Some lifetimes ago, a sixteen year old version of me failed to get the place in art school that she’d pinned all her early hopes to.
Dismissed by the grown ups who’d repeatedly explained: ‘being an artist isn’t realistic’ led to years floating adrift from my calling.
(They were wrong. And this isn’t what I do, I’ve come to realise, it’s what I am)
A few years ago, rattled by some mid-life reminders of mortality, I finally fulfilled my life long ambition. But being an art student was as far as I’d thought this plan through. After spinning around in a self made feedback loop of regret for two decades, while I loved my time at college, I’d completely lost sight of the purpose.
My confusion was confounded when my course was cancelled after the foundation year. Before I’d time to consider my options my personal life fell apart, as a few weeks later my mum died.
Now I was free falling and had to find something to grasp onto, something simple I could rely on to slow the descent.
I needed a project to latch my focus to. I needed a subject I could immerse myself in. It had to be something creative, it had to be something colourful.
It just had to be color.
I hadn’t the bandwidth for anything more complex. I needed colors, but one at a time. No other rules. Just me, a book, and whatever paints and pens and things I had to hand. In just one color. I began with the color I felt most drawn to at the time, which was red-violet, magenta. It was soothing. It was all I had space for.
I took that year, one color at a time, one month at a time.
After another family bereavement a couple of months into my year long color project, I knew I needed some accountability, some way to keep this project afloat. That’s when I started this blog.
By the end of the year I’d created a this whole book full of color.
It’s still with me in my studio as a resource for inspiration – (that’s something I didn’t foresee when I began this project.)
(You can see it page by page here)
12 in 12 from mixy gecko on Vimeo.
As I showed my book of 12 colors to more of my artist friends, the idea of revisiting a year full of color began to develop. And they wanted in on it too.
So in 2017 I invented “TWELVTY“, a way of sharing the adventure around the color wheel with other creatives as an online program.
It’s been an astonishing journey, (which isn’t over yet) and I’ve learned so much (more on that in another post).
I didn’t expect to run Twelvty as a program with others again after this year – it’s been all consuming and I had other plans for 2018 – but Twelvty has plans for me too, it would appear.
So here we are, in preparation for:
We begin the journey in the new year, but registration is open from November.
I think it speaks for itself that some of this year’s Twelveteers have already joined up for a second trip around the color wheel in 2018!
There are a limited number of discounted places available to folks on my mailing list. If you aren’t signed up already – what the hey?!! – scoot down to the end of this post to add your email before they’re all swooped up!
2 thoughts on “A life full of color”
I admire your courage sharing your journey and vulnerability with us Mixy. Despite all of its madness and frustrations, the act of art gives great solace and a true path through all of the sadness and crap. Place one mark on a surface and the creative soul wakes up, wags its tale and wants to go walkies …