Have you ever wanted to do something so badly, that you were equally afraid you couldn't? That pretty much sums up how I felt about becoming an artist. And just to set that worry straight for any readers that feel something similar, if you love art and have always wanted to draw or paint, you already are an artist. The becoming part is simply a matter of becoming familiar with the medium and developing skills through practice.
initial class, my interest in watercolor did not lessen. I browsed the local art store for books and magazines to aid my attempts to paint. It was during one of these visits that I found the treasure that shaped my art endeavors for the next ten years, a book called, Watercolor: A New Beginning, by Ann K. Lindsay.
This book, with its nurturing and encouraging approach, gave me the courage to feel excited about watercolor, again. So excited in fact, I traveled from east Tennessee to upper state New York the next summer, in 2000, to take what I consider to be my first watercolor class, this time with Ann Lindsay. This journey was an adventure and magnificent in so many ways. But most of all, I want to say a little more to you about that tenderness we feel as beginning artists, a feeling that can often hold us back.
In my journal I wrote:
July 31st, 2000: [Monday--day one] "I had a panic attack--throat closing, flushed, tears--over the show-and-tell thing we did after the first exercise today. How could I be self-conscious, uneasy over splashing color and water on paper in no particular pattern? It is beyond my understanding sometimes, what sets off my anxiety."
August 4th: [Friday night, as the week of classes ended] "I have enjoyed this tremendously....Ann says, art is the soul coming out on paper. Maybe that's why this art is so very sensitive an issue for me. There aren't too many ways that I share my soul with others....When I shift to expressing who I am inside, talk about me, whether in a novel or a watercolor or sketch or photograph, that is a very sensitive moment. I feel vulnerable and exposed. Hence, my panic attack on the first day of class. It was less about what we were looking at, what I had created on paper, and more about how much I have always wanted to do this."
And to all of you artists out there--keep painting!
Part I to this post: Books, A Difficult Start and A Passion for Watercolor
Ann K Lindsay's website
Watercolor: A New Beginning. Even though this book is out of print, I highly recommend it for everyone who loves watercolor. It's a beginning for beginners and a "new beginning" for watercolor artists at any level. You may find signed copies from the author here. Click these links for book contents and excerpts.
Secondary market copies at Amazon can be found here: Watercolor: A New Beginning