I hope this day finds you enjoying all the beauty of creation which we are all blessed to see around us. Life is so strange right now with the Covid-19 virus keeping us all home. What a wonderful blessing it is that we artists have art to keep us calm and centered. As an artist, my home is full of my endeavors, reminding me of past successes (I don’t keep the ones that were not as successful!) and wooing me to pick up my brush, pencil, or polymer clay, once more. My art materials, which are extensive, are a constant reminder to get into a state of flow and be who I was created to be.
Do you remember when you were a child and you opened your school supplies for the first time? It seems to me that, for any child, a fresh box of crayons is symbolic of new hope. It is ready to offer days and days of colorful and joyful, unfettered expression. A new watercolor paint set is much the same in its buoyant hues, but as adults without training, instead of joy, those new paints may bring anxiety and self-questioning. Can I create a painting? Will it be dreadful? Will people think badly of me for having even tried? Let us put away those voices that aren’t helpful. Once properly trained on how to use the paint, confidence will develop and an adult can embody the childhood “new crayon” joy.
I am someone who is intellectually hungry, so I thrive on growth. YouTube, in my opinion, is one of the greatest gifts to humanity. Anytime I feel like I just don’t know what direction to take, I find something on YouTube which inspires me. This is an amazing thing. What I have to guard against, however, is the feeling that there is no reason to do the thing I have just seen because it already has been done. I am satisfied knowing how to do something, versus having to do it myself. Unfortunately, this way of learning does not produce strong retention.
Taking a live online course (or taking a course in person), wherein you are actually making art as the course is taught, is a beautiful thing. I demonstrate for my students in a stepwise fashion, and then they do the thing I demoed right there and then. When my students have questions, I am right there to answer. It is very different to try something for yourself versus just seeing it done. Trying it for yourself gets the learning down deep into you so that you don’t forget as easily. If done enough, it also can bring you to confidence and the childhood joy I mentioned earlier.
Right now, I am offering Watercolor classes for adults on SummerCampOnline and I hope you will join me! We are going to delve into the mysteries of watercolor, which turn out to be not all that mysterious. Watercolor is a joy to work with and, believe it or not, it can be forgiving (once you know how to garner its “rules of forgiveness,” so to speak). You can harness the water to do much of the beauty-making for you. Also, you can “fix” errors very easily when you work with your watercolor paint in the way that I will teach you (and, trust me, many of these paint strokes that you originally thought were “errors” will turn out to be very happy accidents!).
Will you give the child in you permission to try? Let’s play together and invite joy! I look forward to seeing you in
Irene Angeles is a degreed artist, living in Wisconsin, who loves to teach. In addition to teaching through SummerCampOnline, she teaches privately and through other venues – contact her for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.