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Hand Painting (a way to get you through these crazy times!)

Just an early heads up for this post, painting is much more my thing than writing, can you tell by the rambling title? For years I have worked as a kidswear designer for various high street retailers. I always loved my job but towards the end it became filled with meetings or being sat in front of a P.C. Sometimes the more senior you become the less creative the role. I needed to do something different, so almost a year ago I started Luna & Folly. It began painting with my kids at the kitchen table (something I’ve been doing a lot during lockdown!). I started off sketching the things the kids liked, fairies, dragons and unicorns and now it has grown into something so much bigger than I ever could have imagined.

Day dream Fairy original

The best part of my day is the beginning of a new illustration. By then all the stresses of homeschooling 3 kids are over for the day and I can sit down with a coffee and much needed time to myself. I start at a slow pace, I can spend any amount of time looking at a subject and noticing all the things I have never noticed before that have always been there. As soon as I start, I am totally absorbed, transported far away from all the worries of the day. I concentrate only on the flow of the pencil, how it becomes more sure as the illustration develops and then immersed only in how the watercolour paints blend into each other.

Turtle original

Plenty mistakes are made, some of them are happy ones others are just an excuse for another coffee before I start over again but even with mistakes, it’s never stressful. Far from it, in fact the therapeutic advantages of painting are said to be comparable with meditation. It can even relax muscle soreness, joint pain and headaches.

Dinosaurs original

Then there is the satisfaction of when it is done and then I show it off to the kids who are my biggest fans and biggest critics. It’s always a subject they are interested in, sharks, mermaids or dinosaurs. If I’m lucky enough they will already have joined me painting at the kitchen table and have a picture of their own.

Once it’s completely finished I can’t wait to see it printed out on fabric. I love how the garment looks and how it has captured all the beauty of a hand painted watercolour. It looks unique and crafted, something loved. I even love wrapping it up in tissue paper ready to be boxed up and delivered to it’s new owner. A keepsake hopefully to be loved and cherished.

I’m hoping with the teenage years fast approaching the therapeutic benefits of painting are long lasting!

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