If there is anything good that came from COVID, it was the fact that our local art center offered free art classes to essential workers (and they included teachers in this category). My godmother was a water color artists and I always wanted to try my hand at it.
This was my first Watercolor assignment. Oh how I struggled on this robin – which is why I call it Strangled Bird because I felt like I was throttling this poor piece to the point where I just thought it was terrible. I couldn’t make the subtle gray work which is they I changed to layering dark blue – I thought it looked terrible and i was so frustrated. The next day I looked at it and thought I’d done a pretty good job, and today I show it to my students as an example of transitioning away from a fixed mindset.
I had a lot of fun and became fixated on still-life beets.
I loved the beets on this, and only later realized that the leaves were an afterthought – not actually connected to the beets 😛
The next still-life topic I got caught up with were strawberries …
My last project from my watercolor 101 class was this still-life of Skagit Valley tulips. Even though the windmill was waaay out of proportions, I loved the way I built the abstract tulips in the field.
I came across Andrew Gleeson’s online Loose Watercolor Academy a few months ago. Loose watercolor technique was just what this control freak needed!
Flowers for Mom
Once I started digging into the collection of still-live tutorials, I just couldn’t stop and as this was right before Christmas, I had a few to give as presents. Suki and Mochi were always trying to walk through my paintings so a students suggested that I set “cat traps” (a.k.a. boxes) on my table. It worked!
This was an experiment with watercolor pens – a great mindfulness activity.
This was an interesting piece. Once done, I really didn’t like it and, in fact, initially titled it You Can Do Better Flowers when I first posted it to social media. I received so many positive comments that I changed the name.
I was so gratified by this piece. It felt like I was fully able to use the skills of shading being taught. It was also a great experience in the Loose style where I was able to let go of trying to force the piece.
To date, this is my favorite floral watercolor, and not just because purple is my favorite color, but because it truly did unfold naturally and still gives me great pleasure to look at.