Having spent a fair amount of the past fourteen months homeschooling my children due to the lockdown, I’ve been sure to equip myself with a wide range of tools and resources in order to provide a high level of quality education and learning for my children whilst they’ve been unable to attend school. Given that both J & E love to draw, paint and expand their learning through the medium of Art, I purchased numerous mediums and materials such as oil pastels, chalk pastels, high-quality pencil crayons, artists pencils, and some watercolour paints, which I myself have since enjoyed using.
Though I’m quite an artistic soul, I don’t feel all that gifted nor confident when faced with projects which require my artistic talents and when push comes to shove, I often find it difficult to decide as to what to draw, design or paint and so often place projects to one side in the hope that my husband will come to my rescue.
It’s not that I can’t do it – it’s that I lack confidence which is surprising given that I was awarded an ‘A’ at GCSE level Art. Though with a little guidance, encouragement and inspiration, I’d quite like to get back into Art, to pick up a paintbrush and to give it a go, thus was delighted when Liminal 11 recently sent me a copy of their recently released ‘Soul Color‘, a ten-week watercolour painting course designed to cultivate mindfulness and creativity.
Written by Emma Burleigh, this beautiful book teaches readers how to enjoy watercolour painting as a contemplative practise for self-discovery.
Emma is an award-winning comics artist, a painter, and an art teacher with over twenty years of experience. She has a deep passion for watercolour and loves to share her practice by holding regular workshops to aid the exploration of mindfulness through the form of art. Emma has self-published several ‘zines’ and illustrated books, and her illustrations and paintings have appeared in a range of publications and galleries including Resurgence and Ecologist magazine, The Strumpet, Contemporary British Painting and the Royal West Academy.
For Emma, painting is a contemplative and intuitive activity informed by her spiritual practice. Emma practices the art of meditation, she first began this in 2003 in order to help manage her stress as a young teacher within a busy secondary school. However, it wasn’t long before she became hooked and from 2010 – 2012 Emma lived as a member of the Buddhist community within Gaia House in Devon to develop her meditation practice, which remains at the core of her life.
Soul Color is a soft-backed, colour-printed, 155-page book featuring a pretty purple ribbon bookmark to keep track of your progress. This wonderful watercolour painting course is aimed to develop artists confidence to paint more intuitively, offering them permission to enjoy the unexpected, to make mistakes, to deepen their meditation skills, and to discover a new sense of reflective calm.
Ready Set Paint
With my watercolours, paper, a china plate, and a paintbrush at the ready, I was all set to relearn and relight my love painting and Soul Color gave me the opportunity to do just that! This ten week course is split into individual days, offering budding artists the inspiration, ideas, and guidance to go about exploring and exercising their skills through a range of activities.
Week By Week and Day-By-Day Guidance & Support
This book is split into ten weeks, and for each day artists are given an exercise, some tips and suggestions alongside questions for reflection.
Week one starts simply with purchasing the products required then choosing three colours and carrying out some basic mark-making. Activities then expand to the likes of stained glass doodles, merging and weeping colours, creating washes, and later following the sound to inspire imagery.
I love how each day is clearly set out and explained, being a teacher myself I read the activities much like I would a lesson plan and I quite appreciate having the structure and guidance to follow accordingly. Saying that, there is no pressure and no real time scale to complete the activities – it’s not like at school where the teacher is stood behind you and the clock is ticking – it’s simply a relaxing, explorative activity which you can carry out leisurely at home or wherever you may please.
As the weeks and days progress, the activities advance, though the topics and stimuli vary. From dreams, demons, daemons, and the divine to archetypal role models, exploring nature, and even drawing dirty beasts – Emma has covered a variety of ideas and areas to inspire all.
Reviving My Passion For Painting
Though I’m still working my way through ‘Soul Color’ I’m very much enjoying following Emma’s guidance and I often turn to her book to seek support, tips and suggestions whilst I’ve got my paintbrush in hand. It’s been a pleasure to get back into painting and I will continue to flip through this book, in the hope that I will complete the full ten weeks, at which point I will most likely start all over again as having ‘dipped my paintbrush back into the paint pot I seem to have relit my passion for painting and have renewed my confidence through a reflective and rather relaxing medium.
Purchasing & Pricing Information
First published in April 2021, ‘Soul Color’ is available to purchase online directly from Liminal 11 for only £11.99
It’s been a long time since I’ve had the time or the inclination to paint for pleasure, yet somehow it felt like the right time. I’d forgotten just how therapeutic and restorative painting can be for the mind, the soul, and in turn, the body. Though I would once paint without pondering for inspiration, it’s not so easy these days and therefore it was great to grab a guide and to follow a set course such as ‘Soul Color’. This beautiful book enabled me to practice the art of painting without pressure, and without time constraints, but with guidance, tips, and support.
I would thoroughly recommend this beautiful book to anyone looking to locate a relaxing pastime whilst gaining guidance and light relief, or those wishing to relight their love for the arts or to delve into the delights of watercolour painting.
For further information upon ‘Soul Color’ or alternative Liminal 11 publications visit www.liminal11.com
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.