I picked up watercolors for the first time in February 2018. I have always considered myself a “wanna be” artist. I always wanted to be skillfully artistic, but lacked it or the natural ability to effortlessly sketch something out. I finally decided to change that. After all, I had been told countless times it was something I could learn. Imposter syndrome also held me back for decades. I never believed I could actually successfully learn how to render things. I know it sounds silly but that negative voice in my head had a freaking megaphone. That voice drowned out hope and optimism completely.
Well, here I am, almost 3 full years later. I have taken one drawing course, one watercolor course, and spent countless hours making marks. (I have attempted to attend a specific workshop but due to powers beyond control and COVID it hasn’t happened yet…. my next chance is in April!) I failed forward. I know all you accomplished artist know what I’m talking about. You’ve done it. But there are tons of folks like me. That are or have been too scared and self conscious to show anyone the things we scratch out. Not too long ago I purchased a watercolor journal/sketchbook and yesterday I finished a page in it after finding the hash tag DoodleWashNovemeber2020 on social media. When the page was filled i was a bit proud of myself. Never in a million years did I think I would have have a page of doodles or sketches that would actually look like it was done with any amount of skill.
I look forward to continuing with the Doodlewash monthly prompts. I may even go back and hit some of the past ones. They date back to 2016 from the quick glance I had. I do appreciate folks that organize these prompt list. Give me just the right nudge to challenge myself and grow a wee bit more.
The romantic thought of plein air painting has always appealed to me. Sitting one with nature, capturing its beauty with pigment and water…. getting bitten by bugs, fighting the wind, scared to death someone would come over and start judging my work, making comments… Fear stopped me, but this year has been extraordinarily stressful and early September is historically difficult for me (anniversary of my father’s death). This year it’s hurts a little more (a lot). See, my youngest daughter is getting married. My father never met her. Foregoing the emotional journey just know it slays me that there will be an empty chair on her special day. My husband wanted to help take the sting out of that anniversary and told me to pack up my painting supplies and drove me the 1 1/2 hour drive to Little River Canyon. He told me to pick my spot and sat with me as I painted my very first on location plein air painting. Pretty happy with the way it turned out. I did have to stop short cause we were being bitten by this pesky fly.
My current WIP is coming along and I’m pretty happy with it’s progress. For some reason I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my work these past two pieces. I am by no means mad about it.
In attempt to improve my drawing skills I have purchased a few books. One of those books impresses the importance of line quality and pen control. Fair enough! Miles of lines must be drawn. Makes complete sense to me. Even thought it sounds monotonous (it is), it is something I am embracing right now. Six months ago I wouldn’t have enjoyed the process of making these pieces, today I did.
Today was one of the hardest days I have had in a while. And that says a lot in the middle of a pandemic and said protocols.
They say sh*t comes in 3’s. Today I dealt with all 3 before noon. One included sudden death (quite literally), an emergency C-section (unrelated to #1) and last bit is all pandemic related (both of a loved one’s parents are in the hospital with COVID related complications).
I have tried multiple times to paint today… fail
I am struggling to write this post (I’m hoping that doing so will help me process this difficult day)… I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around anything!
I did want to share a few doodles/sketches I messed around with this past week. I’m kinda in a “devil may care” attitude with the creative process currently. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not. If it were my kids I would tell them to play and mess around. But for some reason I have a hard time allowing myself that same freedom. I don’t know why and it’s starting to annoy me. These are the result of just playing around and seeing what if.
I have no desire right now to even try to talk about these. They are what they are. Some good stuff and some missteps. Every piece is a learning piece and these are no exception. One day I will make a fully coherent piece. Today is not that day. And I am okay with that. It’s the power of the doodle.