Thursday, August 15, 2013

Life Lessons from waterolour

The greeting cards or plaques are everywhere that give whimsical but true "Rules of life I've learned from my cat or dog" or whatever. It occurred to me while painting one day that all the frustrations, struggles and joy of watercolour had taught me my own valuable life lessons. Such as the following:

Rule #1  Patience!!! If I go in before it is dry I can ruin it, turn colours to mud. Wait! Things work in their own time. Have Patience! It's a virtue.

Rule #2  Everything in art is subjective. All is relative. Colours or a palette I work with will be pronounced "wrong" by the next book I pick up or opinionated artist. Understand why you use your colours and if they work for you that is all that matters. If not, be open to explore and learn. The same with your art. What one person deems worthy will not appeal to your grandmother or the next jury committee.

Rule #3:  Watercolour is water based. Water flows. We've all heard "go with the flow". See where a painting wants to go. Allowing the water and colour to blend and flow is one of the most zen-like joys I can think of.

Rule #4: Watercolour is a transparent medium. Let it's light shine through. That goes for the artist as well. Don't try to paint like anyone else or compare yourself to anyone.

Rule #5:  It can be fun! I've heard that watercolour is a difficult medium. Yes, challenges are encountered but when I  remember to play and stay open wonderful spontaneity can happen.

Rule #6:  Turn things around. Get a fresh perspective. Stand the painting upside down. Use a mirror. They say life is a mirror.

These are a few that seem to come up often. I am sure there are more. I'm also open to observations from other painters.The creative path is if nothing else, quite the journey!