Saturday, February 20, 2021

Loose Watercolor Style (Not Really Me?)

One thing I have noticed about watercolor artists I “follow” and/or try to learn from (tutorials, etc.): Even the professionals sometimes veer away from their “signature” style, perhaps for a break, perhaps because their followers or students pressure them to do a different style. Whatever the reason, I’ve decided that if they can do it, I can do it. 

Here’s what I’m saying: I have determined that loose watercolor is not really my style. But sometimes doing a piece with that style does provide a bit of a break from routine for me.

So, I occasionally step outside the box of more controlled painting, into the “loose” arena. 

More on why it is NOT my preferred style: I have always thought it was somewhat paradoxical for someone to say, “Try to relax.” If you have to try, you are not relaxing. You can’t really relax while working at relaxing. In the world of art, when I attempt a piece in a loose style, it’s like trying to relax. “Loose” is antithetical to my way of thinking/doing just about anything. (For that reason, maybe it’s a good thing for me as a stretching exercise.)

Now, I will say that even my attempts at using the loose style are NOT attempts to use the extremely loose, watery, runny style that many artists can do with beautiful results. Even my attempts at loose are illustrative, a fun style that is loose when compared to a very controlled style, but still somewhat controlled. My attempts at the other style (controlled and more detailed—more ME), are still not the total realism that makes people wonder if your art is actually a photograph. So perhaps I’m usually more in the middle, though leaning strongly toward controlled and realistic.

The last couple of days I have taken a break from my usual style and completed a few pieces “just for fun.” However, referring back to my observation about “try to relax,” I will admit that even these pieces that are loose (and supposedly more “fun”) were not really as much “fun” for me as trying to create a controlled and more detailed piece. Still, a break.

Here are the three loose pieces I created in the last couple of days.






For comparison, here are some of the more “controlled” pieces I have done in the last couple of weeks. Note: still not total realism, but not loose or illustrative either.











Next I will complete my January scrapbook pages and then back to more watercolor practice.

#watercolorpractice #watercolorfox #loosewatercolorduck #watercolorpuppy #loosewatercolorbighornsheep #watercolormountainbluebird #watercolorhino #watercolorgreenlemons #loosewatercolor 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

All in a Day’s Work

I’ve always been pretty “big” on routine. That’s not to be taken as “boring” or “in a rut.” I suppose I was raised to think there is value in having certain routines, even in retirement. 

For example, we make our bed every morning. I say “we” because I haven’t made our bed myself in a few years. That’s something my husband does to help me, so that I don’t get a backache. But it is part of our morning routine (as is coffee and watching the birds at the feeders).


My daily routine varies from time to time (see, not so boring) but almost always includes Quiet Time, devotional and Bible reading, prayer time, walking, coffee times, cooking and communicating with friends and family (usually via social media and texting).

My daily step goal is 10,000 steps, and when the weather is not conducive, that means lots of walking around in the house. Ugh! Tough to get that many steps. I don’t always make it all the way to 10,000, sometimes 7,500. But usually 10,000.



So I pass some of that time by listening to the Bible (currently reading through the Bible chronologically through one of the plans in the Bible app), through AirPods, as well as listening to daily devotionals from the First 15 app.

Another routine while walking is to pray over my Prayer Circles in my Prayer Journal.




From my son and wife I learned about “The Chosen” series as well as the little devotional book, “The Chosen: 40 Days with Jesus.” I am going through that during my Quiet Time now. I got a little journal to keep notes and prayers from the devotional study.



Since we are not going much of anywhere these days (Covid restrictions here in WA state are a bit extreme), and coffee is sort of a hobby for us, we recently got a new coffee maker and are now using a system other than a Keurig for some of our daily coffee times.


For espresso, we use the Nespresso machine with Nespresso capsules. For the Keurig, we use Kcups. But in order to use the new TechniVorm MoccaMaster Coffee brewer with the fresh roasted Colombian beans from Fresh Roasted Coffee, we needed a burr grinder. The OXO was highly recommended.



Most days we have three meals: usually granola or yogurt for breakfast, larger meal (sometimes Home Chef) for the middle of the day meal, and something light for supper. (My “big meal” is usually on Sunday when all the Washington family comes to our house for Sunday Dinner after church. Love that.)

Most days I do some art or some scrapbooking. 

I just completed the 2020 Scrapbook Album. 


I have also been placing some of my artwork in frames and using for a bit of decor “around the house.”











Today I finished another watercolor black-capped chickadee. I am finding that “creatures” are my most enjoyable watercolor subjects.


So, perhaps the only value in writing this post is so that I can answer my own question, “What in the world did you do with yourself today?” 

#dailyroutines #watercolor #scrapbooking #coffee #technivormmoccamaster #oxoburrgrinder #nespresso #keurig #freshroastedcoffee #thechosen #chickadee #prayercircles #prayerjournal #quiettime #fitbitversa2 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A Goal for the New Year {Aging GRACEFULLy}


My little watercolor kitty makes me smile. She is so sweet.

As I think about the new year, I want to focus on things that make me smile. Of course I have a lot of goals... goals about my projects, reading the Bible through, being what God wants me to be, serving, loving, being kinder and sweeter, having more grace, being a better wife, a better Mom, a better Mamo...on and on goes my list that I pray over each day...

But sometimes I come across something that someone else has written, that makes me think: 
“That. Right there. That’s it. That’s how I want to be.”

The following is copied.

I love it.

The beautiful, well-versed 83 year old lady, fully dressed every morning at 8 am sharp, with her hair done in fashion and perfectly applied makeup, is moving to a retirement home.  Her husband recently died, which motivated her move.

After many hours of patiently waiting in the hall of the home, she smiled sweetly, when told her room was ready.

As she moved her walker toward the elevator, she was given a detailed description of her small room, including the curtains hanging from her window.

′′ I love it,” she said, with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old girl who was just handed a new pet.
“Mrs. Jones, you haven't seen the room, just wait.”
“That doesn't matter,” she replied.
“Happiness is something you decide over time. Whether or not I like my room doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged, it depends on how I arrange my mind.

“I’ve already decided that I like it. It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have the choice; I can spend the day in bed, going through the difficulty I have with my body parts that don't work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the parts that do work.

“Every day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I will focus on the new day and the happy memories I've stored just for this time in my life.”

HAPPINESS is like a bank account: you withdraw from it, what you deposit.

So my advice would be to deposit a lot of happiness into your memory account.

Remember these five simple things:

1.- Free your heart from hate/discord.
2.- Free your mind from worries.
3.- Live Simply.
4.- Give more.
5.- Take less.
❤️

#watercolor #watercolorkitten #aginggracefully #finishwell #itisadecision #itisachoice