It was mid-morning here in Western Australia, as the storm was building, the dark clouds intensified, the thunder increased and the lightening came.

One moment I was calmly painting under cover, then next thing I knew there was a deafening explosive noise. The lights and all the power went out – then there was an eerie silence. This was a bit of reality here in Western Australia.

A large smoke cloud came from the side of the house, followed by the unforgettable smell of burning. It was a few bewildering moments later the realisation that the house had been hit by lightening and we were very lucky to be safe.

It was just under 24 hours earlier that smoke had been an all-too familiar smell and scene of a ‘small’ bush-fire just a few meters away on the neighbouring hill. The incredible efficiency of the choppers and scout planes that work hard to locate, manage and put out fires all across Western Australia is incredible to see. But quite terrifying the first time round and I wasn’t sure if we were in danger or not. Turns out to ‘just be a normal Perth Summer’!

This weekend was meant to be one of quiet, relaxation, creativity and cracking on with my first painting collection, back after 6 years away from the Art World.

Lightening Strike Working With The Elements In Western Australia - Sophie Mahir


This is my story as I delve back into painting again part time.

Before the bewildering smoke, fires and storm, I had been working on a simple colour study of ‘yellow’. One of the colours (I guess second to red) you see a lot of here in WA and Australia in general. Having been a long time since I’ve been painting regularly on that level, of course I am experiencing some challenges.

The first one of which is all about ‘letting go’ of my previous painting style. Then finding something new and fresh. In order to do this I am finding the best way is to just let myself play with the paint and colours, then see what unfolds. Not dissimilar to the writing and blogging process.

The next stage is to explore the theme in more depth with drawings, line and tone.

Being in such a vibrant part of Western Australia it’s not too hard to find inspiration. Not least these storm clouds, amazing sunsets and of course the never-ending inspiration of the coastline. For now though I’m settling for ‘just doing’. After all it’s all about the action we take towards what we want.

It’s been four days without power after the lightening strike; living by candlelight and eating off the BBQ…not too much of a strain at all. But with the summer heat it was the lovely air-con that has been missed and is very welcomed back!

Sometimes I sit back and wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t made the big decision to sell my house, pack up my belongings and travel around the world making money from my laptop. I would be missing out on so much adventure, fun and wonder. And now having found someone to potentially share that with life is as good as it gets right now.

So if you have a dream lifestyle you’d like to see make happen, whatever it is, then make the decision today to take the first step forwards.

Don’t be the one left wondering “what if”…

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