Sunday, December 29, 2013

On Ravens and Snowflakes

A fresh snowfall has the same effect on my creative psyche as a clean crisp sheet of paper. Who knew white could be so inspiring? Or black? Let me explain...

The world around me is green, here on the coast.  But I journeyed into the mountains for Christmas, along with 40 or so of my nearest and dearest next of kin. We gather every three years at an old ski lodge, and while it was crazy and chaotic, there was such intense love and a wonderful sense of belonging.

We slept on bunk beds, shared in the making and devouring of incredible food, wandered snowshoe trails while flakes the size of ping pong balls fell upon our tongues. We laughed till we cried while giving and receiving (and oftentimes stealing) in a secret santa gift exchange. We read stories to the little ones and joked around the campfire with the bigger ones. We hugged. And then hugged some more. We built snowmen, snow forts and luge tracks while throwing snowballs. We made the best of the white stuff.

My dad and I took a long walk to take pictures of the snow. I hung my heart on a delicate branch while he captured the bigger landscapes. And this is where it began... my return to the creative inspiration that  has been eluding me for months...despite recently buying myself my dream camera for my 40th birthday. Despite having the free time to take pictures. I lost my mojo somewhere along the way.

When we returned from the mountains, I was reading a novel that told the story of a little girl and the drawing she made of a raven. I don't know if it was my love for ravens, or the thought of being able to draw one, but within a day I had a new sketchbook in one hand and a drawing pencil in the other. All of my immediate family members are artists...I know that somewhere hidden deep inside my DNA is the ability to draw. I've just never stuck with it long enough to see what I am capable of. I'm willing to give it another try. My dad offered me some wonderful advice. He said, "draw anything and everything...and don't show anyone your sketches." This allows me the freedom to make all kinds of mistakes without the fear of judgement. But even so, I was not prepared for how intimidated I would be by the blank page. I don't remember feeling this way as a child? Nevertheless, there is a raven in my mind's eye that hasn't landed on the paper yet. Among a thousand other things I wish to draw.

I haven't the slightest idea where this is going to take me. Maybe it is just a passing whim. I don't know. I really don't care. For the present moment, the desire to make lines and shapes is very alluring. I find myself pouring over illustrations and watercolours on pinterest. I watched a woman create a thing of beauty in a cafe today as she made someone a latte. Art is everywhere. I am finding inspiration EVERYWHERE. I just need the patience now to let myself learn a new medium, while picking up my camera every now and then to nourish the other art form I have come to love so much.

I hope to see you here a lot more often this coming year. :)