Blog » Couch Art Explained (Monday, 24 February 2020)

Do you ever wish you had time to be creative, but LIFE keeps happening?

I know. Me too.

Here's the thing: LIFE will keep happening. And unless we make a choice - a conscious decision - to work a few moments of creativity into our days, there is never going to be a Time Fairy landing in our living rooms, waving her tiny wand, magically bestowing us with extra time. Never gonna happen. This one's up to us.

Brene Brown says

Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turn into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame.

I don't know about you, but grief, rage, judgment, sorrow and shame just are NOT on my list of favourite things. Life, however, is kind of great, so I want to hang onto that. Which means finding a way to use our creativity.

Which brings me to how Couch Art came into my life.

When we're needing to weave some creative time into our days, we have to start looking at the places we spend our time; eyes peeled for pockets of possibility. (This blog post gives you 5 places you could start looking).

I decided to start with the TV. I contemplated throwing the thing out, but then remembered I'm not the only person living here, and the bloke I live with really likes to relax in front of TV after dinner, so I thought I'd try gathering together a few things and see how I went making art in my lap, while sharing some quality TV time with him.

Turns out, it goes quite well. This little video is a walk through some of the pages of my favourite journal. It's a Moleskine water colour journal, which has a lovely weight water colour paper, and at 5 x 8.25 inches, it's a good size to sit on the side table with a few art supplies.  Find a basket to corral all the bits, and you have an instant, portable art studio.

In my basket you'll find:

  • Black & White felt tip pens in an assortment of tip sizes and shapes
  • Paint pens in a selection of colours
  • A small watercolour pan set
  • An aquabrush - which is like a paintbrush, but has a hollow barrel, that you fill with water.
  • A handful of other pens: a couple of fountain pens - one with water soluble ink, the other with permanent ink - white gel pen, mechanical graphite pencil and a couple of metallic ink pens because sparkle makes me happy.

I'll begin by smooshing down some puddles of colour and drawing/doodling over them, or perhaps doodling with a permanent pen first and then adding some colour over the top. No hard and fast rules, just whatever I feel like picking up and playing with. There's no pressure, no high expectations - just a bit of doodling and noodling on the page as you untangle the busyness of your day. And as the days slide by, you fill up page after page, and notice recurrent themes, shapes, patterns, colours and ideas. Which you could tap into to explore in larger artworks - but the real power in them is to express the creativity that longs for a channel, and save yourself from grief, rage, judgment, sorrow and shame.

Where can you find some creative time?

I've found this practice so beneficial, I'm putting together a class to help set anyone up to try this for themselves. If you want to be in the know of the when where and how (including a real time virtual class), sign up to my email list and you'll be the first to know.


Post a comment

  • Posted by editor on 02/26/20 12:36pm

    That's EXACTLY it, Janine!

    And the less anxious we are about it being 'good', the better the end result often is. The paradox!

  • Posted by Janine Leeden on 02/25/20 3:58am

    Your doodles still look really schmick to me. I've gotta get through my head that it is about learning the process of getting something onto the page, without it having to be a Rembrandt! (Letting go of my tight control on life....)

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