I’ve been away from my blog for almost three weeks now. I have missed it, but sometimes life just gets in the way, in good ways and bad. I’m throwing this out because it’s a subject that can affect any/all of us as artists. Without going into details, I have recently had a major loss in my life. My art is my calm, my solace, my escape-it’s good for my soul. But, as much as I have tried to paint lately, I have been unsuccessful in turning out anything I felt was acceptable. It’s been very frustrating and is adding to my struggle with acceptance and healing. Apparently the pain of loss is getting in the way of the very thing that usually helps me to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life and perhaps only time will help. I’m not giving up – I am an artist! So please don’t give up on me.
On a lighter, happier note, I have also been very busy with the Spokane Watercolor Society elections (I’m now the president-elect) and our only fundraiser for the year. And the happiest event-a short visit from my daughter and 3-year-old grandson who live on the other side of the country. I miss them all the time and I cherish any time I am able to spend with them!
Three generations My table of work at SWS fundraiser
Busy days go by and sometimes I don’t even get into my studio. That bothers me because I know that the surest way to be a better artist is to work at it every day. As anyone who has taken a class or workshop from Stan Miller knows, he always tells you how many hours he works at his art each day and and makes it clear that it’s the only way to improve. Here’s a quote copied from an interview with him (published in: http://www.watercolourfanatic.blogspot.co.uk/) “If one wants to be really good at something one has to desire to be good more than nearly everyone else, but this means you have to work harder than nearly everyone else!” I really try to practice that myself – although usually not the 8 hour days Stan puts in – but life just seems too often to get in the way. I know I’m not alone in that. But I do have a real desire to practice, learn and improve and there simply are no shortcuts.
While I was dismayed to realize just how long it has been since I added a new post, I have had numerous ideas for paintings and have filled many pages in my favorite sketchbook with preliminary drawings of those ideas. One is in process – another floral – and another is drawn on my watercolor paper waiting for me to get past the “scared” I feel at trying yet another something new. But I needed to just finish something now, even a quick painting. And again I found inspiration online. This time it was a Facebook group page called “Paint Colorful Birds for Fun” that I just ran across a few days ago. Each week a new bird photo is posted and you can paint and post it – just for fun. Last week’s photo was of a “Lilac Breasted Roller”, a beautifully colorful bird that I had never heard of. I have been afraid to even try to paint birds in the past and now here’s my second one in less than a month. Not that they’re masterpieces, but it’s practice and I’m challenging myself to try something different! To do something quick, I resorted to my trading card size again, but this time I tried out my Derwent Inktense pencils on the bird, touched it up a little with gouache and painted the background with watercolor. And it was fun.