I’m not religious. I don’t believe in God.
But today, as I was driving to the dentist, I heard a vicar on the radio, talking about Lent. She said it was a time for reflecting about how we would like to change.
And I thought about how stuck I have been feeling lately. In my personal life, in my work, and in my art. Even my weekly life drawing class hasn’t been going well.
And I thought, maybe I’m stuck because I try to look too far ahead. I try to see the end of the tunnel instead of trying to see just one step forward from where I am now.
Maybe Lent would be a good time to try taking a step in the right direction, even if I don’t know what the destination is. So, as I sat in the dentist’s chair, I decided that for Lent I will give up dwelling on the negative stories that continually run through my mind. I just won’t let them take hold of me. Instead, I’ll focus on two things: being creative and caring for other people. (It’s only 40 days after all – surely even I can manage that!)
To get unstuck at life drawing, my teacher suggested that I look at the work of Jenny Saville. Tonight, when I felt myself reacting to something in my usual way, I chose to spend some time looking at her paintings instead. They are beyond amazing. Just look!
And I thought ‘well, I can’t do that, but I can let it spark some ideas.’
As I said yesterday, I’ve realized I prefer drawing to painting, so why not try drawing with colour? So I pulled out a box of watercolour pencils someone gave me a few years ago, and I came up with something I really quite like.
And the best thing of all? I haven’t had time to dwell on those negative thoughts because the challenge of creating this took all my concentration.
Actually, that might not be quite the best thing of all, because doing this has sparked an interesting idea I’d like to pursue.
So far, I like Lent!