What qualities best describe you?
Adventurous, resourceful, honest, resilient, persistent?
We all can find a little of ourselves in those words, but persistence stays at the top of my list.
Watercolor is hard. I am determined though. I keep working at watercolors, and sometimes I'm satisfied with the result, other times I'm not. I first learned to watercolor using layers of washes. In a new class, I am trying to learn direct painting, where I put a stroke of color down, decide if it is the right color, and then add other colors directly to the wet paint. Sometimes this technique works for me, sometimes it doesn't. Some days I feel like picking up my art supplies and throwing them in the trash. But I don't.
Instead, I follow a quote from a greeting card, "If things aren't going RIGHT, go LEFT." I find other ways to help me over the bump that occurs in every creative process. When I try too hard and focus too much on little details, I have to remind myself to relax, breathe, and feel the movement of the brushes or pencils that I'm working with. Sometimes I step back and do something completely different. Yesterday I spent the day organizing parts of my workroom (again).
This last month while I continue with my watercolor class, I answered an online challenge to do a quick postcard-sized watercolor of the same landscape every day (I excluded weekends). None of the paintings are worth framing, but they were a good way to release all the inner demons who tighten me up, who lurk behind my brush and zoom in on all the little flaws, leaving me cranky and disheartened.
At the end of the sequence, I realized I was much more relaxed with the direct painting method I have been trying to learn. Again, the new, unfinished painting is not worth framing, but I feel I have a better understanding of what I like about watercolor and how to add in the new techniques I'm learning. I keep trying.