This painting is from my last etegami workshop in November. It has taken that long to get back to writing! Since my translation and copywriting work is in the retail business, Christmas is the busiest season and it has felt like I'm just barely hanging on. In the middle of that, I got selected on a jury for jury duty! It was surprisingly very interesting, and for short cases I'd say it's a worthwhile experience (even though I was grumbling the whole time).
I daydream about painting these days as I walk to and from the stations on my commute. Since I'm explaining how I paint when I do workshops or demonstrations, I think more step-by-step. There's a lot that's just second nature now- when to apply more pressure, when to lift the brush, where to leave space white, where to add pops of color. I'm now having to trace my steps back to how I decide.
Some things I've learned that I can now explain:
- To get better at composition, look at good photographs.
- Practice your writing style and perfect your signature.
- Boldly mess up. Those confident mistakes often turn into something great.
- No more than 2 layers of watercolor...let the paper breathe!
- Variety of strokes, color intensity and values is key to get eyes glued on the piece.
Things I'm trying to teach myself, talking to myself:
- Stop comparing. (You'll never paint like them, and no one paints like you.)
- Keep painting. (It's getting better.)
- Be patient. (You've already passed the Michelangelo/Mozart prodigy age.)
I'm glued in the psalms during this busy season. I particularly connected with:
And I say, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest." (Psalm 55:6-8)
How comforting to know that there are others that want to fly away and become a hermit sometimes. BUT right after in the same psalm:
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22)