Monday, 12 January 2015

Creativity, triggered by The January Cure


A belated welcome in 2015!
I hope you are all well.

New Years Eve I made ginger syrup for the first time and wanted to find out more about syrups and lemonades. One thing lead to the other (hello Internet! ;-)) and it did not take long and The Kitchn led me straight to Apartment Therapy.

Oh my, just what I needed! Those who know me over the years know, that I live in a small apartment, approx. 680sqft. You can imagine my delight, when I found categories such as "Small Spaces", there was even a contest, listing dozens of cool examples for small Living, the Small Cool Contest.

I looked around and the famous Janary Cure caught my attention. I had never heard of it before – until New Years Eve. Some experienced members of the Apartment Therapy-community were already very much looking forward for the Cure to begin and today, after the first third of the month,  I can assure you, it DOES something with you. You, your apartment ... after those 31 days, you will OWN your apartment, even if you rent.
It is about getting to know the corners of every room, make use of your apartment and fill it with ... all you ever wished for, which does not necessarily lead to shopping sprees. More likely it will lead you to your kitchen, where you will end up on the kitchen floor, cleaning the bottom of those drawers. ;-)

 just a photo (more below) - Schönbrunn Gardens last week

It is never too let to jump in, I can say I have my doubts whether I will be able to have completed the Cure by January 31st.

I do not mind, because ever since I started with those daily tasks, the action has already done something amazingly, something I did not expect: it instantly triggered my creativity.

On the second or third day I cleaned the top of a chest of drawers in the bed room and ended up organising my large amount of watercolour-materials that I had bought about a decade ago. I always loved painting and as an adult I finally was able to afford those supplies. For 3 years I totally dived into painting, joined the watercolour-forum on

7 years ago I quit painting for no reason. I was right in the middle of a process when I was noticeable improving my skills. I knew I wanted to finish some of the pictures, and paint, again. Only I never did. Until last week.

The dynamics of this low tech programme called The January Cure is fascinating. It releases tons of dynamics, can also be really exhausting bud in the end you earn a lot.

Last Sunday Mr Paula and I went to Schönbrunn and brought my camera with me. This time, for the first time in ages, with the mere intention to find motives. Stories, I could paint. The sky was bright, the sun already quite low and we returned home with many nice motives for painting sessions to come. It is very unusual for me to take photos not for the photo but with the photography as a tool.

What helps a lot (yes, I am proud about this) is that I have a good eye for motives.
I see stories, I stop and look and see what others might oversee. Over the years I developed a good eye, which makes everything more fun.
 The 1st chosen motive

I always loved photography. I have a passion for photography. Before photography was ... painting.
I had forgot. Now I know (and smile): I love to paint.

I have the paintings in my head, I just need to get them on paper.
Those of you, who know watercolours, know, that beginners make all kinds of mistakes. I will need a lot of practice. I am pleased to find numerous blogs online where people who share their love for painting with me are happily willing to share their knowledge.

What I did not know: they often repeat their paintings until they end up with the painting they had in mind.
And: they draw sketches. Often they draw not just one, but 2 or three sketches before they even touch the large sheet of watercolour paper.

Having painted with the sole purpose to get back in touch with my colours in the box, I sat down today and drew the first sketch after a long time. Wow!

Do you know Betty Edwards? She wrote a book which teaches everyone how to draw. "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".

Drawing is not about your hands, but about your eyes. What you see and what you REALLY see. The moment you start to sketch, your brain changes its mode (a fact). Something happens to you.

Long story short: having drawn a sketch tonight, chanced the way my brain worked while I was sketching. Which leads to a happy state. It just does.

I had to tell you!

This could become the 2nd chosen motive

I guess that if it had not been for that ginger root, things probably might have taken another turn. 

The slopes up to the Gloriette in Schönbrunn were closed, due to ice and snow, which did not hinder the people to walk past the fence and walk up in the sun, on icy grounds. I like this photo.

I did a sketch of the first photo. I
With the first sketch I was trying to find the right perspectives and proportions as well as light and shadow. I can see diagonal lines, which draw me right into the scenery, then the light contrasts, warm and cool colours, a distinct foreground, where something is happening and a dreamy background  – one word: excellent! :-)

The composition is nice, but it is not the picture I want to paint. The 1st sketch serves as a starting point. It makes me aware of the actual composition and makes me want to change some parts of the picture.

One tree is going to be smaller, I will erase some people and add others, I might add a few clouds. At the bottom of the picture I will leave space for longer shadows. Overall I want to leave some details out, it is a bit too busy. But can you see: I already changed some detais, f.e. the man, who is standing to the left is walking in the sketch. I also put some emphasis on the slopes, they are the story of the picture, everything here is about getting up to the Gloriette (the building on top)
What amazes me is how I ended up creating something, playful, with a very clear mind. I know what to do.

 It just happened.

 This I wanted to share with you!

Maybe we meet over there, at The January Cure.



  1. ohh ist das schön. es ist ganz toll zu lesen dass tolle dinge passieren.

    1. Hallo Verena!
      Ja, genau so ist es. Auch andere, die mitmachen (man kann defacto jederzeit einsteigen, auch zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt) berichten, dass Dinge ins Rollen kommen, eine positive Dynamik. Unerwartet und sehr willkommen. Ich akzeptiere es einfach. :-D