Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fifty Itty Bitty Paintings, Part Five

On a whim I decided to paint fifty tiny watercolor scribbles in one week, the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve.  What a delight that turned out to be!

By focusing for several days on just my watercolors, I learned a lot about what colors I have and how they interact.

I experimented with a few new brushes, along with some brushes I've had for a while, but haven't used.

I took notes on the back of each painting about what I used, so that when I look back on them, I will know.  I always think I will remember, but the truth is, I don't.  So this note-taking is essential for me.

I painted a lot from my imagination, but based on memories of scenes from my lifetime of walks in the woods.  I did not plan to do that.  Mostly I brushed big swatches of color, let them mingle a bit, then looked for the picture to present itself.

The whole experience felt like a session in a hot tub of creativity and fondness.

Except for the one or two little paintings where I set out to draw something specific (like the mini Cooper in my neighbor's snowy drive, above), this exercise was a sort of Rorschach test for my imagination.  I guess it's no surprise that the delights of my life--nature scenes--showed up over and over.

It is nature that I find my most special moments of connection to that which is all, and which is greater than me.  So as fun and sort of goofy as this exercise was, it had a lovely dimension of spiritual renewal, which I didn't expect.

The authenticity in allowing things to come to the surface... I just remind myself over and over how important it is.

Bringing these images to mind and capturing them quickly, without pressure, in fun colors, in a loose and uncontrolled style, brought me so much joy!

I am definitely doing this again some time.   Maybe with different media?  Or maybe the loose uncontrollable nature of watercolor is part of what made this so much fun?  I'm not sure the precision required for collage or drawing would bring the same experience (for me).  But maybe it would be a different experience, with different delights?

This was a terrific way to end the old year (as I did it in the last week of 2015) and to point myself into the new year--with a new appreciation of what I already have in hand!

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