Embrace Change

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Embrace ChangeWrMrk

Embrace Grace – Watercolor

Fall, a time when change is in the air!

We are beginning to experience cooler, foggier mornings, and the leaves are drying and turning ever so slightly in colors.  Before I know it there will be a mass of bright yellows and reds, followed by the cool months and colors of Winter.  Did I just hear a groan?

I get it, we seem to have a favorite Season.  I’m drawn to Spring.  However, the Fall Season is also beautiful to me because I see the beauty in changes.  When I take the time to look at the beauty around me, I can appreciate the many colors and enjoy the Season as I better appreciate God’s love displayed for us.  I can see the colors of the trees singing for joy!

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.” Psalm 96:11, 12

For the past year or so, I’ve been pondering, writing and marinating on how our creative desires can tap into our personal seasons.  Because in each of our lives, we go through many seasons.  Some are more beautiful than others to us.  But, if we look at each one closely, we will be able to find some beauty in each.  That is where we struggle sometimes, finding that beauty.  Maybe, I’m just talking to myself here, but I don’t think I’m alone in this.

We connect with our emotions in different ways.  It can be smells, sounds, something we see, or hear.  How does this relate to painting watercolors and life?  Watercolors has enabled me to creatively tap into emotions via sight.  Whether I’m in the process of painting, or looking at the finished painting,  I connect again with the love and memory associated with the subject.  It enables me to connect again with the good, the love in our lives, and hopefully the viewer also feels that connection.

My journey in creativity began at an early age.  You would probably best have described me as a dreamer.  This deep appreciation for handmade things I saw demonstrated by many relatives.  My favorite class in school was Art.  While I may have wished to go on to an Art School, that was not an option for my family, and so throughout my life seasons,  I would try to learn or create; whether painting, drawing, music, knitting, crocheting, wood working, miniature building, etc.  When I worked in a business setting, I would try to tap into creativity via writing or computer projects.  (Focus, Denise, we’re talking about watercolors.)  It was after a 30 year hiatus in painting that I picked up a paint brush and started painting again.  My husband’s Christmas gift of watercolor classes while we lived in South Carolina taught by Barbie Mathis awakened the desire to paint again.

A lot can change in 30 years, lol.  The watercolor paints, brushes and paper were all different.  It was a blessing for me to have that season with Barbie and my classmates.  I learned something from each one.  When we needed to move from that State and into a more remote area,  I continued researching different watercolor artists online to experiment with different paints and techniques.  Over the years, we’ve moved again, and I continue to learn, grow, and benefit from each season of change.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is, you creatively need to be yourself.  You need to learn your style.  Any and all your growing experiences count.  What works for one artist doesn’t mean it will work for you.  All that experimenting, that struggle, that growth is taking you towards learning your style.  Plus, don’t be afraid to define your own style name.  Remember you are unique.

One of the hazards of social media is it can sometimes become just a highlight reel.  We see just the good stuff, and easily compare ourselves.  Maybe, I’m the only one who can easily focus on the highlights.  Maybe, that’s just my flaw.  Maybe, but I don’t think I’m alone here.

Social media can be a great place to see new things to try.  A great avenue to find new products, new techniques, or artists to discover.  It can also be a great place to find your community of support.  It is a great place to share stories of struggles, growth and learning.  That’s our journey.  Nobody’s perfect,  but there are some days I need to remind myself of that fact.  It might be a day when I’m trying something new that just doesn’t seem to be going the way I’ve envisioned.  That doesn’t devalue what I’m learning.  Maybe you’ve felt that way too.  And, while I’m confessing stuff here, there are even times that I need to reevaluate accounts that I follow on social media, because I just can’t seem to get a handle on balance in that particular moment.  So, if I’m not being uplifted, or am not learning or growing from that account, then I take a break for a while.  Anyone else do this?

All this being said, it is my desire that this place becomes a safe landing place where we can share our stories, because nobody gets to where they are by just telling only the good stuff.  So, please be patient with me as I process changes for my website, and my social media accounts to best reflect not only my story, but my desire for how we can help each other.

Exactly how this work out with blog posts, art tips and sharing work –  I wish I could give you all those answers.  I’d like to give you a creatively detailed plan.  That’s how my mind works.  I’m learning, sometimes you just have to trust the process.  Isn’t that how watercolors work too?  Isn’t that what we need to do?  Isn’t that usually how our journey goes? We want all the answers, we don’t know all the answers, sometimes we have to wait for the answers.  Waiting.  Seems like I struggle the most with the season of waiting.  Maybe that is why I repeat it.

