Kerrie Woodhouse

Whimsical words and watercolour

Brusho

Build your resilience with self care

Series of the MonthKerrie Woodhouse

Do you remember that wonderful line in Wind in the Willows, when Ratty talks about how worthwhile it is to  spend some time simply messing about in boats?

 
 

How right he is. It is becoming increasingly clear to me just how important it is to make some time away from the busyness of all those things we have to do in our beautiful but full, modern lives. 

 
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We have to make the time to do those things that replenish us in order to maintain the capacity to keep doing all those things that fill our schedules. And the fuller those schedules get, the harder it is to find the time to do the things that are important but not urgent.

 
 

It is that lack of urgency that Ratty alludes to when he is explaining his view to Mole. (Do you remember it? you can read it here if you like!) He talks about how it doesn't really matter if you get somewhere or you don't, he seems to thinks 'messing about with boats' always gives you something to do without requiring much of you.

 
 

And how rare that is. Think of all the tasks on your to do list. So many demands are made of us, consequences of not performing them well abound. We owe it to ourselves to find the things that we like to do, that can engage us gently enough to transport us from the everyday but without overburdening us. It is these self care practices that build our resilience.

 
 

For each of us this is something different. 

A long walk.

Perhaps a quiet cup of coffee in a cosy cafe where you can watch the world go by.

Gardening, baking or sketching (yes art making... definitely try that!)

A glass of wine in an indulgent bubble bath or spending time with a loved one.

What replenishes you?

 
 

The more of these boats that I painted, the more I came to see them as symbolising our personal space and resilience. As we move through the physical space of our world we should not ignore the mental and emotional space that we occupy. We can't control what happens in our environment but we have utter dominion over our mental and emotional space.

 
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Investing the time into replenishing ourselves is as wise as the captain keeping his boat in good repair. We have to tend to the vessel that holds and carries us through the water of our lives.  We don't know what is ahead of us. It may be choppy waters, it may be still as glass. For sure, it will be full of colour and texture, fun and excitement, but also challenging and testing at times. From the comfort of your well maintained little boat you can take it all.

 
 

Is your favourite from this series available in the shop? Click here to find out.

Dance in the Rain

Series of the MonthKerrie Woodhouse

This month I have been playing with an entirely new medium - Brusho. New art supplies are an inspiring treat and always offer something new to learn. I always feel as if the medium and the subject work together to bring me a message. As is so often the case these days, this one seemed to be about control.

 
 

Brusho is about as wilful as I am. It is powdered pigment which you sprinkle across your page. Add some water and it springs to life. I have little to no control of either the pigment or the water I spray over the page. Much like life. Stuff happens. May as well just go with the flow.

 
 

Even better, make it a mission to seek out the joy in whatever is going on. Just like children do when it rains. While the grown ups wait with tight lips and furrowed brows for the storm to pass the children race to fetch their bright umbrellas. It's a chance to dress up in shiny macs with big wellies for safe, snuggly toes. 

 
 

The uncontrollable and unexpected can be delightful if you let it. Puddles are for jumping in, splashing is fun.

 
 

Raindrops pattering onto your umbrella sound lovely. In fact under your umbrella is your own little world. A private space for you and your thoughts. 

 
 

Cleansing rain washes down the streets and houses and feeds the plants. Let it soothe your soul too. It is a message from the universe - a reset. A reminder to really notice the world around you. To take a moment and be here, now. In the real world with clouds and showers - not the one with notifications and smartphones. 

 
 

Run through the rain and feel alive. Or sit peacefully for a while and watch the world go by.  

 
 

A little bit of rain is inevitable. How dull would our lives be without the contrast of storms and sunshine?

 
 

Each has their place. But we needn’t wait for the storms to pass. Every moment is precious, even the more challenging ones. Don’t wait for time to pass, holding off for something better, or wishing for things to be different. 

Delight in what is. 

Dance in the rain.

 
 

Is your favourite from this series available in the shop? Click here to find out.