A series of self-portraits. Unedited.
A series of self-portraits. Unedited.
I want to share some of my paintings with you.
I find painting really freeing. Sometimes when I’m feeling the stress of life or want to indulge my inner child; I take myself out of the way, shut out the world, play some music and allow myself to paint.
Who cares whether it’s any “good” or not? What even is good when it comes to art? If it’s helped you feel a little more beautiful and at peace on the inside then that is good enough for me!
There is something really meditative in simply painting with no desired outcome. I really love watching my brush swirl about on the page. It helps me find stillness. It can be really beautiful. Sometimes when I’m finding it hard to express myself, in life generally or through my poetry, I find painting can provide a great outlet and relieve the sense of frustration.
Whatever art you love to practise, whether it’s: dancing, knitting, sculpting, rapping, singing, music, gardening, drawing, cooking, (literally anything can be creative) I encourage you to try it when you are feeling the need to escape from the world for a few hours. Try something you’ve never done before.
Buy yourself a cheap canvas and some paint, you never know what you may create or how it will seep through and enhance the other creative areas of your life! Prepare to be amazed! Feel free to share your art with us in the comments below.
Here are some of mine.
Thank you for getting this far! I hope you’ve enjoyed and I hope this can encourage you to show your creations, no matter how “imperfect” or “unfinished” they are! Please feel free to share your work in the comments. Have a beautiful, art filled week!
In honour of World Book Day, I thought I would share a (belated) post on two books that have shaped my life!
1. Daughter of the Sea – Berlie Doherty
A book from my childhood that is still hauntingly beautiful to this day.
A story based on European folklore about a baby girl found at sea, taken in by a family that couldn’t have children and raised as their own until one day her true family come calling.
I re-read this recently, as a kind of experiment to see whether the magic I had experienced as child would transfer to my adult brain and I have to say that it did!
It’s an incredibly sophisticated story for young people, yet effortlessly executed. The characters have layers and the narrative touches on topics that both adults and children can deeply connect with. It’s powerfully emotive: it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.
Berlie is a very talented storyteller and really causes you to look twice at the everyday scenes in your life and wonder if there’s more to life than what meets the eye.
I would say Daughter of the Sea would appeal to anyone who has ever experienced a sense of not belonging.
2. Quiet – Susan Cain
One of the most life changing and affirming books for me personally.
This book sheds light on a commonly overlooked, fundamental aspect of our personalities: the introvert and extrovert scale.
Through the sharing of scientific studies, cultural history and personal anecdotes Susan Cain points out how western society caters towards the personality type of the extrovert and how we can embrace and enhance the power of the introvert.
My whole life I was brought up to believe (mainly by the education system) that there was something inherently wrong with me. I was a quiet child who was overwhelmed in social settings easily. Schools would tell me for years that I had confidence problems. This always felt so strange because I felt confident in my abilities; I just knew I didn’t talk very much.
Eventually, due to being told something so many times, I took on the words “low self esteem” as though they were stapled to my skin. For me, reading Quiet was liberating.
I began to understand my past behaviour. I forgave myself for not being the person I thought I was supposed to be, I stopped beating myself up for not being the centre of attention at parties, I stopped beating myself up for the fact that I don’t even really like parties at all and I began to enjoy my life without self-judgement.
I’ve learned to celebrate and nurture the characteristics I once saw as flaws. I used to often feel as though I was too sensitive for this society. Now, I channel that sensitivity into my work and my writing and I’ve fallen into what is basically my dream career.
I’ve given myself permission to live life in the way that feels right for me, I understand how I’m likely to react in social situations and as a result I think my relationships with other people are a lot more honest. I feel like I am a lot closer to being my authentic self.
I wish I’d have known this information when I was at school!
If you have ever berated yourself for being “too quiet”, “too sensitive”, “too weird” I think Quiet could really help you understand yourself more.
Also it has a chapter titled “when to act more extroverted than you really are” and I just feel like that sums up my life!
