While confined at home with the kids, drawing with them is one of the most relaxing things I have found to do. Above is a view from a window, an imaginary view in my mind that I drew with their felt-tip brush pens.
I think I had Matisse in mind, his warm colours in paintings like this (a poster my mother put up in the house I grew up in – thank you mum):
Then, searching around today, I found this painting of his, The Window, and the following interpretation of it:
“In the year of the Battle of the Somme , he painted The Window… It’s not that Matisse didn’t care about the trenches, a day’s journey from Paris. It intensified his sense of the loveliness of the trunk of a tree just glimpsed through the gap in the curtains, or his delight in the pattern of the floorboards – and the overall freshness and charm of a bowl of flowers in an elegant, but unpretentious room in the city. It’s as if he is reminding himself (and us) that these things are still here. They haven’t been destroyed. It’s not the work of someone who is indifferent. It is created in recognition of how easily one could be paralysed with despair. And the hint of light green leaves through the window might speak kindly to us, even today, when we’re overburdened with our own sense of the weight of life.” From The School of Life, on Matisse
Yes! This is what we need, not to fall into despair, burden, weight – what good does that do? We need a sense that the world is still incredibly beautiful, that this beauty is still available to us today, seen from our own windows, found in our own homes, or in our imagination.
“It’s as if he is reminding himself (and us) that these things are still here…”
Putting our version of this onto paper with warm, bright colours, or simply recognising the enduring presence of beauty in our lives, is an uplifting wonder still available to us right now. And we have an eternal right, a human birthright, to uplifting wonder, no matter what is happening outside.