One of the saddest things I hear when I talk about my life as an artist is comments like “I wish I had your talent” or, even sadder, “I can’t draw a straight line.” (Neither can I, for that matter. How many of my lines in painting are actually straight? Almost none!)
If you have a desire to paint, why aren’t you painting? Do you really want to choose defeat before you even start?
I really believe that if the desire is there, anyone can learn to paint in watercolour – it is a skill, like many other things, and so by logging those “brush miles” anyone can gain proficiency and confidence. Of course, good instruction can really help speed the process! Creativity starts with the mind – having an eye for what visually pleases you is the key to developing your own style. And creativity is a muscle; it grows stronger with use. If you already know what you like (and of course you do), and what appeals to you in art, study and copy artists who are working in similar ways, but copy with intent – studying the areas you like in a painting and analyzing why they work. (And of course, never sell work that is derivative of another artist’s subject or style; that’s illegal!) Learn from your own paintings – find something to love about everything you create and then work on repeating it in your next painting, or interpreting it in a new way.
We can be so demanding of ourselves, and even for me, who has chosen art as a career, the root of why I paint is still the joy I find in the process. And that can (and should) happen whether a painting turns out or not. When I start to feel like I should be achieving more or making better progress than I am, I get frustrated, and that has never helped me paint better! More often it’s just paralyzing, fearful and keeps me from even entering my studio. Joy in painting can happen every day, if our minds are in the right place. Isn’t that thrilling? Art is for everyone!