So there you have it: two books that have shaped my life! Also, I am currently reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés but more about those another day!
Have you ever read something that was life changing? Let me know what it was!
Since my poetry baby Rhymes & Records turned one in January, I thought it only appropriate to commemorate this wondrous occasion in a blog post, reflecting on the year we’ve had and thanking some of the people who have been involved along the way.
For those of you who don’t know: Rhymes & Records is a spoken word night in Liverpool, held on the second Tuesday of every month at The Jacaranda, Liverpool featuring some of the most exciting artists from the North West.
Starting out in the Record store upstairs in The Jacaranda, we soon had to be ushered into a bigger space after the first event filling up to the point where we had to start turning people away (something we had a: not anticipated and b: never seen happen before at a poetry night!)
Stand out Moments
My favourite moments have to be the collaborations we did with FACT Liverpool and Liverpool Pride. (Although watching headliner Joy France do a live experiment with the audience involving Mira Berries, pickle juice and tequila is very high up on the list too) (Don’t worry if you’re confused by that last one, you kind of had to be there)
Lets start with FACT. On 11th March, 2016, 9 poets showed up at FACT Liverpool to view Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa’s exhibition Unfold. We proceeded to walk out an hour later with our minds well and truly blown. We then had the task of turning our reaction to this mind-bending, multi-sensory, synaesthesia-inducing, art exhibition into a piece of poetry to perform (simple right? um, no not really)
Liverpool Pride’s collaboration took place in our temporary home (for one month only) of Heebie Jeebies and turned out to be one of the most packed, vibrant, engaging nights we’ve had so far!
Which leads me to…
By far, the absolute best thing to have come out of this monthly night of poetry would be the sense of community that we have created.
The overwhelming volume of talent (that only seems to be growing), the support people show one another and the conversations that happen afterwards are the reason I keep turning up and forcing my shy self to get on a mic to host month after month.
To everyone who made the night what it is, no matter how big or small your role has been, I appreciate all of you and want to say a resounding THANK YOU for being part of this community.
To another year of chaos, mayhem, stories and poetry! *clinks imaginary champagne flute* You’ve all came a long way and I sincerely hope you celebrate that.
To join the party and attend our upcoming nights, click here
Rhymes & Records, 2nd Tuesday of every month
The Jacaranda, Slater Street
7:00pm £3 entry (free for performers)
A 10 week programme exploring poetry & spoken word
Have you always wanted to write poetry?
Together we will explore writing techniques, play around with performance styles, cover some of the more common mistakes made by artists and look at professional practise; giving you the tools needed to take your writing to the next level!
Suitable for people of all abilities, whether you’ve been writing for a while and would like to refresh your skills around like minded individuals, or you’re brand new to writing and would like to blossom in a supportive atmosphere; this course will be perfect for you.
What better way to begin the New Year than by stepping out of your comfort zone and getting your creative juices flowing.
Minimum age: 18
£7 per session when booking for whole course in advance
£10 drop in
Please get in touch for information on how to make payment and to fill out an application form. If you need support in filling out your form or need it in a different format, please let me know.
Ran by Lyndsay Price
Lyndsay is a spoken word artist based in Liverpool. She runs a monthly spoken word night called Rhymes & Records and has previously performed at Liverpool Pride, Threshold Festival and Alternative Fashion Fest. A seasoned workshop facilitator, drama school graduate, National Youth Theatre of GB alumni and previously a creative resident at mac birmingham. Lyndsay tailor’s her workshops sensitively and gains great joy from supporting artists in carving out careers for themselves.
“This isn’t a collection of my best work, or a collection of poems I spent the most time on, or even a collection of poems dedicated to the people I love the most. This is a collection of work created for people I had just met. Each poem I wrote in 10 minutes, typed frantically onto a piece of recycled paper, using a vintage typewriter.”
