Discovering creativity: Treasure in the garden

One of the most exciting things about painting is discovering creativity you were previously not aware of.

Suzanne Lindfield emailed me on the subject of discovering creativity. She said:

“The urge to draw and paint was very strong for me when I was a child, I always at it! However I didn’t have the opportunity to study it in school or at third level and that really hindered me and my expression of it for nearly 20 years. But in the last few years (I’m now 41) I’ve come back to it, attending night classes, meeting up with art-folk and of course, meeting the online community. Re-learning has sometimes been difficult and I’ve had many “barriers” in my head to break down. But the greatest thing is that I really feel as though I’ve found treasure in my back garden! It’s just such a joy that keeps on going, getting deeper and learning more all the time. Even the process of breaking down barriers is interesting, although sometimes painful, but there’s always something to learn!”

discovering creativity
There’s treasure in the garden. Mini watercolour

I just love her comment about feeling she had found treasure in her back garden. That is a perfect description of the way it feels every time I get a section of a painting to do exactly what I want it to do. Or when I see one of  those wonderful happy accidents that watercolours deliver from time to time. There is a thrill of discovery every time a new technique works, and every unique creation is rather like treasure.

Discovering creativity in yourself when you didn’t know that particular skill was there is a really satisfying experience.

Discovering creativity in a different form

So now the question is: Doesn’t everyone have some treasure waiting to be discovered? It may not be art, but if there’s a new skill to be learned; new insights to be uncovered; then there is treasure. I wrote about being thrilled every time I hear someone has decided to try learning to paint. Suzanne’s comment explains why that’s so exciting: I can’t help smiling when I think about the thrill they’re going to have when they see an image emerge from the end of their brush; when they catch a glimpse of their gold. Now I’m beginning to feel rather like an archaeologist. There’s a lot of digging at times, but the treasure – when I find it – is well worth the work. Thank you, Suzanne.

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