Looking at my walk of life so far I can say that boredom has been one of my driving forces. Boredom has brought me to my current life. It's my signpost. The most important decisions were made out of boredom. Changing my direction. Like on the 13th of March 2015...
After a strange tour around the world (later more about this), I ended up in Byron Bay, Australia. I had no idea what I was doing there. Or why. Or how to fill my days. The only reason I stayed there was the lack of any reason to go somewhere else. I was just living the days, doing nothing. Waiting for life to happen.
Then one day a lady I'd only just met told me right in my face: 'You are lonely and you are bored.' Instant tears. Help! 'What do you like to do?' she asked. I don't know. More tears. 'Teach me how to have fun,' I sobbed. Together with me she made a list of fun things to do. Seriously, I had sunk to this level. Horse riding lessons, art classes, ceramics, dancing lessons. She told me I could do anything as long as it wasn't with my head. No language classes for instance. No more thinking, no more overthinking, no more overoverthinking. 'Shut off that mind,' were her last words. I nodded as a little schoolgirl and went back home.
More crying. Some food. Sleep.
Next day my mission started: let's create some fun. Made an appointment for horse riding lessons the next week. Bought a little green car to take me there (I mean, you're nowhere without a car in Oz). Bought a pair of cowboy boots. Off I went.
The horse was called Sunny. 'A good horse for beginners,' the horse lady told me. 'Not too wild.' That was an understatement. He wouldn't move a single step. Nothing. 'What's going on, Sunny?' the lady asked the gorgeous golden brown creature who was carrying me. No answer from the horse. But I knew exactly what was going on: Sunny was as bored by me as I was. Right from the start we whirled down into a downward spiral we often see in relationships: Sunny was bored by me, I was bored by Sunny - and neither of us could change this dynamic.
Went home, kept my head up and googled for the next thing on my list of fun things to do: art class. I found dynamic drawing in Byron Bay.
A day later I drove with my new car to art class. It was held in a scouts hall. Tables around, in the middle the space for a life model. Before we started I took this picture. Blank paper, charcoal ready. Little did I know that this is the exact moment my new life would start. 13th of March 2015 is the day the artist HM de Groot was born.
The class took off. BOOM! That was it. There was Ron Curran, the facilitator of Dynamic Drawing. He doesn't care for technique. Wait, no, I need to put that differently: he puts you first, that's the technique. All the intellectual 'how you are supposed to make art'-rules get crushed. Or: become secondary. Or: become servants - of you. In his classes I discovered the real meaning of art: to express what is. To express what is in you. To express whatever is there.
'Hannah, let go of reality', he would tell me over and over again, standing at my table. 'It's a sign of insecurity.' 'We all know what reality looks like, now I want to see what that reality does IN you.' And from drawing figures I moved to abstract scribbling, scratching, doing. THIS IS IT, I hoorayed.
THIS IS IT.
No more Sunny the bored horse. (Great children's book title though.) But thanks for making me buy a car. It was a green ford fiesta, I called her Florace.
For the next couple of months Florace took me to art class twice a week. Three hours in Byron Bay, three hours in Mullumbimby. I used my little room as art studio, producing one painting after the other. I bought boxes full of art supplies. Paper, canvases, paint, crayons, pencils - everything I thought I could use. I was on fire. Or better put: it kept me away from boredom. I had nothing else to do.
Boredome is a signpost
Till today, five years later, I use boredom as a signpost. When I am waiting for life to happen, I know it's time to create again. To drag myself to the table. To give birth to a new creation. To move from boredom into borndom.
It's just ultimate joy to know that you've been here.
Please make me happy, leave a comment below :)
THE ART OF BEING HM DE GROOT
On one hand creating is a matter of just doing. Simple is that. But on the other hand it takes a lot to get to that point of creation. Besides techniques and materials it's a lot about... yourself. It goes up and down. From being in the flow to being convinced it all makes no sense. From exhilarating discoveries and breakthroughs to lonely moments in the endless desert of emptiness.