Happy Accidents

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I'm continuously surprised by how much I enjoy watercolor. It has a mind of its own, and I'm a total control freak in the rest of my life! I like to think that painting in my studio is the one place I feel totally free to make all the mistakes, and really, truly let go.

A few weeks ago I got an extreme reminder that I am not in control--I dropped a big ole drop of water in the bottom left corner of this painting, right about the time I thought I was done.

pink & yellow stripey painting

Cue major internal screaming and panic!! Mistakes like that can ruin a painting.

But instead of getting upset & declaring it “ruined,” I dropped 2 more big drips of water in, to balance out the mistake one, and because an art "rule" is that uneven numbers are more aesthetically pleasing.

And now I’m considering it a success! It was very fulfilling to turn a potential catastrophe into one of my favorite recent paintings.

It sounds trite, but as I write this I realize I do truly believe I learn life lessons from my time with watercolor. I've learned how to let go of outcomes I'm only partially in control of, to find a least one positive thing about every painting, and even how to turn defeat into success. It's taken 4 years to get to the point I can roll with the curve balls watercolor throws my way, but I'm grateful I can see the growth happening.

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