Celebrate the Irish: Shifting Your Brain

Ink & Watercolors on Rice Paper, White Gel Pen – Words: Gaelic Blessing

In this twelfth week of our calligraphy challenge the circumstances surrounding the Corona Virus social distancing events caused many of us to skip celebrating St Patrick’s Day. The prompt for this week was to celebrate the Irish, so I wanted to highlight our Irish and Scottish heritage. First thing I thought about were our family tartans, the plaids worn by men in wool kilts. The tartans for both our families have similarities so why not play with that? I spent time deconstructing the tartan patterns using ink and watercolors. I then cut the pages into smaller squares and arranged the various outcomes on black paper. The words are written in white pen. Overall the piece reminds me of the kilts the men in our wedding wore, with starched white shirts and black Tuxedo jackets. (I have included photos of the original tartans at the bottom of this post)

I had to shift my brain a bit to ‘deconstruct’ the plaids. At first I started recreating it out of habit, then reminded my self that the goal was not to make it a duplication. I allowed myself to play and break the standard rules and ending up having a lot of fun working with the colors and lines. I also made a big mess, went though lots of paper, and tried a few things that just didn’t work. Inks bled into each other, colors smeared and lines became unclear. It was amazing!

It’s funny how we are so set in our ways that we complete things along the same patterns without even realizing what is happening. If our goal is to change, try something new, or even modify what we have it can be tough not to fall into old patterns. Somewhere we have to turn off the known and jump head first into the unknown not worrying about mistakes or outcomes or if we are even on the right track. Being willing to try simply for the sake of trying with no fear of making something presentable allows our minds to break barriers and invent freely. When this happens we really begin to explore the unknown.

When was the last time you allowed yourself the freedom to do without worrying about an end product? Let today be the day you shift your brain and completely leave the expected behind. You will be invigorated and overjoyed by the outcome!

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