Thursday, May 03, 2007

A white mug

A few days ago i spent the evening with Debs and we attempted to do some mug painting. I say 'attempted' because we did not altogether succeed. Or i should say 'I' did not succeed. Debbie painted a beautiful mug, but the challenge was too much for me. The mug painting set was designed for 4-8 year olds. I am 24 years old. I could come up with the following argument: It was not designed for my age group, so how could i succeed? It's like asking a 4 year old to decorate a house... he's only 4, how can he do that?.... Except i know this argument is flawed. The harsh truth is i failed to do something that even a 4 year old can do. I sat there for 2 hours, and i'm not exaggerating, and looked at my mug. But i couldn't paint anything. I am too much of a perfectionist and was afraid i'd get it wrong, even though it's just a mug!

The reason this is distressing is because i claim to be creative. Clearly i'm not. I also greatly admire children and think the whole world should look at things through the eyes of a child. Yet i was reminded i am far from being like a child anymore. I don't have that same freedom to just paint without caring. I know that i am an 'adult', and it would be foolish to try and be like a child, but still!.......

I could also argue that there is nothing wrong with a plain white mug! It's got that simplistic look to it which i quite like. In fact according to Japanese principles which Hannah taught me about, i think it is even a little Wabisabi... maybe i should be the one who moves to Japan, then i can take my mug with me and it wouldn't be a problem. I know that these arguements are not really valid either and i just need to face the fact that i couldn't paint my mug!

My sister sent me the 'thumb test' this morning. Apparently if you clasp your hands together, then according to which thumb goes over the other, you can tell which side of your brain is most dominant and hence whether you are more of a verbal or a visual person. According to this test, i am more verbal and logical and language-based. Well, there we go.... something else which has shattered my illusion that i am a visual person. The mug incident would seem to prove this test right. I am perplexed. However, it is very evident that i am not a verbal person either. Anyone who has heard me talk will know that. I have the worst ability in the world to express myself with words, which is why i normally use pictures on my blog.

I think i will continue to use pictures though, simply because i've bored myself with all these words....


Chris said...

God's given you bags of real talent in loads of areas Becky. I don't think you not being spontaneous with that mug means you're not creative or childlike. [does that sentence make sense?]Some children are quiet and thoughtful precisely because they do have a great imagination, but like to take time to express themselves.

Also, the words on your blog do a lot of good and encourage those who read them. Thank you for what you share.

Hope you don't mind me commenting! God bless, Chris

jeni cottrell said...

You know, im sceptical about that hand clasping thing. I'm left-handed so maybe that makes a difference?! There are lots of tests for that, and you can be a visual person and still be logical etc, and i feel that's a good place to be. I took maths, english, and photography a-levels. English was my best, but i went on to do art! Yesterdy i tried to draw a family for my english lesson, 3 screwed up pieces of paper later, i traced it from a book. I find it easier to draw naked people from life apparently. I've always maintained art is the hardest subject, self-directed, self-inspired, something has to come completely from you, no rule books or formulas! argh. What was i thinking?! A blank canvas is the most intimidating thing in the world...think of your mug like that! or you could be really abstract and contemporary, throw it on the floor, say what is left is art, say the act was a performance, and say you don't want to justify your reasons. This is where self-direction comes in handy. Job done. Lots of love to you xxxx