trying and failing to get a perfect paint print, he whispered in my ear,
“Stop trying to get it perfect, fucrineoutloud!
Work with what you get.”
Ping. The penny dropped.
And you have to believe me when I tell you:
Those 5 words set me free.
WORK WITH WHAT YOU GET
Finally, I gave myself permission to just enjoy the process,
and not doggedly try to control the outcome.
From then on, whenever I peeled the card back to reveal my print,
I accepted that it was what it was what it was.
But the strangest thing is that the day I stopped being so destructively critical about my work, therefore myself,
was the day my artwork came alive.
Hands up if you knew me before the dawning of the Gelli Plate.
Now. Those with your hands up, tell the others how my artwork has evolved during the last two years.
The overriding need to do everything perfectly has been replaced by an overwhelming thirst for discovery.
I want to try new things and stretch myself,
whereas before, in the years BGP (Before Gelli Plate)
I pretty much stuck to what I was really good at.
Which explains why I was really good at it!
I always used to joke that I was going to have a brayer grafted to my left hand, because that was pretty much all I ever did.
Brayered skies and hills on Claritycard.
Now that’s very nice I know.
But 20 years of brayered skies and hills ??
No wonder I’m bloody good at it !!
If anybody had told me 2 years ago that I would be creating really cool canvases, I would have laughed at them.
All it took was an open mind and a little guidance from my friend Gill, who showed me some tips and tricks, and I was off.
This was my first canvas.
I never really know where I’m headed when I start.
I just WORK WITH WHAT I GET, and go from there.
No pressure. Just an enjoyable arty session with myself.
I have learned so much !
And most of it was where things didn’t quite go according to plan.
You know on Monday’s blog when the feet came off the geese,
so I made a flowery meadow?
That’s a prefect example of W.W.W.I.G
Or say no De Feet?
Hah! So I learned how to make a flowery meadow
with a Paper stump.
I shall leave it there.
I think you get my drift.
As promise on Monday, a half-price sale on all canvases.
Apprehensive about moving from card to canvas boards?
love and hugs,