Happy, peaceful, healthy and creative New Year to one and all.
The ‘Apple Exercise’ is a positive way to begin the new year for anyone wishing to express themselves and explore their creativity.
Throughout my many years of painting and teaching, I have heard over and over the frustration of those who would like to explore their creativity, but always seem to find that life gets in the way……..
The new year is a good time to re-think and re-look at the way we live our lives. A good time to make new and positive habits.
In principle this exercise is very simple and effective. If followed three positive changes will occur:-
A new positive habit will be formed which will benefit all areas of our lives.
Fifteen minutes of PLAY every day for one month will hone observational and technical skills.
Participants will begin to ‘see differently’
There are three simple rules:-
Pick the same 15 minutes every day – a time that works for you.
Set up a small table, such as a card table, which doesn’t have to be moved or shared.
Turn off mobiles and any other potential distractions……
Here are just a few of the things you can use to explore and PLAY with. If you don’t have artists paint, use house paint or anything else you can get your hands on.
If you are scared to mark a new piece of paper, then use newspaper, old magazines, wrapping paper or inexpensive wall-paper lining.
Playing – using magazine paper, felt tip pen and some paint……
Allow yourself to doodle until you begin to relax. Artists, writers, dancers, musicians all need to stretch and warm up. PLAYING is the best way to do this.
Remember that the apple is simply a ‘jumping off point’ – it doesn’t have to be copied perfectly.
This image helps us to remember the importance of Negative Space....the space that surrounds the subject we are painting. By putting colour around the apple shape…the apple is revealed.
Given the fast pace of our lives today, and the fact that so many of us are plugged into technology of one kind or another, our collective senses are being deadened.
Along with this comes a feeling of loss. A loss that in many ways we are unable to identify.
As we constantly try to fill the ever widening holes within us, with more and more frenetic activity and stuff, our frustration levels grow.
Feeding our senses through the creative process in all its many forms can produce almost miraculous changes, which can lead to a sense of well-being and fulfilment.
Warning – Beware of the Chattering Monkeys….
Chattering Monkeys are the little demons that fill our minds with reasons why we should not, and cannot do something!
I am sure as you begin this exercise, they will be shouting out…‘you don’t have time to do this’, and you can’t draw or paint anyway…..
As you move forward with the apple exercise and establish a routine, you will find that the Chattering Monkeys will go away…….
Note these apples cast their natural colour into their shadows. Each apple reflects upon the other. All of life is interconnected….
When we first enter this world, we are naturally full of curiosity and wonder.
By the time we come to the end of our formative years, at around seven, the narrow definition that our culture has imposed upon us has taken hold.
By the time we reach adulthood most of us have lost touch with and confidence in our inner creative energy.
Colour effects our every mood and emotion. Allow yourself to PLAY with colour….Apples can be any colour you wish them to be…..Be bold – make marks and surprise yourself with the satisfaction and joy this brings. When we think of an apple we might visualise the iconic Apple Max symbol, or the shiny red apple that children take for their favourite teacher.
What the Apple Exercise will demonstrate is that the apple, along with everything else in life, can be seen in a myriad of ways.
Seeing the apple differently…….
If we could time travel back to our earliest formative years, when the world was a kaleidoscope of colour and shapes and our young minds were full of wonder, we could regain our natural curiosity and love for colour and form.
Instead of just looking straight ahead, look in every direction, including up and down.
Instead of always sitting in the same chair view your favourite room from many different points of view
.Look at the whole – not just the shiny red outer image….remember there are fascinating pips inside the apple.
The creative process is all about experimenting. Letting go of the logical information that our brains have processed during out lifetimes and embracing the concept of seeing our world in a much broader sense.
It is about awakening the senses.
Stride out in confidence into this new year and enjoy the transformation that creativity and colour can bring. watercolour/collage from one of my children’s book illustrations.
My book ‘The Apple Exercise’ can be found on the products page of my website at http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk
My next painting course will be in Portugal beginning April 18th at http://www.artinthealgarve.com