One of the stranger and very much unexpected side effects of being a stay-at-home mother of two small children is the pleasure I get from messy play activities.
Most of my friends will do absolutely anything to avoid paint and glitter at home, whereas I love the beautiful mess it creates, possibly even more than my almost-three-year-old does and often find myself elbow deep in pva glue and sequins long after she’s gotten fed up.
For about a year or so, I’ve had a burning desire to experiment a bit more with being creative in life generally. My vent has always been writing and imagination as opposed to being visually artistic in a tangible sense. I’ve long dreamt about bringing my thoughts to life and screenwriting is another itch I very much need to scratch soon.
At home, I’m starting to add colour to the walls and finding myself enthused by accenting and even repairing cracks with putty. I love getting an old school smock on, turning up the radio and having a boogie as I paint.
I never thought I would become this person!!
Adult colouring books have also proved to be a glorious way to waste time. And I’m getting braver – my next project being a machine dye of some curtains to better match a feature wall. If* it works out, it will save a few pounds.
*My husband thinks I’ve lost the plot. I won’t tell him about my plan unless it goes wrong (highly likely) on the basis that if it goes right, he probably won’t notice if we’ve got new curtains anyway.
I think it’s what you call nesting. We’ve been nomads for so long that I need to put a stamp on our first family home. Also, it’s amazing how many flaws you start to notice around an otherwise lovely house when you’re stuck inside trying to deal with fed up children in the long dark winter months.
I’ve also started attending an art workshop every week at a local community centre. The beauty of this is that there is a crèche where we all deposit our babies for an hour and a half to allow us to zone out.
The group is a serene space and mothers from all walks of life attend. Some weeks there is a theme; other weeks are freestyle; and whilst all my efforts are absolutely rubbish, I have loved getting stuck into squigy paints, clays and bandage modelling.
It’s proved very relaxing and fascinating for the people watcher in me, particularly in the life stories that come out when we sit for the last 15 minutes discussing why we chose to make what we have. We laugh a lot but many of the women cry. There are women who are suffering loss, horrible husbands, nightmare toddlers – the stories flow so honestly and without judgement from the rest of us. The creations can be bright and fun or black and graphite, depending on how someone’s week is going.
I return home each week feeling strangely unburdened, even if life is totally rosy.
Perhaps pop psychology – but Art, like writing, is without a doubt a window into the soul.