I tried copying a Madhubani painting yesterday. I had underestimated
the art, perhaps because it's "tribal", almost childlike in its style
and colour, more akin to a doodle than, say, The Last Supper.
It was much harder than I expected. It would have been easier
with a thick felt-tipped pen, but I decided I had to do it with
paint and brush. This was my first attempt:
Today, I decided that I was more Mother Bunny than Madhubani,
and allowed myself to just paint as I felt like. As you may have
noticed from my blog, I like drawing faces, so I painted what
I remembered of the woman's face in the Madhubani painting.
I took the whole evening to finish this, and I guess my mind
was still on the library book I'd just returned,
The Land of Painted Caves, by Jean M Auel, because my head
was full of goddess stories and ancient history and life before patriarchy.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself until I started to feel guilty for not doing
something "useful". But then I reminded myself how important
it is for me to do just this - paint, enjoy myself - for my sanity,
my health, my pleasure.
Later this evening I started reading a book by Bertrand Russel, called
Why Men Fight. I'd forgotten the reason I picked it up at the library
was because I read this quotation on the back cover:
"The supreme principle, both in politics and in private life,
should be to promote all that is creative, and so to diminish
the impulses and desires that centre around possession."
So in retrospect, I had a supremely useful day.