Watercolours are as scary as sky diving, as exhilarating as a hockey game and as satisfying as nailing a hole in one. I have never jumped from a plane, rarely watch hockey and usually only rant about how silly golf is. This is because I paint in watercolour.
I painted a grand total of 8 watercolors last year. At 365 days in a year I average 45.6 days for each painting. That is a good pace for the amount of angst that goes into each one… but it is a glacier pace.
Glacierhood would be no problem if I was just painting as a hobby, but I have committed myself to 3 projects this year and will need to churn out approximately 10 pieces of work a month for the next six months.
How many have I done this month? The answer is : 0
I will need to move a little faster if I don’t want to die of a painting overdose come June, the deadline month. But I find that the thought of an empty piece of watercolour paper is very uninspiring and that I have no motivation to break the quiet white with loud colours. Something will have to change to ensure this will not be a disaster year.
As I have thought about this I realize that I have no warm-ups for painting. I usually decide what I am going to pain, get out my materials and tools and then paint.
Compared with singing or dancing this would be insanity. I would not just start singing my recital piece without hours of scales, arpeggios and breathing exercises. Nor would I expect to dance very well if I only practiced the finished choreographed piece. I would probably associate pain and fear with dance then.
I have no watercolour warm-ups. And for that reason, I suspect watercolours are the hardest art form that I do. The one I am afraid of the most, and the one that I do the least.
So, this week I will find a few exercises for me to do every day to “warm-up” my watercolour muscle and calm my psyche. Perhaps by June I will not only have my 60 finished pieces, but painting will be more exhilarating than scary:)