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Watercolour Wellbeing

Updated: Sep 2, 2023





On Saturday 11 February, Durley Memorial Hall was transformed into an art studio for Lisa Gardner's morning of water colour painting and chair yoga (thank you to the committee members involved). The theme was WATER. Solid line of desks had been set out in a wide crescent shape almost the length of the hall, each one carrying paper, paints, a palette, pencil, a little sponge, a stick of oil pastel colour and a brush.


There was a palpable atmosphere of excitement mingled with trepidation as we entered the space and seated ourselves on chairs in front of our desks to begin a gentle warmup under Lisa's guidance, prior to taking the plunge and releasing our "inner artist"! Suggestions for movements around the theme of Water involved our own interpretations of free-flowing swirls over and around imaginary objects until, suitably relaxed and reassured, we took our places and began the business of making marks on paper..


“As we increasingly lost our inhibitions, it became pure freedom and pure enjoyment, and it was fascinating at the end to see how different everyone's creations were.”

Lisa, a practising professional water colourist, is passionate in her belief that we are all artists at heart. Beginning by working "wet on wet" and generously brushing water onto our paper, in rhythm with the flow of breath, we loaded our brushes with more colour and dropped dots and swirls onto the watery surface.


Lisa was always there to encourage and suggest how we might express movement, depth and stillness, or simply welcome "accidents" of form as we worked. We were assured that there are no such things as "mistakes" when working in this joyful, deeply centred way!


At times we worked with our non-dominant hand, surprised at the results, and becoming more and more absorbed. Then we tried "wet on dry" and dots of water held by surface tension with smaller dots of colour dropped into them, Fantastic forms spread into and around one another on the wet surfaces - lakes, clouds, subterranean landscapes of colour, at times suggesting star-scapes, oceans and universes, at other times glimpses into the microscopic world of plant and human anatomy writ large, especially when a magnifying glass was passed round so we could see the tiny tendrils of colour creeping and seeping into and around one another.


As we increasingly lost our inhibitions, it became pure freedom and pure enjoyment, and it was fascinating at the end to see how different everyone's creations were. The final treat was a Yoga Nidra, with all of us laid out on the floor in front of our desks. An excellent turnout, a wonderfully stimulating and creative experience, and the fastest 2 hours ever!

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