feeling free

 Photograph by  Emma Byrnes

Photograph by Emma Byrnes

Ever since I was a young high school girl forced by curriculum-obsessed teachers to take physics and chemistry electives rather than art and painting I have harboured a burning desire to stand in front of a blank canvas brandishing a brush.
And late last year, after many years of procrastination, I finally took the plunge and started evening oil painting classes. To begin with I floundered about - despite having worked in the visual mediums of design, textiles and photography for many years. It felt like I had waited so long to give my right brain absolute permission to play and be completely free, that I had locked myself out from a true artistic practice. But eventually my logical thought process surrendered. An abstract, gestural style stepped up to the easel and with the help of my marvellous painting teacher, Sarah Tomasetti, I began to find flow.
I still can't quite believe how good it feels to paint. Forget yoga. This is my new medium for deep relaxation. Mixing the colours, scraping the palette knife, feeling the canvas under my brush. Losing track of time and all thoughts...being in the moment as the work takes shape. Standing back and assessing the mark-making. Seeing what translates onto the canvas when the analytical mind is cast aside and intuition takes over.
I sense that this is a new chapter for me and my creative journey. I can't see myself giving this up. Who knows where it will take me but for now I am happy just using it as a dedicated time each week to cast aside my thoughts, preconceptions and fear - to live in the moment.

And just in case you were wondering if this is a photograph of me?
No, it isn't. I haven't quite managed to get to that standard in such a short period of time :-) 
This week I've been documenting the beautiful, powerful yet delicate work of my painting teacher, Sarah, as she gears up for her exhibition at Beaver Galleries in April. A show well worth seeking out.
Em x