About a journey to London and a week all about creativity.
Written by: Hillevi Helm
“As far as I know, I have always been a dreamer”. One of my earliest memories of dreaming is of me being a professional football player. Not just any player, I aspired to be the best Swedish player at the time, Ralf Edström. It didn’t occur to me that he was an individual, and that this dream could never happen. Another dream was to become an astronaut. It went so far that I actually applied for the application papers. How hard could it be, right? It turned out that the application was about a hundred pages long with information to fill in. I can honestly say I didn’t pass the first test. Nevertheless, I’m convinced even today that I could have overcome all the remaining obstacles between me and space.
“It’s not dreams,” a friend of mine once said, “they are fantasies, and it’s different.”
For me, that really doesn’t matter. I’ve noticed that many of my dreams have come true, but perhaps in different ways than I thought. I became a football player for a short period in my life, attended some astronomy classes, and gazed at the stars. I’ve even been an ice climber, which is somewhat close to being an astronaut (imagination again), all dressed up with axes in hand, crampons on my feet, stepping into another environment. If you think positively, that could be considered a version of my dream.
This summer, it was time to pursue another dream, together with a dear friend. We selected our canvas, brushes, colors, and headed to London. We attended an art class in contemporary oil painting at Chelsea, College of Art, which offers almost anything in the field of creativity, fulltime , weekends, day and evening. We choose to be here for one amazing week.
Settled in a small apartment at Notting Hill Gate, we walked through Hyde Park every morning to be at school at nine o’clock. I do not exaggerate when I say, we were at school on time and even 30 minutes before everyday. So much to learn. When you dream about things you tend to leave out it is sometimes a difficult process to learn and master new skills. Mixing colors is such a process that is far from easy. I could sometimes feel fear in the eyes of my teacher when he approached me and my wanting to learn everything at once. But he was a professional in to his bare bones.
The students in the classroom were at all levels, ages and from all over the planet, the feeling of curiosity and concentration filled the classroom from early morning until late afternoon. One week went really really fast. I could have stayed for at least a month.
So how did the days pass by? We had lectures about composition,learned how to paint abstractly. From one single photo you made about a ton of sketches until you were the only one remaining knowing what the original picture looked like, basically . Then colors colors colors, they come as opponents, cousins, friends, who could have guessed, but also brushes and pigments as well as under-painting, over-painting. It is really a lot to think about other than just catching a motive.
So one week in full concentration passes so quickly. Evenings we were buzy trying out restaurants that was recommended by classmates living in London, eating thinking and talking about colors and life.
Leaving the art school with a lot of inspiration and the advice from my teacher: Hillevi, you are fast, furious and fearless…. that is not always a good thing when it comes to painting, you have to improve your technique a lot, A LOT or maybe have you ever tried seven paintings at the time. I replied, boy you are a good teacher and connoisseur of people