Something about sitting down with a "blank slate" and creating a piece of artwork has been scaring the bejeezes out of me.
I'm not really one to walk away from something. I tend to take the "if it feels scary then it's probably pretty important that you do it" approach. Hence the I Think I'll Join The Girls Venture Corps So I Can Fly Planes speech of 1983, and the I've Decided To Move To Japan speech of 1993. More recently we have the I Think I'd Like To Be More Creative speech of 2009...
But sometimes, before I realise it's important to Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, I find myself being very busy. With other things I find to do. When you think about it, it's actually very creative. I can create quite a number of things that need doing that really don't need doing in a matter of minutes.
I call it "doing a Monica". I feel the need to organise. Cupboards. Drawers. To make piles of things I need to sort out. Washing. Paperwork. And then suddenly I'll notice that this is happening and start asking myself, "What in the David Dickenson are you doing?"
It happened after writing my last blog post. I had spent lots of time beautifully re-arranging parts of my home. Everything looked lovely. There was a new energy in each of the rooms. It felt great to see the differences I had made. It was very satisfying. There was nothing else to do. Eveywhere was tidy, clean, complete.
So I started to look in the cupboards. Peeking inside to find things that might need doing. Maybe this cupboard could do with a sort out. And that was when I knew I was going over to the dark side.
So I got out my paints and sat down in my creative space.
I had a wee think.
I had a look at my brushes.
I chose which paper I wanted to work with.
I wondered what people called the artistic, crafty equivalent of writer's block. Painter's smudge? Knitter's knot?
I decided if I was going to do this, I was in for a penny, in for a pound. So I took the lid off the brightest, reddest, most scarlet, tube of paint I could lay my hands on.
And gave it a squeeze.
No paint oozed from the nozzle. There was no satisfying dollop of red paint in the pallet.
I had a close look at the end of the tube of paint. It all looked fine.
I had another squeeze. Nothing.
So I gave it a really good, two handed, I mean business, I've finally sat down to paint and won't be thwarted kind of a squeeze.
And a lovely bright red, almost scarlet, arc of painted shot across the room. In slow motion.
I watched as it passed the lamp. The desk. The calendar. The cat.
And slashed it's way across my beautiful white curtains.
I was being plagued by Creativity Gremlins again... (You can read more about Creativity Gremlins here.)
Here's another one so you get the full effect.
You can imagine my dismay. A foot and a half of Accidental Creativity.
Then came the fiasco of getting the curtains down. I managed to make a lovely design on myself actually.
I took my paint-soiled curtains, and my fairly paint-soiled self, into the bathroom and put the curtains in the bath. I figured if I rinsed out the paint with cold water, maybe everything would be ok.
Watching the red water wash over my curtains, turning them a lovely pink, I felt a momentary flush of panic. I may have uttered something that sounded a bit like "Jackson Pollocks".
So I took the curtains downstairs, put them in the washing machine and watched the wash turn a beautiful shade of raspberry ripple.
But now for the great news.
I can personally vouch for the cleaning power of Ariel "Brrrrilliant Even At Low Temperatures" washing tablets. Three cycles and six washing tablets later my curtains are back to their former glory. Actually, they are in better form than their former glory.
Because, in all honesty, they could have done with a bit of a wash.
P.S. Have you experienced Accidental Creativity?