365…day 2

Iceman. 2/365. ©WQuinn

Day one was a piece of cake…easy peasy.

Day two, well the photography portion was easy. It’s second nature for me to capture nature moments with my camera. So many times I find myself without a camera—usually because it’s too big, bulky and heavy to discreetly carry in a purse—and I’m sorry for it, because something catches my eye. Could be the way the light is dancing on a leaf, or a butterfly drinking nectar from a flower, or a unique shaped cloud passing by. Often times, my phone is a great stand-in but, often times it isn’t.

I don’t know if I am actively looking for those moments, or if those moments come knocking on my door. I guess it doesn’t really matter. As long as the moments are being captured and shared so everyone can enjoy them.

So, having an eye for photography is a gift that I’m so very grateful for. The technical part of photography escapes me though. Trying to remember what fstop to use, etc. often ended with a headache. Although, I must say, the more I do it, the more I’m coming to understand it. A little over a year ago, I switched from P to M and AV. I primarily shoot in AV and switch to Manual mode when AV isn’t cutting it for me. Since doing that, I have learned more about my camera and the technical aspects to photography. It’s still a challenge but I’m sure one day it’ll be as natural as breathing (fingers crossed ;0) )

Although photography comes easy to me (the creative side of it, anyhow),
I’m going to use this year, and this 365 creative project, to push my comfort zone, to try things I wouldn’t normally try, different perspectives, different angles, different settings… Almost like I’m setting myself up to fail. Which in a way, that’s exactly what I’m doing. For it is in failing that I am succeeding. I’ll come back to that thought in a moment.

The painting portion was a little more challenging than yesterday. I prepared my space, filled the water bowl—I decided to stick with water colours until I get the hang of how they work.

My biggest challenge was keeping fear and doubt at bay. I had no idea what to paint. Usually I see what I’m going to paint, then I paint it. Or I have an idea of what I want to do. Intuitive painting is not like that. It’s being open to allowing “whatever” to come through.

So, I sat there looking at the paints and knew I wanted to start with yellow. I dampened the canvas with water, then added yellow paint to it. Not sure how to paint it on…should I dab it, stroke it, use a sponge? Every question I had was immediately answered. Cool. Beige followed the yellow, then blue, then green, then another colour and another, then I thought to add a mountain.

A fleeting trace of panic set in…what if I screw it up? What if it looks ridiculous? So what, came the answer. This exercise isn’t about creating a masterpiece, it isn’t about creating something others will find pleasing. This is an exercise in creativity. In trusting your intuition and in letting go of judgement, letting go and enjoying the process. It’s about making painting fun again.

I added a mountain, then a tree, and finally a boat (another fleeting trace of panic…I don’t know how to draw or paint a boat). I had no idea where the painting was going, what the effect would be when I dabbed the blue and green, instead of swiping it back and forth on the page. I had no idea when I added dark blue to the mountains, then beige to the other side, that they would turn out like they did. I honestly thought I was making a muck of it all… Imagine my surprise when I “finished” and stood back to take it all in… huh. Who knew?

2/365 Painting of the Day. ©WQuinn

My former deputy minister had stated at a staff retreat that he expected us to fail. That statement threw me for a loop. He wanted us to innovate. To think outside the box. To try new things. No idea was stupid. He expected us to fail. A lot of the time. And this would be good. Because it meant we were trying. We were coming up with innovative ideas. New concepts. Forging new paths.

That statement had a profound impact on me and that is what this 365 creativity project is about. Trying new things. Pushing the limits of what I think I know about myself so I can uncover the real me, and my real gifts and talents.

Oh, and for the writing portion...well, I put that off as long as I could. This is it.

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