When was the last time you did something for the first time?
A few years ago, as a full-time stay-at-home mum of three, I felt myself hit a bit of a snag. In the depths of my psyche somewhere, was a small, but very persistent nagging feeling…a sense of inadequacy. While I relished the chance I had to be at home with my kids, I felt myself floundering a little; sort of failing to thrive.
I became keenly aware of the fact that while I spent every day teaching my kids new things, giving them new experiences and encouraging them to explore and try out new stuff, I had stopped doing so myself.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had learnt a new skill, or emboldened myself to step out of my comfort zone, so that year I made it a goal of mine to do both, and within weeks I had started a creative writing class and signed up for an eight-week painting course.
Straight away, I felt inspired and energised! The injection of creative pursuits into each week was like a burst of freshness into my life. I instantly felt happier, more fulfilled and stimulated in a way that I had not experienced in so long.
While the writing course finished up after a term, my foray into painting continued. I loved learning new skills, began experimenting with various techniques and found that painting was a good way to escape life’s routine and surrender to pure creativity. Under the tutelage of local Fitzroy artist, Adriane Strampp, and alongside other fun, creative, like-minded people I began to love painting.
This year, painting has fallen by the wayside and I am missing it desperately. I have dabbled a little on my own at home, but it’s the sense of community and painting alongside others that I have really missed.
Today, as I arrived home from hospital, a parcel was waiting for me on my doorstep. Now, I don’t know about you, but my heart skips a beat when I get anything in the mail that doesn’t resemble an electricity bill, let alone a package! It was enough to make me grin from ear to ear and instantly make my day infinitely better.
Inside was the most exquisite gift, something that bought tears of joy to my eyes as soon as I opened it:
A book titled ‘Paintings For Kate’. A collection of works painted for me by the thoughtful and insanely talented people from my painting class.
The first page, reads:
‘The paintings in this book have been painted for you Kate, by the students of Painting for Beginners to express their care, support and friendship, knowing that Cape Liptrap holds a special place in your heart, and in the hope that this book will transport you there when you need a break. It has been a pleasure for us to work on this project, keeping you close in our minds and hearts, and in anticipation of your return. This book comes with much love and best wishes from all at Painting for Beginners, wishing you a speedy recovery.”
Beyond that are pages and pages of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen. Not only beautiful because they are painted by incredibly dedicated, talented people, but so beautiful to me because of what they portray and what they represent. I am continually left astounded by the love and support thrust in my direction this year and to all my painting friends – let me tell you, I will treasure this beautiful book for the rest of my days. My family will adore flicking through its pages time and time again. Already, my children are delighting in your paintings of their favourite places!
What a wonderful gift you have given us! Thank you all, so, so much. I can’t wait to come back to paint with you all soon!
For those who would like to look at the stunning paintings and the clever artists behind them, click on the link below: