When I decided to start playing with watercolour I was overwhelmed by choice. Paints, palettes, paper, brushes. I researched and studied and made decisions that were right for me—all the while washing paint on wet paper and being fascinated by the process.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to paint. Loose flowers, more true-to-life botanicals, abstract images, landscapes. So I dabbled with a little of each, and came to a decision for what’s right for me right now: prairie landscapes. Surprise, surprise.
With a narrowed focus and intention to play while I practice, I can easily spend hours washing paint on paper making “bad” art that’s good for my soul. Yesterday, I painted a field that I love more than anything else I’ve painted to date. A distracting and technically terrible tree lives on it, but I’m able to look past it to the subtle nuances of the field itself. I positioned it on my writing desk for inspiration.
Skies and fields. That’s enough for me right now. In time, I’ll look back on these early attempts and smile at my rudimentary effort. For now, I’m delighted.
In this newfound hobby I see metaphor. Principles are reinforced. Pondering, I find peace. I refer to painting as my therapy. I’m learning, even as I’m creating. I think that’s how it’s supposed to be.
And I risk vulnerability by sharing some of these early efforts because we learn through the transparency of one another. Your comments yesterday reinforced what I’m coming to believe about watercolour and all art—what I’ve known to be true about writing for years—there’s no wasted effort. We learn through the process and we connect through the craft. We were created to be creative—whatever that looks like.