I’ve Been Painting all Summer

postcard sized watercolour of a swamp
This is a small postcard sized painting. I sat in a swamp on an overcast morning, drawing. Herons flew over my head. Beasts rustled the reeds.

I’m back from my lovely summer in Canada. I spent most of my free time painting. And have resolved to keep going everyday.

I have dabbled with painting for the last 10 years, watercolour in particular, but never committed. I have been frightened that I would end up with useless paintings, filling my plan chest, with no where to go. Frightened that hours of work would be wasted. I have also been wary of the anxiety caused by paintings that aren’t going the right way. This fear, and the fear that I can’t make good paintings, has kept me from taking it more seriously.

I painted everyday this summer. There were days that it caused me anxiety. It’s a hard anxiety to name. If paintings are like world building (yeah, I’m God in this scenerio) then it’s the anxiety of watching the world you are building going wrong. Maybe I’m taking it too seriously.

Anyway, I started to feel more confident, towards the end of the summer. I could fix them or even allow them to go wrong. I think I can manage my anxiety by painting everyday. That way, keeping the difficult moments in perspective. The good times, are some of the most exciting moments of my life.

Postcard watercolour of swamp


As for my fear of plan chests full of useless paintings… Well I have many more knitted items and other things I have made, than I need or wear, and that doesn’t seem to bother me. All the “useful\practical” things I make are rarely necessary. I mostly don’t worry about them, so why worry about paintings piling up? They don’t take up much space.

I feel ready to take my painting more seriously. I am committed to painting everyday. I have signed myself up for a watercolour course at the Mary Ward Centre and lots of workshops and talks at the Royal Watercolour Society. I’m going to get out and see more exhibitions and also do some plein air painting.

Expect plenty of posts about painting.

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