Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Lied or Bloom Where You're Planted

Late Jonquils and Blue Bells-detail of a failed painting!  
A failed painting.  I had a teacher who, during critiques would come around with two right angles of a matt and find the one place your painting worked!!  It was humbling, but it did teach me that there is some good in every effort!  

It was an honest lie.  When I said I gave up teaching, I was telling the truth.  Then a few days later I sat down to write another watercolor tutorial for Empty Easel, when I realized--I'm still teaching!!  (Empty Easel is an online art magazine I write watercolor articles and occasionally motivational pieces for. I will have another article here this week--do check it out!) I guess you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but where there's a will, there's a way??  How do you like that for mixing up proverbs?! So I guess I'm still doing what I love, just in a different way.

Another thing I realized is that by writing for E.E., I have begun to bloom where I'm planted.  I'm sure you've heard that expression before.  Sometimes we can't always control our situation, but we can always use the talents we have in the situation we find ourselves.  Sometimes it take some creative thinking to figure it out and sometimes we just naturally fall into it, like I did with E.E.  I love to write.  I love to teach.  I began writing for E.E. several years ago as a guest writer, which then turned into a regular thing.  So when I decided to give up teaching in a classroom, this was already in place. It combines three things I love: art, teaching and writing--and I didn't even realize it!

My intent for this blog has always been both to teach and encourage.  So I lied twice!  I haven't really used this blog to teach as much as I could.  My focus has always been more to encourage the creative spirit.  Yet a lot of what I do as a teacher is to encouraging people in their art.  Helping them get over the:  "the work must be perfect before I can value it" and the "I will never get the hang of this skill, so why am I doing it?"  And I share my personal artistic struggles here, not to complain, but to possibly come along side someone else out there who may be struggling as well.  It helps to walk the road together or to know others have the same experience.

The wonderful thing about the internet, like this blog, is its ability to reach so many. I have heard from people all over the world through it's reach.  The downside for me is the lack of personal interaction.  I'm a huge "people person" and I love to communicate face to face and look you in the eyes! The internet is a much larger audience. In fact my readership has tripled the last year alone.  I have people in the US, Canada, Australia, France, the UK, Bulgaria, Ireland, Germany, China and Mexico reading this blog! (hello to each and every one of you out there!) Just this week I received a response from someone in Bangalore--how fun to have friends and fellow artists from all over the globe!

That means I can encourage a larger audience to live a more creative life as well as teach in a huge classroom!  Really, the sky's the limit for what you can find and learn online anymore. I'm not sure I even really grasp its reach or potential.  That's an exciting thought for a creative person --unlimited potential to help people make art!!

So thank you for joining me on this journey.  In the articles on Empty Easel are some basic "how to" watercolor lessons that are part of a series I've been doing.  (you can search my name on E.E. for back articles) Coming up I am doing a series on painting flowers in watercolor.  This combines two things I love-- the fluid nature and vibrant color of watercolors with the delicate beauty of flowers!  

I hope you continue to learn and be encouraged by this blog.  Thank you for reading and do let me know when something I write helps you as you make your art.  Remember, each of you has something unique to say.  And it's your job to say it as no one else can.  Lets live a more creative life!   


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