Seriously folks

Watercolor 9" x 8' $100.00
Watercolor 9″ x 8′ $100.00

Recently, while visiting with dear friends, they lamented a lack of humor in their life.  And it got me to thinking about why we allow that…..myself included.

Making mountains out of mole hills when there is enough true tragedy around us.  Turning mundane decisions into earth shattering choices fraught with worry, angst and insecurities.  When, truthfully, we can just make another decision to fix the one that went wrong.

Losing loved ones, and health issues are serious.  My spilled glass of water on the counter can bring a tirade from me over my clumliness, inattention, or something else that’s bothering me at the moment.  When in reality, it is a minor irritant, easily repaired or replaced.  Do we enjoy the drama? Do we like to be angry and unhappy.  Is it easier to allow it to take over?

With my art, if I don’t like my painting, I reinvent it; turn it into something else. A collage, a card, gesso over it and start again.  I remake the outcome.  If I step back and analyze that spilled water differently, do I open a door that might allow a change in my mindset?  What if I had used the water to clean the floor that day?  By changing my pattern, I would have changed the seeming “seriousness” of the event.  I would have used my creativity to become proactive and stop the drama.

My new resolve is going to be to laugh first the next time something or someone (myself included) tries to make drama and unhappiness from a minor challenge.  When those feelings start to creep in, I am now going to actively find the humor in the situation.  Seriously folks, there’s enough in life that is indeed very serious.  We really don’t need to be making it up.

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Fresh Start

Watercolor on gessoed paper 9" x 12" $150.00
Watercolor on gessoed paper 9″ x 12″ $150.00

We stood before the table with our pile of paintings.  The disappointments, the failures, the downright “what was I thinkings”.  Dressed in sloppy clothes, covered in aprons, wearing plastic gloves.  We were embarking on a fresh start.

Covering these practice paintings with a fresh coat of white gesso was cathartic.  In a matter of minutes, these pieces gone wrong weren’t even a memory.  Poof.  Magic, like one big swipe of white-out.  And even if a faint hint remained, another coat of gesso took care of that.

We had taken the negative and turned it into a positive. Stacked in front now were limitless possibilities,

Gesso prevents your watercolor from absorbing into the paper.  Streaks and texture left behind in the gesso add interest, texture and excitement.  Watercolor can usually be lifted, or dramatically lightened.  This new “paper” is generally very forgiving.  Your paint moves and puddles in unexpected places.  It is decidedly fun, and freeing.

It was a great way to start the week, the day,  or even a year.  Today, see if you can’t find a place that could use a fresh start.  Clean out a drawer, straighten a closet, toss those old magazines.

And if you’re in your studio, I can highly recommend a coat or two of gesso and perhaps a glass of wine!