Optimistic Faith

During the past several months, we have all experienced a great deal of change. While the world is always evolving and each day is different from the next, the circumstances of late have brought profound changes in our lifestyles and activities more than ever.

In past posts, I have often expressed that I feel the more accepting we are of change, the easier life in general will be for us. To me, resisting these inevitable changes not only causes us additional anxiety as we feel we are being left behind, but it also doesn’t allow us to grow and learn and we tend to become stagnant.

While change is uncomfortable for many, I feel that it is a necessary part of life and allows us to feel that we are – well – living. So I try to get through those uncomfortable times as best as I can, knowing that eventually I will feel better about things and more likely than not I will have learned something new or landed in a better place. I call that ‘optimistic faith’.

I am noticing that my artist and creative friends seem to be having a bit of an easier time these days than most people. I think in general, they are happy for this extra time and use that time to be even more inventive. While some find the uncertainty a bit unsettling, it seems that most have taken advantage of things slowing down and have used their time in semi-isolation to create. I like seeing that.

As for myself, I have been keeping up with orders, designing, and also exploring different types of media to create with. While I always have done this to an extent, I look around my studio and I see many new paintings and drawings that I have created in the past month or so just for myself. I had made a promise to myself to spend at least one day a week as a “ME” day in which I allowed myself to do whatever I please. That includes cooking, organizing, reading, needlework, or playing with any painting/drawing/creating supply I own. While that may not seem like a “day off” to an outsider, the emotional vacation from doing something that I have to do for my job and want to do for my soul is indescribably satisfying. The impact of treating myself to this one day a week has not only helped me feel rested and again excited about my work, but it has allowed me to learn new techniques and fill up my studio here with many types of personal artwork. As a result, the other six days are even more productive and I feel happier than I have in a long while.

With that said, I am excited about all the new adventures that lie ahead. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I want to really document them and share them through posts here. You may have noticed that WordPress has implemented some changes as well from the formatting of my post here. While it was scary to me at first, I am picking through it and will use the new tools little by little to make your reads here more pleasant. Baby steps, as they say.

Today I will talk about a recent watercolor painting that I ‘almost’ completed. The line drawing is not my original drawing. It is from a design sheet I purchased over at Watercolor Misfit and is drawn by Carrie Luc. I found Carrie on YouTube about two years ago and she teaches a lovely, illustrative style of painting that even beginners can follow. I have enrolled and enjoyed several of her online classes that have taught me a great deal. Her style of teaching is gentle and easy to follow and understand. She offers many lessons and tips at no cost, but it is great to support her through her reasonably-priced classes and lovely drawings. I find painting them very relaxing. This one is called “Rosey Bunny.”

I haven’t really painted much of this style of painting before. I like to think of it as an ‘Illustration’ rather than a realistic painting or cartoon. It is somewhere in the middle, with the coloring done in watercolor paint and then outlined using India ink. I say it is ‘almost done’ because I am debating whether to add a small watercolor bee as an accent. I am just learning to paint the bees, and it is a little bit of a risk on my part since if I decided to try, there is no turning back. Since I am painting on paper, that is one of the consequences of using that medium. I need to be sure of myself.

The painting is done using my Mission Gold Watercolors on 140 lb cold-pressed Canson paper and inked using Faber Castell PITT drawing pens. I will do a more focused post about the ink in the near future, as I learned some things I want to share regarding pens in relation to drawing and painting. I am learning to add some videos into my blog posts here, so I hope to do that as well.

As I keep learning and designing, I have an even stronger urge to share the creative process I experience with you all. I don’t think I ever create a project where I don’t learn something new. I love to share my experiences so that you can learn along with me – or teach me something as well. I find so much solace in creating. I hope I can inspire you all and that you can perhaps try some of these things as well.

I’ll end my post here today, but hope that I can get in the habit of posting here a bit more often. It will be easier to post shorter posts more frequently then let things pile up and overwhelm me, as this seems to be the case.

As we settle into the ‘new normal’ of what our world seems like it is going to be (at least for a while), I think that getting back into a productive routine will help give me a sense of continuity and ground me a bit. While sometimes it may seem that our lives are heading off the rails, we are able to pull ourselves back by establishing new routines that better fit what is going on around us. (There I go – feeding into that ‘optimistic faith’!) As a residual of these posts, I hope they will also offer you something to look forward to and encourage you to do something creative. I find that to be a wonderful way to feed your soul.

Until next time . . .

One Comment Add yours

  1. These watercolours are amazing! I like the way you have outlined the details. I would never have thought you could do this kind of painting with watercolours. Beautiful!
    You are right, Sheila, I think that creative folks are getting through this Covid experience with less stress than others. It sure has given us a lot of time to do what we love. I have been getting creative in the kitchen as well as the garden and the woodworking workshop.
    Stay strong. This too will pass and we will emerge to a changed but hopefully better world.


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