I Used to be Afraid of Watercolor

I didn’t come to watercolor willingly, with open arms. I came to it more than 20 years after my best friend suggested I try it because she liked the way it looked and thought I would too.

This is an early image of my painting “Ever More” in progress. enjoy watching it unfold.

This is an early image of my painting “Ever More” in progress. enjoy watching it unfold.

I embraced watercolor when I moved to Honolulu. I lived in a tiny garage apartment, lovingly referred to as the cottage. I was an oil painter then and figured the fumes in that small a space would “kill” me — or significantly shorten my life.

You see, I was afraid of watercolor.

I’d heard “horror stories” about how hard it is to control. I’d heard, “It’s too unforgiving and you can’t make mistakes because you can’t paint over them.”

Of course, now that I know the joys of watercolor and understand how to work with it, I LOVE to paint with watercolor.

Now I joke that all of the horrible watercolor myths were started by an adept watercolor artist who didn’t want the share the wisdom the medium has to offer.

Let’s break it down, watercolor is “unforgiving”.

We’re talking about paint, not a separate physical person. Yet, one of my top ten tips for making watercolor more fun is to “make friends with watercolor.”

What’s going on here? What exactly are we talking about? Who is unforgiving? And with whom are you supposed to make friends?

No matter what you do or what medium you use, YOU are the main ingredient!

If you perceive watercolor as unforgiving, perhaps the lens needs to be turned around, pointing at the painter, rather than the paint.

Watercolor is paint. It has no power to forgive or to not forgive. Myth debunked.

Clearly, we knew that already so let’s dig deeper.

Are we saying one can’t make mistakes or that mistakes made with watercolor unforgivable or impossible to repair?

If that were true, no one would ever touch the stuff!

Everyone Everywhere Makes Mistakes!

Mistakes and “failures” line the path of growth, change, and success!

If you’re not looking for growth or change, stay away from watercolor.

If, however, you’re looking for a challenge and a partner in growth and change, Watercolor is your best friend.

To put this to rest, mistakes made with watercolor can be rectified. Depending upon how quickly the “mistake” is noticed, we either fix it before it’s dried or we figure out how to work it into the painting.

Either way, we’ve learned something new in the process.

Watercolor is a fun, fast painting medium, filled with as much beauty and joy as you allow yourself to feel. (Step into Your Next Space of Allowing!)