Watercolour : Learning to be a beginner again

I want to share with you an experience that might be familiar to you if you’re just starting to painting or coming back to it. I like drawing and painting because of what creatives call ‘the zone’ where their attention is solely focused on what they’re creating, not the outside world. So this may not really be a typical meditation but I think it’s a close relation and it’s something I want much more of in my routine to help combat anxiety.

To help clear my thoughts and calm myself after a day of work I wanted to do a simple exercise that would relax me.

Painting negative shapes with watercolour by tracing a photo of leaves I took, with a cup of tea, some fruit and nut dairy milk and listening to the sounds of a thunderstorm as my background music.

By calming my breathing, I lit my favourite smelling candle and just allowed myself to be, trying not to think about what needed doing in the house or other work I could be doing, figuring out ways I could possible multitask to get the maximum efficiency from the moment. Giving myself permission for the next 2 hours to experience something I really enjoyed felt really liberating, like I was treating myself. It reminded me of the feeling I go when I visited a city with no plans other then to be and just taking in the sights around me.

It was a really nice feeling to have on a Thursday evening.
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So now it’s been about an hour and I’m feeling very frustrated. My brain won’t take each step slowly, so I keep messing up the watercolour washes as I rush to get it finished. I’m trying to have that feeling of satisfaction when it’s all completed and looks awesome before it’s been finished. Currently it just looks like random splotches on some paper and i can’t see where I need to go next with it. I haven’t used watercolour like this for about 2 months and normally it’s just simple washes over pencil. I used to do complicated pieces but it looks like I’m no longer at that level…

It’s uncomfortable to see where my skills currently are with watercolour, it’s not what I had planned for this evening to be about but I will still accept it. If I want to improve, I need to see where I’m currently standing to know what needs improving!

So, my times up, it’s Thursday so I need to get a decent amount of sleep before work tomorrow. Inorder to ease my frustration I have gotten my watercolour books out and found one that focuses on layering washes. Tomorrow night I will work through the beginning exercises. I will breath, calm down and allow myself to be a beginner again.

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