Friday, February 08, 2013

Watercolor Explorations

Up until recently, I had been focusing solely on fiber art. Recently however, I have started to delve into watercolors. In the past, I painted with acrylics frequently, and loved painting. I always resisted watercolors however, because they can't be controlled in the same way as other mediums. There is quite a bit of what I like to call "let it be" in them - trust the pigments to do what they are going to do and not overworking it.

Maybe being open to this medium comes from age and a need to let go of controlling things. I'm not sure. I just know that I am enjoying every second of the journey right now.

In all honesty, I have already been more dedicated to studio time for watercolor painting that I ever have been for fiber art. I don't see myself giving up fiber arts, but I do see that I need a way to incorporate these two mediums eventually. When I'm ready.

I am now spending as close to eight hours a day in the studio as I can be - when I'm home. I do have several days a week now that I either have classes or other commitments. I do however try to do at least a little bit of watercoloring each day, even if it's only five or ten minutes.

I'm pretty sure I can just go ahead and attribute this whole thing to Melanie Testa. I had the opportunity to go to NYC this past December and meet her. We had chatted some online before - bonding over our kitties - both of whom sadly passed before I went to NYC. It was such a blessing to get to spend time together, and heal.

I was fortunate enough to be ballsy enough to ask to create in her Brooklyn apartment studio - and boy am I glad I asked! She opened me up to trying other mediums. But most importantly, she made me breathe! Really, and truly something that has made a huge difference for me. When we sat down, she told me to draw something - I panicked. The woman whose books I covet and drool over had asked me to draw something and I slipped into a blanked out panic. I admitted this. She said, "Breathe, then draw something."

Holy crap what a novel idea, right? It wasn't until she said that, that I realized when I get nervous, face a blank canvas, or am facing a challenging process I literally stop breathing and hold my breath. I have since held this mantra in my head. I now check in on my breathing, and when I noticed I'm not, I think, "Breathe, then go on. Breathe, then go on"

Take this lesson to heart, because you can apply it to every aspect of your life and work through anything. Breathe.


Just breathe.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Debra Svedberg said...

Stephanie, you're a wonderful watercolorist! A few weeks ago I was thinking I should email you and tell you to update this blog!

Anonymous said...

Steph, your watercolor skills just keep getting better and better. When I saw that last floral I said "Wow!" out loud! Way to go, Toots. So glad you're living and learning. HUGS ~ EL

Stephanie Forsyth said...

Thank you so much, both of you. I've really been enjoying the process of learning watercolors. :)