After taking drawing classes, and falling in love with colored pencil, I decided to try watercolor. My teacher was the same woman, Eva, who I loved and who was very encouraging and supportive. You need that when you are starting out (or maybe always) – someone to recognize that you have something, a little bit of talent, that merits nurturing.
I didn’t really understand what she was saying – that there is an unexpectedness and beauty when you let watercolors “do their thing,” when you add paint to a wet surface and let something magical happen! Shortly after, I created this painting below, of the elephants. I was especially proud of how the clouds came out. I let it “happen” by picking up the paper and letting the paint roll around.
It took me awhile to let go and loosen up. During the drawing class, I was trying to be perfect, to draw perfectly. Now, years later, I’m loosening up more and more and I’m finding that “not perfect” has a style to it. A style I’ve been aiming for, for years. Now, I enjoy letting the watercolor do something unplanned and then creating a piece around that.
As the years went by I started using watercolor pencils in some areas, to add detail. The first painting in this post, of my kids at the beach, is my favorite watercolor to date.