provided the most fun I’ve had in ages. The sort of fun that includes getting the giggles. Uncontrollably. Even if you are sixty. Let’s travel back to early January.
Five of us arrive from far-flung corners of the country, meeting at a gorgeous Sydney harbour pool.
There’s Jennie my sister, Ruby my twelve year old niece, Marg my friend and colleague and Tara her thirteen year old daughter.
The swimming’s done. It’s time for art. We have watercolour Brilliants, waterbrushes, pens and five small pieces of paper.
Shall we do a group project?
Will it be a serious reflection on the year that was, or a visioning for the new year? No. We opt for non-serious.
Tara suggests a paint-a-bit-and-pass-it-on process.
You fold your page into five sections. You start with the head of a person, animal or hitherto undiscovered creature, then fold it over so it’s invisible. The next person, uses the reference marks you made to paint the neck and shoulders of a creature onto the next fold. And so on.
the picture you started returns to you. Surprises literally unfold.
We are transfixed, deeply engaged in our own little shared world of creativity. This is in spite of the melted chocolate Marg found all through her beach-bag and in spite of the bellowing voice of the water polo coach right next to us. We express indignation that a sporting team disrespects our studio space, as if we are the central purpose of a swimming pool.
We are immersed.
Not in the water,
but in our art heart connection.
Later we go out to dinner.
We continue creating our world.
We name our art group. Whether we are a Society, a Collective, Club or Consortium requires a vote and a large amount of hysterical shrieking, louder than the pool polo coach. We are so focussed on our tiny connected art world of joy that we don’t care whether we are disgracing ourselves in public.
We are loud. We are proud.
We engage in creative play
that occupies the entire universe.
Nothing nasty needs to enter our bubble. Not the anguish of caring for frailing, ailing elders; not the nervousness about who will be our friend at high school; not the massive damage of climate change or species extinction or brutal politics or gun violence. Nothing.
We are ensconced in blissful, colourful world-making. For the time being.
Does this type of creative play speak to you?
Looking at our images a few months later, I don’t know who did what. I cannot easily discern our five respective styles. We must have been very much in sync.
For more art joy immersion, see Tiny New Worlds
with love, art and soul from Sally