I took a watercolor workshop.
I've used watercolor in my artwork (you can see them here), but I've always combined it with other media. I was never comfortable enough to use this medium alone. It was time for me to get it right and expand my creative repertoire.
The extremely talented artist Kirstin Malone shared with me some of the techniques and experience she has acquired over the years as a watercolorist. I've learned so much more in this two day workshop than a semester long watercolor class I took back in college. You can see some of her stunning work Here.
Besides the watercolor techniques, I've also learned the secret to unleash our creativity. Do you want to know what that is? Embrace the Imperfections.
2 Ways to Embrace Imperfections & Unleash Your Creativity:
1. Let go of your control.
Unlike pen and pencil drawing, watercolor is a very challenging medium to control. Sure, you can control some details, but in the end you have to trust the water and let it do its job.
Doesn't watercolor painting sound a lot like life? When you know what you can and you can't control, you approach life more effortlessly. You just do your best with what you can control and let the rest unfold on its own.
practice no. 1 | jelly beans
This is exactly what happened when I worked on this piece, jelly beans. The two colors, orange and yellow, blended beautifully on the paper while the water settled.
I couldn't have achieved this if I overworked with the brush. The water moved the pigments around and left me a little surprise. When you let go of your control and let things unfold of their own, something amazing happens.
Since I'm relatively new to the world of watercolor, my paintings are usually, well, not that good. But I hate to give up on something I've spent hours working on. Instead of giving up or throwing a temper tantrum (also a tempting option), I try to get creative and reinvent my artwork. I take something imperfect and turn it into something beautiful.
practice no. 2 | tomatoes + chives + pie crust
I wasn't too happy when I finished this piece - I think it's the pie crust. My husband even mentioned the pie crust was crooked and weird. Oh well.
I really liked some of the details though. I wondered how I could make this work...
Luckily, this art came alive with a simple styling. I paired it with a white frame and a Panton chair, and somehow the pie crust doesn't bother me anymore. All I needed to do was to place it in a right setting.
practice no. 3 | chives
This piece was a little more challenging than the one above. I was so close to put this one in a trash can. I thought this was boring and a little too pastel to my taste.
So, I pulled out my white oil pastel and wrote "embrace your imperfections" all over the background. Then I applied a light gray watercolor wash all over it. This process gave this piece a slight sepia tint and toned down the pastel hues I wasn't happy with. It also made the message pop against the darker wash.
Next, I made a mat using cardboard and burlap. Once the wash was completely dry, the art was mounted to the burlap mat.
When you're ready to embrace imperfections, you finally become free from fear - the fear of making mistakes. Sure, the fear will always be there, trying to find its way to enter our soul. But when you live boldly in spite of fear, your creativity comes to the surface.
And it's okay to make mistakes. Remember, you can always reinvent the imperfections and turn them into something beautiful.
Let's roll up our sleeves, embrace imperfections, and unleash our creativity.