Why Watercolor?

art struggles news

In the interest of "work smarter, not harder" & "done is better than perfect" in 2023, I'm resurrecting some blog posts I started months (or even years) ago and posting them in whatever state they're in. 


Recently an acquaintance asked: "So why did you decide to try watercolor?"

I was stumped for a bit. I know how I started watercolor (took a free class at the library with decent supplies) but why? I wasn't sure how to answer that question. I jokingly replied in a silly voice "Cuz it's pretty."

But this question won't leave the back of my mind since then. I wasn't lying when I said it was pretty. But that still doesn't answer how a gal who firmly believed she had no talent whatsoever for the visual arts left her familiar choir situation to try something totally unfamiliar.

I decided to tackle watercolor instead of oil or acrylic painting because it's fresh, bright and clean. The experts make it seem effortless. I know from experience now it's actually the duck on the pond: he looks so serene as he glides along the top of the water, but underneath those little feet are paddling furiously. There's a lot of hidden effort that goes into art that isn't immediately visible in the final product. 

Perhaps it was also that I've always heard anecdotally that watercolor is the hardest medium. Watercolor has a mind of its own and I think that frustrates people who are used to paint that stays where you put it. 

Honestly, it was probably that watercolor seemed the most approachable--everyone's used watercolor as a kid! It's less messy than other paints. A little goes a long way. And I'm a cheap midwestern gal, who thought she'd invest less money to get started.

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