I have always wanted to learn to paint with watercolors. It’s been on my mind for a long time and recently I had a chance to start learning. Currently I have had three of eight lessons offered in a class in a neighboring town. I have always had a pull to things artsy –writing as a young person and now writing as an older person, crafting when I was younger, taking pictures, writing poems, creating gardens. But I wasn’t sure exactly what was behind this inclination to watercolors … until the past couple of days when I was able to put my finger on it.
Watercolors, for me – perhaps not for everyone – is about freedom. We have all heard somewhere along the line that “watercolor is hard.” I don’t know where that comes from, and add immediately that I have never painted with oils (since I don’t think paint by numbers counts) or with acrylics; I am unable to make comparisons. I find watercolor to be freeing. There is
for me, a freedom that comes with painting this way. Some of the definitions I found today about freedom included these words: the absence of constraint in choice or action … ease … facility … boldness of conception or execution. I am also finding that watercolors offer – in addition to freedom – forgiveness. The reference for forgiveness includes allowing room for error or weakness. Don’t you think YOU should be doing watercolor too, that EVERYONE should be doing watercolor if both freedom and forgiveness can be found there? I do!
In watercolor you can blend colors with ease, you can “lift color” – which is to say a clean wet brush will remove your “oopses” with ease. You can move from dark to light with the swipe of a brush. You can create texture with the wetness or dryness of your brush (alas, I have not yet mastered this, but I know it’s true). The other thing that I like about watercolor is that it is an
“interpretation” of what you see – it is not a photograph; that’s another art form, with its own qualities and appeals. I do not need to feel “guilty” if my painting does not mirror exactly the object or image I am painting. And for me not to feel guilty about something is a major step forward.
This is what I worked on today – without benefit of tutelage. I have some questions for my teacher on Thursday, and I need to make a small fix to the sailboat in the distance. It is far from perfect – but I felt free and forgiving enough to do it…and to share it.
Next on my list is zip-lining! I found a location in NH and have proposed an outing in the fall to a friend – who met the suggestion with enthusiasm!!