Many moons ago, I enjoyed the occasional chance to express my creative inspirations by putting brush and paint to paper. Indulging in such pastimes proved to be meditative and a therapeutic respite from the mind’s constant chatter of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
That was in the nineties, before the onset of the internet invaded our every spare minute, leaving none for relaxation with good old-fashioned handicraft work and painting. It was also before I delved into the bottomless pit of Photoshop possibilities.
Not one for keeping glued to a tv screen on the odd evenings that I had time on my hands, I chose to indulge in artistic pursuits with like-minded friends. Usually it would be a painting session, after a casual dinner and dessert at one of our apartments.
Painting with BL
BL used to lament about not being able to paint, let alone draw. I still remember persuading her to put dye crayons to an oldish white pillowcase, while I did the same. The look of sheer delight that lit up her face when she realized she could draw, was good enough to encourage her to go on painting with me every now and then.
We had the habit of sharing a theme for our ‘masterpieces’ and when utterly delighted with the outcome, we even exchanged art pieces as simple reminders of the progressive, artsy milestones we had reached.
Once it was the eve of a national celebratory occasion. When the fireworks started to light up the night sky at the stroke of midnight, that was when we started to work on our ‘commemorative collages’, each on one side of the dining table. Though we kept those ‘masterpieces’, I still have a pretty piece of a Chinese tea cup, painted by BL.
“Leaving Home” with MB
Another friend – MB – who was a fount of encouragement in my pursuit of artistic expression, had a lightbulb moment one fine day. Grinning cheekily, she announced her grand idea, as she whipped out a torn newspaper snippet of a painting. It showed a traditional Chinese-style rendition in black ink, of a little girl with a bundle on the end of a stick, looking rather somber, dressed in a mandarin-collared jacket and pants.
We decided to paint each other in the same fashion as the little girl in the inspirational image – but we did so in our own time. 12 years later, we caught up on skype and reminisced about our favourite pastimes of years gone by. We delightfully exchanged photos of each other’s artwork entitled ”Leaving Home”, which are to us, very special keepsakes of memorable times and sincere friendships never to be forgotten.
I am thankful for such fond memories and for the joy of good friends.