During the middle of the pandemic, back in 2020, I was stuck at home like everyone else. Oddly enough, I didn’t mind too much. Being an introvert, home is my happy place and as long as I had a way to keep busy I was okay. I turned to the thing that has eased my anxiety and cluttered mind since I was a child: ART.
Drawing had been a passion all my life but adulting, things like raising my children and paying the bills, had pushed this aside for many years. By 2020, my children were out of college and they, along with my husband and myself were hanging out, working from home, so I decided to jump start my creative side. This came in the form of a medium I had always wanted to try but found rather daunting: watercolor.
Bless the internet and, particularly, YouTube because there were endless sources for finding the ins and outs of this beautiful art form. As a teenager and college student, I had learned about painting in acrylics and oils. Some of the ideas there did carry over but others (like the ability to “fix” a mistake by simply painting over it) did not. Needless to say, there were some frustrating moments and lots of disastrous paintings that became lots of scrap paper! Eventually, I began to get comfortable with my results. I was amazed at how much there was to learn just about this one medium. Things I needed to think about and all the exciting techniques that resulted in such different looks and styles. I still struggle with things both related to and not related to watercolor itself like finding a good composition, or the correct balance of lights and darks. I also need to learn when to stop, something very important in this medium because overworking a watercolor painting is just the worst! I’ve come to a point where I’m happy with a good percentage of the finished paintings but, even two years later, I am still finding many new adventures and new skills that I can practice.
After several months of creating and experimenting, the art work began to pile up and I was inspired to open a shop on Etsy in order to sell some of the finished pieces. So far it’s been a modest success. I will never get rich, but I’ve been able to share some pieces and create many commissioned one of a kind watercolors that have, hopefully, brought joy to the people who own them.
That said, I know, even as I approach my 60th year, a fact that still sends my head spinning some days, that, no matter how old I am, there is still SO much more I can learn. Possibly, that holds true for life in general, wherever or whenever you find your passion.