Beginning Creative Watercolors

Learning How To Art

I’ve always considered myself an artistic and creative person. In middle school, a fish mosaic I created in art class was put on display at the local airport, an achievement I obviously still boast about. (I’m sure that piece of “art” is still tucked away in Nana’s attic somewhere.) My aunt taught me how to cross stitch at a young age, a skill that has gotten rusty over the years but something I still enjoy dabbling in. I made countless friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss. And I’ve lost count the amount of time I’ve spent scrapbooking over the years.

When I was a teenager, I would sit in my room for hours creating collages from magazines (still a favorite pastime) and doodling elaborate notes for my friends. I enrolled in a creative writing course my senior year of high school strictly because I’d run out of electives and didn’t get into the AP computer programming class I’d applied to. But as a bit of fate, this class served as the catalyst for my love of writing. I would later go on to receive a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Though I swear I make a crummy journalist (the necessary curiosity gene just isn’t there), I still love to write.

As I’ve gotten older, my creative outlets have expanded. Having my own home means I can dabble in interior design. Most recently I’ve turned my teenage love for elaborate notes into a more grown up version of hand lettering and calligraphy. I’ve created countless envelopes out of recycled magazine pages. And scrapbooking has taken on a whole new life with the introduction to the planner community. But there’s always been one creative skill I’ve never been very good at nor taken the time to learn and that’s painting.

Drawing is something that doesn’t come natural to me. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea of replicating a three dimensional object onto a one dimensional canvas. And while there are many different styles of painting, drawing seems to be the base of all of them and that alone has deterred me from ever learning to paint.

Recently I’ve become obsessed with watercolor painting. I’ve watched countless YouTube videos of artists spreading water and paint on canvases and creating beautiful works. (This is one of my favorites.) I love the literal and figurative fluidity of watercolor painting, the ability to manipulate it into a sharp, detailed image or a fuzzy, abstract piece. And I’ve also come to realize that some skills need practice to cultivate. Some skills don’t come as natural as others but that doesn’t mean you can never acquire them; you’ll just need more to time to work on them.

With all of that being said, I got online fell down the rabbit hole one night and discovered a whole catalog of continuing education courses offered at my alma mater, including two watercolor classes. For a very reasonable rate, the University of North Florida offers a six week course to learn the basics of watercolors. After some thought and schedule rearranging (the course is on Tuesday nights which is also pool league night), I signed up. And when I mentioned my new creative endeavor to Nana, she wanted to sign up too. So, starting in September Nana and I will be taking Beginning Creative Watercolor – Part I. And if all goes as planned, we will take Beginning Creative Watercolor – Part II following in October.

Together we are proof that you’re never too old to learn a new skill. And I am super pumped and excited to learn some new skillz. Is it September yet?

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