The power of colour

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One section of my book is called ‘Release it- Paint’. It’s about encouraging people to paint and be unafraid.

Today I am going to run this idea as a workshop for the first time which is super-exciting. A lot of my work is about creativity in terms of generating ideas. Today will be different as I aim to facilitate creativity on a different perhaps more spiritual level. I am going to ask people to play around with colour on a canvas. The object of the exercise is not represent anything they might see in ‘reality’ but to enjoy colour just for what it is.

We aren’t going to have too many paint brushes just sponges and people will be encouraged to use their fingers too. In addition to paint I will also take in some coloured paper so people can do more collage-like work.

I have a few different angles planned to help people engage in the process so we shall see how it goes. I shall also take along some colour images that I created for my book. The image above was created just on a small index card and I made lots of them. The first one was created by pressing pieces of paper together and the in the second I used a ruler to spread colour around. (I was going to use these in my book but colour printing was a little too expensive for a first book!)

So today I get to show other people how much fun you can have exploring colour. For me it’s therapy. I don’t have to talk to anyone, achieve anything, communicate anything…I can just be. The session today is all about wellbeing so lets hope it works as well for the people today as it does for me! I shall keep you posted.



Proof arrives- reactions from my aunt

I set this blog up to slowly release the book into the world prior to publication. I’m pleased to say that this is coming closer. I’m just at the final proofing stage of the printed copy. I made this short video of me opening my parcel as it arrived …

It’s also been an interesting process showing the proof to people. At the weekend I showed it to my aunt who is just turning 70 next week. I thought it would be the perfect answer to the usual question of “So what have you been up to?”

She does the crossword daily and as she saw the slim volume she assumed she’s be able to ‘skim it’ while I was there. (Luckily this was not the case – she did pause for thought between sections)

It’s fascinating and slightly nerve-wracking to have someone read the book in front of you. In the introduction I talk about ‘taking a leap’ from employment to self employment. This immediately struck a chord with her and she went on to tell me about the leaps of faith she had taken in her life and the risks and pay offs that were associated with them.

Her interpretation of how she ‘thinks outside the box’ was fascinating to hear and her views on the innocence of childhood and play was also something she picked up on and wanted to discuss.  Unfortunately other people in the room didn’t know what she was reading, as there was only one copy, but she was commenting as if we all had the book in front of us!

One of the funnier comments she made, apart from “Who is this Ken Robinson chap?”,   was in relation to the section on “There is no one right answer”. Here’s a short extract:

If you are to take a more creative path you have to let go of this notion of the ‘one right way’ and accept there are many ways of doing things. You may also have to believe that there is no right or wrong way of doing anything, just different ways.

“It’s going to sound arrogant but I am always right at most things. Aren’t I?” She said this with all seriousness turning to her husband for support. “Of course” he nodded. Maybe she’ll want to spend a bit more time on this section when the final version comes out.

One final point of her reaction to the book, she suggested it would be good for people ‘suffering from depression’. I thought it was a book primarily about creativity but for her it was just as much about positivity. Interesting how we write with one intention but people then add their own layer of meaning to something…

On the plus side, she as a 70-year-old great-grandmother, identified with the book and wanted her grand-daughter to read it too! So maybe it has a wider appeal than I had imagined. On the downside being the avid crossworder that she is – she spotted a typo that I and the proof reader had missed! 🙂