Extroverting

No, I don't really think that's a word, and maybe I just made it up because all of my titles are verbs ending in -ing, but I think I'll go with it anyway.  This has been a month of putting myself out there.  As a natural born introvert, as most artists I know are, it's not always easy to put your work up for exhibit to the general public or masses whether at an exhibit, or art fair, presentation talk, publication, or in front of a class.  Critique is going to happen, and is necessary for growth as an artist.  Art is such a subjective practice and people have very different interests, and that's a good thing!  Just think how boring the world would be if we were all the same and everyone liked all of the same things.  That being said, I think we all sometimes fear that critique, and it can be paralyzing, or it can make you stronger.  Some people seem to think artistic gifts are inherited, not always so, it takes years of study and practice, and practice, and practice, and sometimes defeat, and trying again.  I'm still nowhere near where I would like my work to be, and when I look at the work of some of my idols and mentors, I'm simply blown away and wonder if I'll ever get anywhere near their skills and results.  That always means more study, more practice, more figuring it out...but what a lovely adventure to be on!

"I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that don't work." -Thomas A. Edison

Growing

Something that I've learned (through much trial and error) is that one of the easiest ways to ruin a watercolor painting is to overwork it.  If you've ever tried this medium, I'm sure you know what I mean.  Maybe trying to finish a piece too quickly in one sitting, or by bringing in too many colors and not letting the previous colors dry, over-mixing, MUD.  Yep, been there!  So here's a little trick I often tell my students to make sure that doesn't happen... multitask!  

I often have 3-5 projects on my desk (or desks) at the same time so that I can jump between them. This allows the layers of paint to dry completely before adding another.  With watercolor being a transparent medium, it's all about the layers, and building them up slowly to maintain the integrity of those beautiful colors.  So there's my little nugget of art advice for the day...keep on painting!

Native plants and pollinators project - works in progress.

Native plants and pollinators project - works in progress.