...probably has something to do with the fact that I last worked in 2008. “Worked for money” that should say. I work every single day. Sometimes it’s noticeable. Most of the time it is not.
I love and hate this experiment in watercolor. They’re hard. I can’t fix something when I notice it’s wrong. They’re always wetter or dryer than I think. Colors dry much lighter or much darker than I expect. Layering makes them so much brighter than mixing, but I think it’s more fun to mix, soooooo… I like watching the paint mix on the paper. So much so that I’ll let it happen even if it really shouldn’t. I still don’t know how to make a REALLY dark gray for black (hence my reliance on pens…will the internet approve of my overuse of the word “hence” I actually use it in real life, where I grew up we used a lot of archaic words). My sketch pad paper is not the best quality, compared to others I’ve used. And I forget how much it warps. I REALLY like watching the paint mix on the paper. And run. And make those pretty edge lines where the color dries. It worked one time where a green left a beautiful blue hue all around the edge… yeah, I really like that.
Another day, another drawing.
I need to work on getting my colors brighter/darker. Less muted. Also, I hate my lights in my kitchen. Stupid fluorescents. Mess with the shadows. In classes this happened, too, but there were more, whereas here there’s only one. And no sunlight at all. I can’t wait to live in a place where I can change all my lights and not have to have these awful things.
Anyway. I need to work on color build up. La la la.
I’m amazed at how little things take up a larger part of my life nowadays, with kids. I find Legos everywhere. And those little animals we get from the dentist (I love our dentist). And doll clothing. Little teeny tiny pieces of crap. But I sort of love it. Even as it annoys me. I love it. I wouldn’t change it.
This duck has sat on my desk for months now. Because I’m shit at cleaning up. And because no one else seems to think it’s a good idea to bring it back in the bathroom where it belongs. Why? everyone needs to see it. There aren’t a whole lot of yellow things in our lives, so it stands out. And I think, I’ll go to the bathroom and bring this along. Only the timer dings for something, or a kid comes in and starts talking to me, or I decide it’s time to do something else. It doesn’t really matter. Things never seem to get done when they don’t include food or clean clothes on kids. So what am I doing? I’m forcing myself to spend 30 minutes a day on a watercolor painting and posting it. Because… well, why the hell not.
I don’t know what the stupid (bad word! we don’t use that word in this house! This is the rule made up by my 5-year-old, and, okay, fine, we don’t use that word… only some things are stupid.) ink marks in my book are from. But I refuse to waste a page just because there’s something on the page. And it makes sense with the reason for this drawing. I’m annoyed with all these little things, but they’re part of my life. I can’t change it, though I may try. I may be able to get them into other places, but I can never eradicate them completely.
Except that doing this has somehow freed up more time. How does that make sense? Suddenly, with forcing myself to do this every day I’m finding more time to get things done. Priorities? Is that all?
Anyway. I’ll find time to work on something real someday. When the kids are back in school or something. But for now 30 minutes a day works. I work on a large painting for about 10 minutes every weekend, but it’s not yet at a point where I can show anything.
And since I’m not patient enough to wait for things to dry (why does watercolor need so much patience?!!!) I’m going to try doing this Index Card A Day Challenge. The idea for me is to not think too hard. Just put the paint down. So when I can’t find a place to paint on whatever 30 minute thing I’m working on I add paint or ink to the index card. It may not be the best way to do things, going back and forth between seeing and random, but I enjoyed it today. And I don’t really care. 🙂
I have these photos from Levi’s first snow storm. It was crazy. Snowpocalyse. And we had such a great time. These pictures remind me of the wonder he has of just about everything. And I wish I could appreciate it more on a daily basis. He’s such a great, interested kid. What more could you wish for your child, other than being a productive member of society, than to be interested in many things?
And I hate snow. I hate being cold. I have Reynaud’s, which makes my fingers and toes feel like they’re going to fall off. Yet this day was amazing. It took forever to get dressed up in our warm-weather clothing: hats, scarves, long undies, shirts, sweaters, coats. And it was so worth it. There are so few days that feel that way. As if all the work that we put into having a good time is worth it.
So, for all these reasons I love these pictures. And I look at them when I can, because I had no idea ahead of time that it would work out this way. I need to be reminded that the perfect day may or may not come, but you can’t have it unless you get out there.
More interesting was the conversation I heard between my husband and my daughter earlier this evening. I was resting (stupid headaches) and hear him ask, “Are you allowed to be doing that?”
“Yes, of course,” she answers.
He tries again. “I think that’s Mommy’s. If I ask her if you’re allowed to color in it, is she going to say ‘yes’?”
But you’d really never know it based on my sketchbook or, some weeks, my camera. He just won’t sit still and refuses to have his picture taken most days. Today we had a penicillin challenge. He’s had serum sickness for it and cefdinir. It’s terrible: 3 weeks of itching, pain, and swelling. So poor boy spent 5 hours in a tiny room getting a bit of medicine ever 3o minutes or so. No reaction, though I don’t think I’ll be giving him either class of drugs if we can help it. And if we can’t, I’m going to need to give him zyrtec when we start giving it to him.
But I brought the wrong few pencils. And I sort of hate using watercolor pencils. They’re not as fun as real watercolor. And when you grab colors that aren’t primary it’s hard to mix them. They are fun to have on hand to finish up a watercolor, though.
I do like the way his hair came out. I’ve given him a bit of a fauxhawk, and didn’t know how to show that. I’m always happy when just looking and drawing what I see works. It always feels a bit like magic.
Pickup up a brush is hard. I’m not very good at watercolor. Not that I’m fantastic at drawing (though I swear this from-life drawing of my little girl was better before I starting adding paint…aside from her strangely shaped head). And it’s hard to practice something you’re not good at when you know you’re decent at other things… But I really do want to get better. And I really want to expand my drawing ability, too. But, more, I really just LOVE watercolor. Even when mine look like crap, I have a lot of fun with it. And when I see what other people can do (check out Beach, by Elisha Cooper), I’m swept away with how wonderful it is. And I try to figure out how they did it. Some of what Elisha Cooper does is so SIMPLE and perfect. And there are BEAUTIFUL portraits on YouTube (I love the speed paintings by Agnes Cecile). But still, enjoying these things does not mean that I’m getting any better at the skills I admire. Why? Because I refuse to pick up the brush. I’m embarrassed by how bad I am.
It’s time for that to end. I’ve finally been beaten to submission by the advice of people like Chris Guillebeau telling me to stop doing nothing. Only way to get better is to do. And do I will. This would have been even better if Little Girl hadn’t discovered I was drawing her and started shaking my hand with the paint brush. 🙂 And one of these days I won’t feel the need to go over in ink.