Hello, sweet friends. :)
Did you get to enjoy the bits and pieces of sunshine earlier today? I woke up early (or earlier than usual) and managed to get myself out of bed to see where the gorgeous beams of light were coming from in the hallway. Oh, the brilliant blue!! It was such a treat to see after so many days (or at least it feels like so many days) of rain and clouds. I even took photos while letting Rusty outside. I bundled up in my big, fluffy, rose-printed bathrobe – bedhead and all – and perused around the garden all while listening to the sweet song of birds. Sometimes it’s almost like they’re bombarding my ears when I come from my quiet, still house into a loud chorus of singing. But I forgive them.
So, today’s post is going to be something that I’m adjusting to both on the blog and mentally (first music, yes?). I’m sharing my little world of painting, and to be honest, it’s not easy. Sharing my process or steps to my work is like I’m officially saying, Hey! I call myself an artist!
Ahhh!! Just the thought of saying that makes me feel so exposed!
And I say this because it is very hard for me to accept that I may have talent. I know I’m not alone – you’re out there, too. Shying away from your beautiful gift and squirming when people compliment you. It’s an epidemic! Even after playing the piano for 23 years, I’m still uncomfortable when people ask me to play for them. And even photography! If someone compliments me, I try to pass it off as “Oh yea, well the lighting was really great that day.” My goodness. (Shaking my head at deliberate talent sabotaging.)
Just like it was hard to actually tell people, Hey! I’m a photographer!, so will it be difficult to acknowledge the fact that although I’m not Van Gogh or remotely close to,
I am, I suppose, a bit of an artist.
Alright – it’s out there! So, moving on!
If you don’t already know the story, I had been wanting to learn how to paint for years. I wish I had taken painting classes in high-school or even college, but I did not. I did paint a “mural” on my bedroom wall when I was 16 that will go down in infamy with my family; I saw it as a gorgeous sunset on the beach and they saw it as a bunch of blues and oranges with random v’s (for the flying birds of course!) Oh well. :) I have loved the idea of “being an artist” for as long as I can remember. When I was little I would go upstairs to me and my sister’s bedroom, pull out a bunch of papers and notebooks and crayons and pencils, turn on the Beatles records, and just draw (I wonder if my own family knows that’s what I was getting up to way back then). I’d draw wedding dresses, people I knew, things from my future life, potential husbands (I was very much into being married), and more dresses and shoes (shoes were always tough for me). My mother likes to remind me that in pre-school my teacher would show her how detailed and carefully colored my artwork was. Instead of just coloring the entire Christmas tree green like most 3-year-olds do, I was paying more attention to the patterns on the small ornaments on the tree, making sure to color them first and then color in the rest of the tree, always staying in the lines.
While I had always loved the idea of being an artist, I had no future goals for it and didn’t think I had a talent for it whatsoever. Although I did have one thing I held onto throughout the years – I wanted to write a book of some sort and illustrate it myself. That was it. Something simple. I focused more on being a writer than I ever did of being an artist.
And then in 2014 on one random day when I was 25, I was telling Paul my lovely bedroom wall story and that I wished I had taken some sort of art classes in school. My great-great-uncle was an artist you know. Maybe I have some of his genes in me. Paul, being the ever-supportive and wonderful person that he is, told me to just go for it! Go for it? I don’t know how! Why can’t you teach yourself, Paul would say. You’ve taught yourself photography, Photoshop, web design…I could teach myself! (It’s important to have a significant other who doubles as a fairy godmother/father). So I went to Michaels on a rainy morning while Paul was at work and picked myself up a bunch of stuff that I had no clue about. There’s different kinds of paper? What in the world is cold-pressed? Why are there so many brands of paint?! I wish I had a magic wand that would spin and just point to things I needed, like a fairy godmother compass. But, I managed and I went back home delighted with my new purchases. I laid them out all nicely on my desk table, organizing it so I would truly look like an artist.
Well, you and I both know that no matter how something might appear, that’s just not always the case. My desk looked lovely, but then I attempted to draw a vase of flowers. Friends, I didn’t even watercolor the right way! I didn’t even buy the right paints! At the time I thought I was doing it so well, I’m so clever, I thought. No, no I was not. But, as time moves on so does our skills. Now I can safely say that I love the brushes I use, I can tell good paint from not-so-great paint, I can tell the difference between different paper, and the most important piece, I now use water when I paint. (Yes, yours truly didn’t mix the colors with water on my first official attempt of being a watercolor artist. I’m still shaking my head at myself.) The best part is looking back at my work from even just a few months ago and being so proud at how much better I’ve gotten. It was the same with photography, looking back at weddings in prior years and realizing how far I/Paul had come.
I tell you this story for a couple of reasons:
a. My blog and business will become more intertwined with my art and so I thought it deserved a proper introduction. :)
b. This stuff gives me butterflies constantly. Sometimes I take things for granted when I talk to myself all day and I don’t realize how much of a gift something simple like watercoloring can be.
c. Maybe you’re someone who thinks it’s too late to discover a talent or to live out a dream.
You’re never too old for either of those wonderful things.
So friends, now that you’ve been properly introduced to my beloved interest, you will be seeing more posts relating to watercolors, designing, as well as photography. I hope you like what’s to come – I’m pretty excited with how this blog is going to be transforming and I can’t wait to keep sharing it with you. :)
Have a wonderful weekend! We’re shooting our LAST OFFICIAL WEDDING ON FRIDAY!!! Can you believe it?! But don’t worry – since it’s our last wedding and since I forgot to post my favorites and behind the scenes from last year, there will definitely be some of those favorites coming soon on the blog. :) xoxoxoxo