A Time for Reflection

January is a time of reflection for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of other people. It’s my wobbly time where I doubt my artistic ability, search around looking for inspiration and try new things. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we all need change and variety, but how can I create a consistent practice if I keep trying different styles?

Bridge reflection watercolour
A time for reflection

Practice they say makes perfect. So I endeavour to do something every day. I sit at the easel looking for inspiration. Some days it appears from nowhere and other days the blank paper stares back at me accusingly. Practice, practice, practice, get the paints out and just make some marks on the paper, it could almost be shouting at me. Just do SOMETHING. Then I remember that it’s supposed to be a pleasurable experience, something taken up in the early retirement years of my life. I’ve had the years of toil, going out to earn an honest crust, now is my time to do the things I want to do.

Looking for inspiration

Watercolour is my first and true love. I love the way the paint reacts with the water on the paper and I never quite know what is going to appear once it is dry. I started this year on the watercolour route, watching YouTube videos for inspiration with reasonable success. I vowed to do more sketching too, and study the shape and structure of trees. The landscape is such an integral part of my narrowboat life, I walk most mornings before breakfast enjoying the changing moods of the British seasons.

Tress study
Rooted in the landscape

Somehow I was still looking for something more, something different. A new way to improve my techniques, the way I use my materials and the marks I make. In order to propel myself outside my comfort zone I enrolled on a course with abstract artist Tracy Verdugo. It’s far away from my usual work but I think it will help me with observation of shapes and colours and loosen me up. It’s also great fun, which is after all the point.

Abstract painting
Distracted by abstract

When I started this art adventure back in 2017 I was drawn to the work of Jean Haines. She does wonderful loose watercolours and I aspire to being able to create something like them. Along the way I have been distracted by other styles but I always come back to painting loosely. Of course she has several decades of experience behind her so I have a lot of catching up to do!

Coming up roses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.