Our home has been in the middle of a storm for the past few months. Hold on. Not a storm storm. But, a creative, DIY-ish, artsy and craftsy and gardening, experimenting ‘storm’, if you don’t mind my calling it that way. :-)
At the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 as we moved houses, we found ourselves caught by a creative surge – to make, create, decorate, garden like there’s no tomorrow, and that surge continues to this day.
Sharing our art journey after a long time. Sharing some stories and pictures from the past few months of deep immersion into the well (or the sea) that the world of art is….
In between, during the monsoons, there was a lull. Well, it was a different kind of energy and we were slower and quieter absorbing the breathtaking beauty of the rains and everything else that was touched and transformed by it. We watched dozens of movies, read books, clicked hundreds of pictures in the middle of exploring the Goan villages on my scooter. We also celebrated many festivals and birthdays during that time.
And then the rains recede. Come November 2016 and I got busy planning my garden, collecting dry leaves for mulching. The seed trays and cups were out.
We also did one big shift. We moved our art room from the first floor to the one and only room on the ground floor. That shift meant that we’d have to shift the wall shelves, some big and small cabinets and make room for more – to organize all of it and also ensure that some of it would be out of reach from Sufiana’s ever-exploring hands!
The art space moving to the ground floor immediately filled us up with an energy. Every drop of inertia melted away and was replaced with a never-depleting reservoir of creative vigour and vital force.
In the past 6 months especially, we’ve been immersed in dozens of art and DIY projects. Our home was nothing short of an art gallery during Diwali (end of October).
And, when it comes to Christmas, we’re always unstoppable, always upbeat. Starting from a Christmas count-down calendar, which was quite a laborious project, what with all the numbers (1 – 25) that Pari had to sketch and paint to perfection, drill in the hooks into a canvas board and loop the number cards into them.
Since then, she’s made snowflakes and buntings, paper mache wreaths and paper Christmas tree and snow-laden (salt, actually!) branches, a lit-up photo memory board and then some more.
The last few days leading upto Christmas were euphoric. At 10 in the night, she was painting the outdoors! Feels nice when we can say more and more ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’ to following our hearts. Yes, the paint might not dry at night, so I hesitated for a moment. Was going to say “let’s do this tomorrow afternoon”, but then I saw that restless feeling in her conveying how much she just wants to pick up the brush, dip it in paint and jazz up that wall. I thought, might actually be better now as Sufiana is sleeping and it’ll be less messy. So. Yes, why not at 10 in the night. Going with a knee-jerk ‘no’ is not a happy proposition more often than not.
As the Christmas euphoria subsided just a bit, family birthdays came along. There were more creations in January. We made a wall piece to hang jewelry for my sis-in-law; some paintings with photography quotes for my camera-pro photographer brother.
And, as I write these lines, we’re in the centre of yet another big project. The biggest annual meet-up of homeschoolers is coming up in March. Pari is going to be there along with Avie (hubby). Sufiana and I will stay home as I feel it’ll be hectic for her. The Swashikshan Annual Meet (SAM) that I’m talking about is a five-day event where families that are already homeschooling/unschooling meet to connect, share, create, co-create and have fun. This year it’s in Indore (Madhya Pradesh). It’ll be Pari’s first ever visit to this state in central India. She’s bubbling with excitement to meet some of her friends who she’s known ever since we started homeschooling (nearly 6 years back)!
One beautiful feature of this event is the art mela hosted by the children. The children showcase their handmade creations. They also put them up for sale. They buy each others’ stuff along with the parents. Pari has always participated in this mela as she’s big on DIY, art, etc.
So, yes, you know what I’m going to show you next. She’s been on a roll making things for this art mela. She has made a few watercolour and acrylic paintings that are quite nice. (yet to photograph them). I feel she has a natural flair for water colours and should pursue its nuances. But, other than that, she’s put her heart and soul into making some paper mache stuff – bowls, letters so far, and other interesting works coming up. The pics below are just some of what she’s made as yet.
The letters – they have been her labour of love. So much goes into making that one letter. Sketching on cardboard, cutting it out, placing newspaper balls onto the shape and taping it (with paper tape) to get that three dimensional aspect. Letting it dry in the sun. Then, a layer of tissue and letting it sun dry. Finally, painting it to your heart’s content. Overall, one letter takes nearly one full day – given the waiting time for the sun-drying.
For an 11-year old to have such patience and diligence is heartwarming. She tries out various styles of sketching out the letters. When doing the newspaper work on the cut-out, she goes over every nook and crany so the shape will retain even in 3d. When it comes to painting, she tries out various colour combinations and patterns – chevrons, polka dots, leaves, diagonal stripes. Her sense of colour is immaculate. Well…well….that wasn’t just mother speak, hehe! I’m saying all this just to share with you how a child engages when they do what they love to do or what they find meaningful in that moment in time.
In my next post, I’ll share pictures of some other creations that I’ve mentioned in this article. The water colour arts that Pari has made and the ongoing paper mache things we both are making. Oh, and the jewelry hanger – that was something new and nice too. I promise I will. I won’t disappear again. :-( Right now, my phone is behaving sluggish and I’m in no mood to delay this post, as I always tend to – for want of perfection. Silly, perfectionist me, as Pari says!