This week, I took my own advice and relaxed. I ended up painting two cats on 5 X 7 cards. I have wanted to do this for a while, to send small paintings to friends, something personal instead of bought when an occasion arises or just because you feel like it.
These are in watercolor, a medium I plan on studying increasingly. So I purchased some Strathmore watercolor cards in 140lb cold pressed paper and I love the product.
During my artists associations’ meeting this week, I had the opportunity of listening to our invited guess Rex Beanland, a Calgary watercolor artist. I loved the relaxed way he approaches his city scenes. During his demo, he applied the paint freely while still keeping in mind his composition and leading the eye to the focal point.
He painted one city scene for us and I was amazed at the result he achieved in less than one hour. Granted, if you look closely, it simply looks like blobs of colour but when you observe at the painting as a whole, there is coherence and vibrant life to it.
This leads me to an expression I heard from another artist, David J.Rogers. He talked about a “Watercolor state of mind”.
This state of mind is not about confidence you acquire from honing your abilities but is a way of thinking and acting, an attitude “where confidence, experience, inspiration, joy, and knowledge all come together into one symbiotic approach” as he states.
According to him, mastering watercolor means you work with the medium, not that you control it. Isn’t it the same with all mediums and life itself? It is what painting is all about whether oil, acrylic or watercolor. Each has its own behaviour and offers something different.
A relationship needs to be established between the artist and the medium. The artist must respect the medium he’s working with, how the pigment moves on the support whether it is carried by water or oil.
The “watercolor state of mind” basically means that you know and understand your medium’s behaviours and work with it.
Adopting this attitude of letting go of certain results in other areas of our lives is also beneficial! Realising that some things or circumstances can’t always be changed and that we have to work with them towards the best results that can be achieved, is necessary.
In other words, don’t try to control everything and worry about the things you can’t control. This only leads to frustration and misery.
Painting can definitely teach us some life lessons.
Stay safe and Thank you for reading !
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