Creative Insights: the hand-colourist

"The Colourist" (Copyright Loading Docs)
“The Colourist” (Copyright Loading Docs)

It intrigues me that, while I am carrying on with my daily life, there are billions of others doing the same thing, even though I have no idea who they are or what their lives are like.

Take a minute to think about all the different things that are going on right now in your street, your town, your country, your world.

I often think about the life of a table in a restaurant, for example.  When you are seated at it, that place is there only for you.  But how many other people would have been in the same position before you, and how many will come afterwards?

The same goes for trains.  When we alight at a station, we are focused on our own next steps and actions.  The train ceases to exist for us, even though it continues to convey its passengers on their journeys.

With our possessions, it is so easy to take everything for granted, hardly noticing what we use or look at.  If I glance around my desk, I realise that I have no idea who made my notebooks, pens, mugs, tissues, etc.  Where did they come from?  What were the lives like of the people who brought them into existence?

I wrote recently about the traditions behind skiing in China, reflecting on the ancient practices still being carried out today, at the same time as I lead my own, very different life.  In a similar vein, I love the short video below about the life of Grace Rawson, one of the original colourists for Whites Aviation in the 1950’s.  In this touching documentary, Grace reminisces and revives the forgotten art of hand-tinted photography for the first time in over fifty years.  It is clear that she has lost none of her expertise and creative instincts.

“When I look back…it’s wonderful to have been able to shine a light on the art and photography of [a past] era”

~ Grace Rawson

We all have hidden, forgotten or undiscovered talents.  Ones that most people, perhaps including even ourselves, never get the chance to see because they are focused on their own lives.  All the more reason for us to let out our music and celebrate in our innate creativity.  Go for it – you never know where it might lead you! 🙂

“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~ Howard Thurman



18 thoughts on “Creative Insights: the hand-colourist

  1. I believe that we must train our minds to delve into the possibilities of who we are. What we think must reflect a compassionate message to ourselves. We live in a world that demands our attention and want to influence our behavior and thoughts. This post reminds me to give time to our creative endeavours. Another great post, Liz!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find the film fascinating Liz; thank-you for posting it. I read your commentary with great pleasure because I have those same thoughts! I love to imagine the lives of the people I see out of the train/bus/car window and find the conversations of my fellow passengers very revealing. I don’t snoop or pry, I hasten to add! The world is full of people getting on with their lives, just as we are getting on with ours. It is good to put everything into perspective by considering that others’ lives may be much more of a struggle! (This is extremely apposite to me at the moment!).
    I was also inspired by the thought that we have hidden talents and that we need to ‘let out our music and celebrate in our innate creativity’.

    Liked by 1 person

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