Yes indeedy!!! It’s that time!!! Am I awake? Is it today? Then it’s the perfect TIME to PLAY!!!! And by now you know my favoritest way to play is to fool around with ART. The painted and embellished canvas board above was created purely by chance over time. Let me explain.
It started with a huge tip I got from Flora Bowley (http://braveintuitiveyou.com/offerings-workshops/e-course/) when I attended a workshop she taught last fall. She tries to never discard any paint on her palette when she’s done with her piece. Instead, she encouraged us to either apply it to another blank canvas or mop it up with a rag and apply it to the painting we were working on. No waste. And it is a shame to see all those beautiful colors go down the drain, unless of course you’ve mixed them all together and they turn into that awful dull no-man’s-land-of-a-brown!!!!
So now I always have a canvas board or two in my work area just for that purpose. When I’m done with any painting project, all I do is scrape off the excess paint onto these boards, and maybe swirl it around a little. It builds and builds and sometimes images emerge and always its fascinating to see the layers of color that build up. After a while, you get a pretty interesting background piece that has the added bonus of being a little historical artifact of the projects you’ve been doing. That’s PLAYING at its finest!!! No intent, just joyfully pushing paint around with no particular outcome expected. That’s how this canvas began.
Then I needed a cover for the art mediums sampler book that Melody Ross (http://bravegirlsclub.com/brave-girl-art-school) has you do in Brave Girl Art School. She intended for us to use our “funky flower” canvas for the book cover, but I was too in love with mine and have it up on the wall. Then Little Miss Leftover Paint Board called my name and was begging for a bit more embellishment (modeling paste flowers, sequins, resin flower, buttons, trim). And I realized that this sampler book houses a lot of the techniques and mediums that we use for PLAY TIME, and so she was named.
Put together in a REALLY COOL way that is funky and girly and clever and lovely and pure Melody Ross — but I’m not going to tell you how to do it because that’s part of the class, AND YOU GOTTA SIGN UP FOR IT — IT GOES TO THE END OF THE YEAR NOW!!!! (just sayin’). The back cover is another canvas board just covered with colorful scraps of fabric (I cut up an old placemat and some other fabric from a thrift store — it cost pocket change) and then slathered with Mod Podge to make it hard and shiny — SO COOL!!!!
Here’s one of the sampler pages. This one shows examples of how to use different crackle mediums. The book is filled with about 12 pages like that, plus blanks for more. I use it ALL THE TIME as a reference for how to use that gel or this type of paint or that modeling paste. It’s my guide to PLAY TIME.
So what is PLAY TIME all about? Do we play to make ourselves HAPPY? Is it a reward at the end of a period of work? I think its more than that. Much more and much deeper.
Out here in the boonies (also known as picturesque rural area) our internet reception is sketchy because we can only get wi-fi or satellite. It is the bane of our existence! And its completely unpredictable. For the past 2 days I’ve been trying to upload these photos for this post, and it just wasn’t happening (grrrrrrrrr…..). But things happen for a reason and now I know why: tonight my lovely book club met and the subject was a book about being and believing in HAPPY, and we agreed that is an impossible emotion to sustain for any length of time. Though we all are in pursuit of it, in one way or another. And it got me thinking of HAPPY vs. JOY. And I came home knowing that that is what I needed to write about here — and wouldn’t have done so if our internet had been working yesterday.
HAPPY is fleeting, its electric, a wide smile and lots of laughter, a rush of adrenaline perhaps, a gasp of delight. We couldn’t possibly sustain that for a long period of time, certainly not as a way of living and looking at the world, because by its very nature HAPPY is temporary. Part of the ebb and flow of life, the crest of the wave. We can’t even know what HAPPY is unless we’ve experienced boredom or pain. It’s precisely this juxtaposition against non-happy feelings that gives HAPPY its delightful warm energy. I think many addictions start out as trying to sustain HAPPY, like a destination that they keep needing to get to over and over.
Oh, but JOY, now that is a completely different thing. JOY resides within your heart. It’s not a fleeting feeling. It’s the engine that gets you up in the morning and gets you excited about your work, your purpose, your life. JOY is completely and utterly sustainable and sustaining. It is the journey, not the destination. JOY is how you look at life, it is gratitude and it is love and grace. And real honest to goodness PLAY TIME is completely JOY-FULL. You lose track of time. You are completely in the moment, completely focused on whatever kind of PLAYING you are doing. To me, this is when we are at our best and our most balanced. Your PLAY TIME could certainly be your work (lucky you!). All systems firing, humming along, harmony and clarity and creativity. Just think how wonderful this world would be if we were all able to, and allowed to, PLAY the kind of PLAY that allows our souls to be full of JOY.
What is your PLAY TIME? Your JOY? Do you get enough of it? What’s holding you back? What have you “given up” for PLAY TIME? How do you see HAPPY and JOY?