Violets & Arnica Watercolor Sketch


The canola fields are blooming the most brilliant yellow under rain-leaden skies. Wish I was willing to lug my camera while running in the mornings. I could use a fresh batch of reference photos.

I was asked whether I'd be willing to teach watercolour this fall at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery. While I'm not sure my schedule will be able to bear another 8 week session load, I think I should be able to manage at least a few classes, or perhaps a weekend workshop, so I gave permission for them to advertise potential classes. The spring classes I taught this year were so good for my own painting.

This little sketch showed promise early on, but I "fussed" too much and it lost a lot of its spontaneity. I do love this combination of yellow and blue and will try again. There's much to like, despite the problem areas that nag at me.

I resigned from writing artist profiles last month, which gave me a tremendous feeling of liberty. I really enjoyed speaking to the great variety of local artists I found in our region, but summer is a difficult time to track people down for interviews, and after two years I felt the need to take a break. I do still have a wonderful new network of contacts that have been a great source of information and support for me, and vice versa.

Another thing that's new for me is that I am dabbling in the realm of illustration. I'm working on designs for rubber stamps and this has required me to research and relearn vector illustration. I've got a lot of ideas for designs, and it's always energizing to challenge oneself and learn new skills.

Saw an ad on facebook the other day, something along the lines of "Learn to Draw Realistically without the Trouble and Time of Trial and Error." Made me a little angry, actually. While I believe that technical skill frees creativity, it is the lessons I've learned through trial and error, and the time I've taken in learning them that has grown me as an artist. The idea that there's this easy street that will help you to skip all the "hard knocks" and bring you to professional level is hogwash. It takes time to be good at what you do. The good news is, if you love it, you will practice, and if you love it, it will be an enjoyable journey.