I can’t begin to express the excitement I’m feeling over what I am learning. But most especially on how I’m seeing my skills develop. Where I once thought I would never enjoy watercolor, and thought I would make a horrible mess of it, I’m now learning I was completely wrong. I’ve never been so glad about being wrong about something in my life!
For the past week, I’ve been rather busy trying to catch up in some of my classes. I decided to focus on Life Book 2017’s lessons. The below pictures are from weeks 14, 15 and 16.
I love these two girls. When looking back at my first girls from Life Book 2017, I can see so much improvement, especially in the coloring and shading of the skin. I’m thrilled to see this.
I thoroughly enjoyed making this page. Learning to divide a page into sections even before I know what words I want to say was unbelievably satisfying. It made me expand my imagination to make the words fit. Whenever, I sit down to create a page with words and I already know what words I want to use, I’m usually organizing the page around the words. The words usually end up uniform and in straight lines. I totally love how the words on this page ended up in all different forms and direction.
OH, this one, I probably can’t say enough about. This one challenged my ability to work with watercolor and I found I loved the challenge. Creating something out of blotches of watercolor was pure fun.
Looking at the blotches or clouds of watercolor and trying to come up with an image was definitely a challenge. At first, I couldn’t see anything, or rather, I saw pieces of things that ‘could be’ but had trouble finding the rest of those pieces to fit it into a whole.
I did the background blotches of color one day, but it took waiting until several hours later to see the forms I really needed to pull from the page. I did three backgrounds in total, and on each one I was surprised what developed. I only completed this one. The other two are in progress. They only have the loose sketch which wouldn’t be visible on camera at this point.
The other two are also more complicated and I wanted to focus on the easier one to get the hang of the process. The other two will be worked on as time permits or as I’m drawn to them, in between my other lessons.
So far, this will make three projects I have in progress. I don’t fret over them not being done. I know in at least one case, I’m waiting for my skills and knowledge to grow. I have an idea of where I want to take it but not yet the skills to get it there. This is where patience takes over.
As far as the watercolor cloud backgrounds, well those two, I need to contemplate because of their complexity. I want to consider what direction I want to take them before I proceed.
The thing about my exploration into art over the past year is this….
I’m only just touching the tip of the iceberg so to speak. I’ve worked with acrylic paint, water soluble crayons, gouache, soft pastels, spray acrylics, spray inks, colored pencil, oil pastels, and more. I’ve done collage, created handmade journals, painted on canvas, created card decks, designed my own mandalas and created my own fabric paper, just to name a few.
I love it all, somethings, I may love more than others. For instance, I’m not that fond of collage, but sometimes it has its place and works well with what I want to do. I’m not crazy about gouache but that is probably more of needing to learn how to work with it. Today, I learned one way of using it which may work its way into my style.
The one thing I’m learning I love the most, which for my perfectionist personality is something oddly exhilarating. It is the unpredictability of much of what I create.
I have a logical and perfectionist mind, but I also have this wonderful part of my mind that loves to watch something happen that is quite unpredictable. I used to be so afraid of the unpredictable nature of things. In learning to love it in my art, I’m starting to appreciate it in life, which kind of blows away my logical side.
In some ways, I can’t help but think this is the true nature of the Gemini in me. I’ve always felt at odds with myself because of my inner conflicts. I can almost always see the two sides of a situation and understand both which makes it especially difficult to make a choice. My logical mind has to step in and weigh the pros and cons and hopefully make the right decision.
How does this factor into my art? Oh, boy, does it ever factor in. If , I let it, I could be stuck on making a choice between one color or the next or not using a color at all because of trying to predict the outcome and which would be best for the overall design.
That is why, what I’m learning this past year, has been so important to me. Learning to let go is HARD. Learning to let things flow as they will, without stepping in to guide its course or force things to go in a particular direction is even HARDER. It is why I’m only now stepping out of my comfort zone to explore creativity as it should be explored.
I’ll soon be 57 years old. I’m not a spring chicken any more. I’m also not too old to want to experiment with life, with my imagination and with how to change my perceptions of this world. Letting my creativity flourish is helping me to do just that. I’m loving every minute and even, at times, look forward to those clashes of thought and emotion when things look like they are going terribly wrong, to only find out, in the end, they were going terribly right and just as they needed to.
I just hope I can learn to approach life in the same way.