Creativity in the Midst of Monotony

So we are now over four months in quarantine. Somehow a whole third of a year has flown by while we have been adjusting to this new way of life and work. It’s been such a strange year. A few years ago we decided to move about as far across the country as you can get, for a different adventure on the east coast of Australia. Now we are feeling that decision, far (physically) removed from friends and family as we live our strange new isolated life.

Here in Queensland we are not in such a severe lockdown as our friends in Victoria. But we have still been trying to stay a little bit sensible, and stay home when we don’t actually need to be anywhere. I am usually an adventure ‘go exploring’ type person, so I am trying to do some different things while staying close to home. Therefore I have been chanelling some old school Bronte and taking up some lady-like creative pursuits, but perhaps in a slightly different way…

So I started with some sewing. One of the most beautiful people I know gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl so I started my creative covid with a baby blanket. I’ve done a few of these for friends over the years. They are a lot of fun, from selecting material that I feel connects me to the lovely new families, to putting different things together, and thinking all the happy thoughts through the hours and hours of hand sewing (and unfortunately, unpicking…!)

So, thinking that I know how to sew straight lines, I thought, why not try a pair of pants? Well, actually, pants are quite hard! I copied my favourite pair (with some extra for the quarantine belly!) and jumped straight on the machine. Now, a sane person would have grabbed a pattern and got some instructions for what order you’re supposed to sew things in. But no, I don’t really do that planning stuff when it comes to creativity! So even though it meant I sewed and re-sewed the pockets probably five times, I got there in the end!

I have now made two pairs of pants, and am halfway through a top, which is even more tricky as I couldn’t find a piece to copy so am making something up… Unfortunately I am always better at starting, than finishing, a project so this one is still half-finished in the cupboard – better get to this soon!

My first attempt at sewing pants

So needing a break from the sewing (we have very limited space in this house and sometimes I just need to be out of the office/sewing room/PlayStation party zone), I decided to try oil painting. Something I haven’t done before. Now, a sane person would probably watch a video / buy a book / take a class…. Nah, that’s not me. So I just started painting. It’s actually been really fun. I don’t know what I’m doing, so I have been just mixing the oils with different things and trying different brushes / knifes and figuring out what happens. This is the result so far, I’m only on day two (leaving a week to dry between coats) so we’ll see what progresses.

So… This time at home is thing is challenging. But I’m trying to find the creativity in the challenge and keep busy, while learning some new skills. While the monotony of life in the house kicks in, its important to break the routine where you can and try some new things – they don’t have to be successful! It’s just a great thing to problem solve, learn new skills and try something different for a little while. What have you got to lose?

Mark making 1 – mixing oils with Impasto medium and using a palette knife. Was really fun but also turned into a mess real quick!
Mark making 2 – mixing oils with flow medium and using a small hard bristled brush. The paint had a really lovely glowy effect with this medium.
Mark making 3 – using unmixed oils and a big soft brush – this was difficult!

Happy creating!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: