painting workshop

Prayer and Paint Workshop Afterglow

Photo slideshow from the workshop...

Below are some photos from the Prayer and Paint workshop that I held on Saturday at Summerbridge (take a look at the new website---->) church that we are a part of.  I was thrilled that so many came and in the end we had around 20 people approx.! 

The workshop's aim was to explore the idea of using the medium of paint with prayer and reflection.  This is really close to my heart and has been so for some time now.  I really care about this aspect of my personal creative/reflective time and so wanted to offer this personally as a 'way in' for people that wouldn't necessarily paint or consider themselves 'creative'.  

I began by encouraging everyone to write out in pencil, without censoring, their worries, fears, anxieties; however small and to let them just pour out (side note: I ran out of paper).  I absolutely love this process and find it cleansing and such a relief to 'get it all out'. 

We then covered over our writing with gesso (white primer) and let that dry.  The idea being that by covering over our 'junk', we can 'start again', refresh and re-boot with Jesus' help.  We continued with another layer; this time with willow charcoal sticks.  I like to sketch out imperfect faces and encouraged others to do that or, to find their own way.  Some examples of what came out of this stage were: flowers, portraits, buildings, pattern, a wall, shapes and lots of mark making.

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

I really enjoyed having people of all ages present.  We had a few men, younger children, teenagers, mid-life and older adults and it felt lovely to combine this experience with them all.

Next, we got out paint and began to add colour - it was akin to bringing light, warmth and 'nourishment' to our pieces.  Again, this idea of covering over the heartache/worries and lighting everything up with technicolour - so great.

Some people covered over their charcoal layer with something new, whilst others 'coloured-in' with the paint and added lots of vibrancy to the charcoal underdrawing.  All of it was just right.

I recognised that this could be challenging for people because putting the 'logical' side of the brain to one side is foreign to so many of us and can feel counterintuitive.  However, as the workshop went on, I sensed that more people were managing to do this and to appreciate the process rather than the end result.

We then finished the workshop by eating together and enjoying our shared buffet that everyone had contributed to.  A perfect way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. 

I think in a smaller setting it would have been lovely to have had a mutual time of prayer and reflection in a way that felt right for that individual.  I also think doing this at home would be fabulous with a few additions: lighting a candle, putting on some soft music, making a pot of tea and lastly, opening up your bible. 

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Lastly, I think this would be a beautiful practice to do as a family, with your children, your church, with a special friend, prayer partner or perhaps your spouse (maybe??? lol).  

Anyway, I hope this inspires you to give this a go and please let me know how you get on... 

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Creative Enough?


Creative Enough?

There was lots of creative play yesterday as I had the pleasure once again of teaching my painting workshop to a lovely group of women.

getting creative painting workshop

It never ceases to amaze me how many women don't see themselves as creative and yet they pick up a paintbrush laden with paint and voila they come back to themselves.

Does this resonate with you?  

Would you like to paint, draw, sculpt, or perhaps design a new garden layout and yet believe you're not creative enough?

If so, it's time to break through that barrier and just try it anyway.  What's the worst that can happen?  You might have to scrap that version and try again?  That's okay and in fact it's good because it's only in the doing (and the 'happy accidents') that you're ever going to progress.

Yesterday we got curious, blew paint with straws, splattered paint with a toothbrush, collaged, played with colour, set down pools of watercolour onto paper and it was fun.  As well, we were learning about ourselves, what makes us come alive and that we are enough, we are creative.

getting creative painting workshop

Imagine a good friend or perhaps your child having just started playing the piano - you would be encouraging them to play 'in spite of' any wrong keys played because that's how you learn.  They would never get to feel that sense of pure joy when they finally played a piece that has eluded them.

getting creative painting workshop

getting creative painting workshop

So, I don't say any of this this lightly, I say it because I believe wholeheartedly that we are ALL creative and it takes 'just having a go' to remember this truth.

You won't look back, I promise!

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