One Drew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Mona Lisa has her own mailbox in The Louvre owing to the large number of love letters she receives. Imagine one of your paintings being that popular!
“Rachel doesn’t like to live in the real world. She prefers her fantasy lands and books”
An accurate observation from my mother. She’s right, I don’t. Perhaps the world of art and magic was too irresistible for me to ignore. Ever the Tolkien fan, I devoured The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings and all the Narnia Chronicles by Tolkien’s good friend, CS Lewis. Roald Dahl and JK Rowling are to name but a few of my favourites. Drawn to the impossible and the surreal, creating art is a small, tangible glimmer through the window of that alternate, magical universe.
From as early as I could hold a crayon, I created drawings and paintings and was rather particular about how things looked. I used to do seemingly bizarre things – for example, I’d collect the colouring pencils at the end of the day for the teacher when instructed in a specific order. The teacher thought that my 6-year-old self was exhibiting early signs of OCD. Actually, I just liked rainbows and I thought the pencils looked prettier in the boxes that way. Maybe that’s OCD in itself? I just like beautiful things.
A striking phrase that I came across recently is as follows:
‘The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams.’
I’m a great believer in visualisation. Another of my favourite books is The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho – a charming story about a young boy in search of his personal legend. With the messages from the universe speaking so clearly to me, I find myself stepping out into unchartered territory, finding courage and shedding my previous skin like a pupating butterfly.
Unbelievably, I’m a Chartered Accountant and Treasurer. Even I can’t believe it myself sometimes given that I’m like an ADHD puppy, I just can’t sit still (or quiet!) for that long and it definitely was not what I wanted to be when I ‘grew up’…I’m still waiting for that to happen, perhaps it never will… l think I’ve survived the previous 20 years as I love challenges, social interactions and mathematics, and after all, creatives make great problem solvers.
As grateful as I’ve been for the opportunities my professional career has afforded me, my soul was starting to scream so loudly that it could not be ignored. 3 years ago, I began to go public with my art and started to share it on social media. The response was both humbling and overwhelming.
Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to sell dozens of original pieces, and hundreds of prints as well as exhibiting across the UAE, my former residence. Exhibiting art for the 2017 Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi and huge exhibitions at glorious hotels like The Fairmont have been monumental steps. Now that I’m settling back into my native UK, I have a dedicated space to create at home and I’m looking for a special local gallery to work with. I endeavour to keep taking the next right step.
Often, I can’t sleep at night for the ideas racing through my brain, indescribable colours and shapes, layers of emotions, smells and tastes that I want to capture on paper. I don’t wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me and I find myself sprinting through my chores to make time to create. If I don’t get time to paint, I become depressed and dull, colourless and faded. I know I’m at my happiest when painting because I can go for hours without consuming chocolate – my other serious addiction in life! Hours can pass by and sometimes I realise it’s 3 am and I really ought to go to bed. It’s not a question of why do I paint, it’s more, how could I feel alive without it?
To share a little piece of magic with the world and deliver my message as captured through my art-tinted glasses has become my life’s goal.
I intend to continue learning and create places of beauty, inspiration and magic for others to enjoy, as well as helping other creatives on their own journeys. Perhaps from time to time, I might be honoured enough to create something for you. I’m excited to begin my blogging journey as I take another step down the artistic rabbit hole.
I’d love to hear about your journeys. Have you discovered your vocation, your raison d’être?