Since coming to the farm, I have been rather seduced by the paints basket. I’ve occasionally played around with paints in the past, but now, I’m quite smitten. I think perhaps it’s a replacement for the mosaics I loved so much in Melbourne. I lack the tools, tiles and space needed for mosaics, so instead I’m turning to the most inexpensive tubes of paint – children’s acrylics. Maybe one day I’ll branch out – perhaps some nicer acrylics, maybe watercolours would be nice, or even oils for that marvellous rich glossy finish. But for now, children’s acrylics are just the thing.
Filling my palette (a large scrap piece of ply from Julian’s workshop) and swirling the brush around is very peaceful and I love the rich swathes of colour and story I can add to our home. I can cheerfully spend hours lost in the delight of adding laying upon layer, watching as the picture I had in my head, appears on the surface in front of me.
I just make it up as I go – I never plan anything in advance. Sometimes I think I should. Sometimes I get to a moment when I realise, Oh if I’d put that there and this here, then it would be better balanced and I could have added this! Oh well. And when it doesn’t go quite right? Well there’s always water and rags to swipe away the dodgy bits .. and even sandpaper or the scourer!
And I think – dare I say it – I am beginning to know what I like and a style that I’m happy with and want to build upon.
It started with decorating the animal houses. Now I have a canvas in progress – it’s coming along slowly but sweetly. Then, when I spied this simple little enamel teapot at the camping store, I just knew I had to paint it – a variation on my lovely Spring Flower Girl I created at the mosaic studio last year – an image I’ve loved since first seeing Kaffe Fassett’s needlepoint of the flower and shell girl based on a vase he saw at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I’ve actually been working on this needlepoint for 18 years. Perhaps it’s time to finish it ;-)
Anyways, it’s a very simple bit of teapot painting. Only worked in acrylics so it won’t stand up to much washing. But oh it was such a pleasure to paint – in fact, I’m planning to sneak back to the camping store and buy some matching mugs and a little wee teapot for milk. But don’t tell Julian!
And the nicest bit? It’s something so very useful that brings us together. Noah and I just love sharing a pot of tea. We will gather together – under the tree, on the porch, on the sofa – our handwork on our laps, doggles by our sides, and often a good audio book playing in the background – this year we are on an Agatha Christie kick, and share our very milky tea and biscuits. It’s bliss.