Watercolors are beautiful, they can be unpredictable, and learning to see colors emerge is fascinating!  I’m not a professional at this, I’m just learning, I’m growing and most of the time I’m loving this ride.  My thoughts and ramblings can be a run of watercolors in a puddle of water.  Hopefully,  you can will find value in joining me in this journey because you are like your own uniquely designed watercolor painting.  You have your own seasons of colors, journey and style.  Appreciate and value it.   Because you are wonderful! You are loved.

Look around, see the beauty.  See the colors, see the wonders.

Blessings,

Denise

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:13,14

 

 

 

Stepping Out Of Comfort Zones

Sometimes we get stuck doing things the same way. That can have pros and cons. While there are certain things that need to be done a certain way to produce the same result each time, there are also times when one can experiment to see what develops.  Especially when you want to spark some creative juices. 

You might remember me mention the gift of watercolor classes years ago from my husband that reignited my painting.  Last week I was thinking about that class and remembering some things. Two things in particular: 

  • Barbie, the instructor, telling us to paint on a larger scale
  • Barbara, a fellow classmate, saying “it’s only paper” when  she wouldn’t be especially fond of her project, but would quickly start another painting ready to try new things

I was thinking about this because I was trying to decide what I wanted to paint. I just felt stuck. I thought I knew what I wanted to paint, however, I didn’t want to go about it the same way. 

Lately I’ve be painting smaller paintings. I can finish one faster (if I’m not my own worse critic and  become a perfectionist about it) and can move on to the next project, as the size allows to have multiple projects started at once. 

Usually I spend an hour or so getting a sketch on the paper prior to painting, depending on the size of the painting. I’ve been known to take longer.  I also spend time thinking about the colors I want to use and write them down in a notebook so I don’t forget for the painting.   If there is a painting that I previously did that I think I might like to use similar colors, I will go back and look at my notes from that painting.  All this takes time, and thought.  

Soooo, all that being said. I decided to switch it up and let you in on how it’s going. 

I decided to paint on a half sheet paper (15×22), hardly sketch at all (spent 5 minutes), tape paper in a different way (back instead of edges) and paint as loosely as possible. 

The first wash of color is always the stage that is the ugliest and ackward. You just have to remember this is a work in progress, tell yourself that over and over, and push on. 


After it dries and you can add a little more color you start to feel the painting emerge. 


Since the painting is at this point, and I’m waiting for it to dry some, I thought I’d post some pictures and let you know what is happening at the Studio. I’ll do my best to keep you posted with pictures along the way. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Painting A Fluffy Cow

Right now I’m up to day three on Facebook of the fluffy cow painting.

I have to admit I almost chickened out on posting my first days work.

That first day is always my hardest, and always the place that I seem to be most disappointed. The place I tend to be the most impatient. Sometimes I will help speed up the drying process with a hair dryer just so I can continue to layer on paint and get to a place where I can at least feel good about coming back to the project.

One of my Artist friends has a great attitude about the process. She always tells me “It’s just paper, if you don’t like it start over”.

So if you are painting, keep going in the process!  If you aren’t happy along the way, remember, it’s just paper.  That thought can give you the freedom to keep going and you might just  like your results in the end after all.  Happy painting!

Painting Process

Ive learned a lot by others sharing how they paint and what they’ve learned during the process and decided to chronicle one of my pieces that I’m doing for fun.

Then I thought that might be kinda of scary because I always think the beginning of my paintings are the worst.

I think I have this tiny bit of OCD in me that sees one thing in my head and can’t wait for the whole process. Watercolors are not easily controlled,
they really like to do their own thing. Okay, that’s another issue I have.

Sometimes I wonder why I am working with this medium???

Ah, to learn patience, forgiveness and grace.

Right now you can catch some photos on my Facebook page of the beginning of my current project.

Gallery Items

These originals are currently on display at the Great Lakes Mall, Spirit Lake Art Exhibition:

The originals are NFS (not for sale), however, 8 x 10 prints are available for $25.00 each plus shipping.  Please use the contact page if you are interested in a print.  Prints are not framed or matted.