When I was young, I used to get the Once Upon a Time comic and, as the name suggests, it was full of fairy tales and stories about the usual subjects, princesses being saved by princes, tales from the Arabian Nights and as far as memory serves, it was also where I first encountered tales of Brer Rabbit. It was the highlight of my week and I loved it as much for some of the colourful artwork as the stories. I was always drawing and colouring-in as a child and I even had a painting exhibited locally when I was in P2. There was an exhibition of local art and somehow I was nominated to paint a picture for my class/school, I'm not entirely sure which. Anyway, I got the afternoon off lessons to paint a picture of a hen. I don't remember if I made that choice or if that is what I was told to draw.
A few years ago, I took up art again and, I have to say, I love it more now than ever and I try and get to exhibitions and galleries as much as I possibly can. I even sold a painting when I first showed some of them at a craft fair. This actually happened by accident as we thought the paintings were being used to decorate the room but they were put on a stall instead.
I was in Dublin on Saturday to meet a friend so I headed down early so I could spend some time in the National Gallery and came home with a pair of 'Starry Night' socks! There was a Vermeer exhibition on but it was booked out so I couldn't get to see it but I still enjoyed a roam around the gallery. Then last night, I spent an hour on Facebook watching video presentations on Van Gogh's Sunflowers, from art galleries around the world. Van Gogh would probably be my favourite artist and I do like his work in general but Starry Night would be my favourite painting, hence the socks.
A friend of mine recently shared a video of Jim Carrey, the actor, talking about art and discussing how creating art had helped to heal him after a particularly heart-breaking time. Jim isn't the first to find healing in art and creativity and I have to say, I too, find it very therapeutic.
In the video, Jim talks about how he was sitting in a 'grey New York' and felt the need to bring some colour in to his life. A sentiment I understand, more so considering the state of the world at the moment. While I am political in my outlook, when it comes to art, I leave the politics aside and take the aesthetic road. I don't want to create political statements with my artwork, I want to create something of beauty to transcend those miserable and grey days of life. On this one, I'll leave the politics to Banksy.