Sunday, February 24, 2019

living life large, and other lessons i have learned

Hard to believe that in just 4 short months it will have been 4 years since I posted here! Time flies when you are living life large. Ok, not so large maybe. But I am 4 years closer to retirement, which looms just a couple years away. And in the past 4 years I have had lots of trips, happiness, sadness, and all the little things that fill up a day and make the years rush past.

I have also come a long way in my thinking about art since the last post. There was a long spell, several of them actually, when I wasn’t interested in art much. Just kind of meh about drawing or painting. I’ve done some digital art, and see a lot of potential in being able to make adjustments as I go on a piece. It is a fascinating medium to work in, and the amazing art you see on the internet created with digital art apps is fascinating. I spent more time with that the past several years than anything. Dabbled in watercolor and acrylic a bit, but more just messing around than doing anything serious.

Lately though, I have been thinking more and more about watercolor. It has always intimidated me, and I admire anyone who can control wet colors on a surface that do their own thing. I watched a lot of YouTube. And learned a lot as I watched. I decided to give watercolor a serious try. Serious about learning something for me means education. Lessons. Books. Online classes.

I signed up over the past few weeks for several online instruction courses. The first was paying to follow videos published by very versatile and talented artist Kirsten Partridge. You can see some of her work here: . For me, it gave me some insight into skill, materials, and the time involved to paint seriously.

Second, I enrolled in two different types of watercolor courses. The first one, Let’s Make Art, approached watercolor as a fun thing, something to not guilt over. The “kits” contain everything you need to create a complete watercolor, and Sarah Cray, the artist, does a YouTube tutorial, and also a live paint along session for each weekly painting. There is a Facebook group for community support by other budding artists, and a lot of positive feedback. The second course I enrolled in is taught by artist Anna Mason, who specializes in botanical painting that is photo realistic. You can see one of her YouTube videos here: . I also followed all three artists on YouTube, in order to see anything they post that might help me learn more about such a challenging medium.

I decided that painting once a month wasn’t going to cut it for learning a new skill, so I try to set aside time every day to spend painting. I try to follow the lessons, but I also take time to paint on my own, because I feel it is important to feeling more well rounded in what I learn.

So, here I am, 4 years later, still trying out new things, still loving art, and realizing that as long as I enjoy what I do, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. If art wasn’t fun, and I wasn’t able to immerse myself totally in it, I would just walk away from it all. I hope that by sharing this with anyone who reads this, it might help them get a foot in if they want to paint but have hesitated to do it.

Enjoy whatever you do, life is too short to worry about perfection.