-taken from the intro to my book Love Poems I Wrote for Strangers
I have spent the last 2 years of my life appearing at festivals and events around The UK creating custom poetry for strangers. It started with asking a series of questions in order to get to know a person better. I remember doing random google searches of “best questions to quickly get to know someone” or “best questions to know someone’s soul”. After a series of trial and error, the following were the questions I whittled it down to:
“Name?” “What’s up?” “Favourite smell?” “Favourite time of year?” “What are you afraid of?” “One thing you would change about the world?” “One thing you would change about yourself?” “What’s your superpower?” “Love is…..” And finally “tell me a secret”
Why do it?
At first I treated it as nothing more than a great writing exercise. It can take me months to finish a poem in some cases. This was a perfect way to commit myself to creating multiple poems in a day (normally around 20/30) When you take down the answers of another person and give them a timeslot, you know that they are going to come back and expect a fully formed poem waiting for them.
It’s kind of liberating. Knowing that you have to make quick decisions can actually make you skip the b.s. and make some pretty bold and confident choices. Typing straight from brain to page without any sort of redraft and liking what you come up with is actually a pretty cool feeling.
It helps beat perfectionism. There’s something really beautiful in knowing that there is no way you can possibly create something perfect (well I wouldn’t say no way but there’s certainly no expectation). There is something really charming in reading something that was created in 10 minutes for a complete stranger!
It gives you a pretty good insight into peoples lives and the way that they perceive the world (more on that in a minute)
The Things I Learned
Firstly that the quality of the poem really depends on how deep people go with their answers. For the most part, I do not know these people and I have to spend a lot of time reminding them that I can only go on their answers to my questions.”Give as much detail as possible” is what I used to say. Writing “Don’t have any, lol” in response to “tell me a secret” isn’t going to give me much to run with. That said sometimes the people who wrote the least ended up being my best poems because I had to go a little deeper with my imagination, had to think a little harder, had to use a little more intuition in order to create something that would stir them in even the smallest of ways. Sometimes those people were the ones who came back and hugged me after.
Something I was not expecting however was to be so utterly blown away by the answers I got. I couldn’t get over just how much people were willing to trust a stranger with. I couldn’t believe by just putting a piece of paper and a pen in front of someone, they could so easily spill their soul, their insecurities, their worries, their heartbreak, their jokes, the colour of their bedroom walls, all of it. No details spared.
Who’d have thought that just by asking strangers to divulge intimate insights into their lives, they would! All people need sometimes is the right outlet.
Some of the things I read moved me to tears. Whether it was the breakdown of a relationship, the start of a family, feelings or displacement or those feelings that you can’t quite put your finger on; there were things I read within those answers that sparked a whole new respect for humanity within me. I wish everyone could read them and I understand that I have been extremely lucky to have had this opportunity, for people to trust me with so much and also to trust me to try and make art out of it.
Sometimes I would just type out direct quotes from people’s answers because I felt they were art, all on their own
The thing I want everyone to realise is just how delicate we can all be. What I learned from that is that given the right context, people are willing to talk about more than on the surface happenings of their lives. I think ultimately what we want is to talk about the things that mean more to us, to make sense of our experience here on this earth. It’s that age-old cliche of “everyone has a story to tell” however it is only through experience that you can begin to understand how powerful that sentiment can be in uniting us together.
I honestly think vulnerability can be one of the most strongest states of being.
I urge all of you to stay vulnerable, stay open and most importantly, be ready to listen. You have no idea what you might learn. One of the messages I wanted to convey to the people I worked with was that their words contain so much beauty and power. I wanted people to realise that they all have an experience or insight or story to share that can benefit other people around them. Everyone has a poem in them, my collection shows just a few of them.
My book Love Poems I Wrote for Strangers is out soon. For updates you can follow me on Instagram: @saltwaterpoetry
If you would like to order your own custom poem before the project ends, you can do so at: http://saltwaterpoetry.bigcartel.com/
Say hi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/saltwaterpoetry
Check out my monthly spoken word night! Rhymes & Records
If you have any questions about the project, you can leave a comment below.