In our busy lives of running from one thing to the next, we hardly have moments to reflect unless we carve them out for ourselves on a given day. Most days, if I don’t want to turn into a dragon that oozes stress and impatience, I set aside time in the morning to have me time, and usually that inevitably means, painting or going down to my art room to rummage around in my art supplies. I try not to go down the rabbit hole of pinterest under the pretext of finding an idea for the next craftafternoon with the kids or birthday party. So I put down the screens and pick up my sketch book (I have one lying in the kitchen, car, in my baby/toddler bag just so I don’t loose focus of looking for something when the moment to sketch presents itself.
Our little family of four just moved to Canada exactly a year ago, and when we were living in the Dominican Republic, there were so many things about life that we created there as a new family that were hard to leave. Friends that I shared the first two years of the magical whirlwind carpet ride becoming mothers and fretting at every cough and fall. Friends who had become family in just three years. I also missed the Watercolour Tuesdays that we started with Cealeste and Stefania through the International Women’s Club. Women who got together and just took to the brush for three hours quietening the madness and chaos that happened around us. We drowned out the loud obnoxious hoots of Santo Domingo traffic from the 9th floor with classical music and quiet chatter. Interludes clinking brushes swishing around big glasses of water to wash out the last pigment we didn’t need anymore.
People always ask me how hard it is to move and how you find yourself settle in a new place, having lived in South African, Dominican Republic (not to mention being from Tanzania), going to boarding school in Kenya. There are a few things that help us expat families settle in quickly, whether its moving in our own furniture into our rented or bought home, having a local run of dentist, hair dresser and grocery store and favourite walking routine in the neighbourhood. Bonuses of course are finding amazing neighbours, like we did right now and friends we met in the park that we just clicked with. Reconnecting with families who also did the same move and spending quality with them. There is one other thing also, and that is having a creative outlet and it seems the trend is…WATERCOLOUR MORNINGS.
We just recently started our watercolour mornings, where we getogether and paint. You don’t need to have any sort of skills, just an appetite to learn.
Forthnightly, we aim to come together and explore the secrets of watercolour painting on paper. Sometimes, we have our energetic children playing in the background and other times, we let our partners or other caregivers take them off our hands. Whatever the scenario, its a wonderful way to get together and just block out the world and focus on one thing.
We pick a subject matter, and see where the paint and paper leads us. There are no set rules, just to enjoy what we are doing and to be present in the moment. These sketches may end up on our walls or a pile of experiments but the moment will forever be captured in our memories as a time when we can reflect, chat and connect with eachother and the world around us whilst maintaining a meditative stillness.
Having children under 4 years of age really demonstrates every day have art is a form of expression so integral to us as human beings, but somewhere along the way someone tells us we are not good enough and we stop drawing. I believe everyone is an artist and if we choose to continue, then we afford ourselves an outlet and a connection to the people and things around us.
Thank you to Iffat for being so gracious and introducing this to the networks of moms and connections that she and Jacqueline have created over the past couple of years. Without your interest there would be no watercolour mornings.
“Therapeutic, fun, social, enjoyment. Gives me the time to bring out my creative side, since I do not set aside that time at home because it is too busy.” Jacquelynn
“Time to Pause. A moment to be meticulous and expressive and expressive and experimental when motherhood and work etc do not always allow.” Iffat
If you are interested in joining us, please email and look up the link below: