Those of us who are really skilled at turning their hand to anything creative are usually intimidated by others who have obtained degrees in this and that.
I began watercolour painting much later in life, and for some of us this can be quite a daunting experience if we have never picked up an artists brush in years let alone ever at all. I had been told by my father when I was eight that I would never make money being creative. I had been conditioned to believe I had to work a nine to five and that was that. From then on I never bothered with art.
I began one day by simply using some old make up that I had lying around in a drawer. I grabbed some paper and began the journey. There was an art gallery I used to visit sometimes opposite my local library where I picked up books on a weekly basis. Gazing around the walls gave me the chance to read about the artists.
I remember wishing that I could paint something good enough to exhibit. One day after arriving home from the gallery I tore out a piece of A4 paper from my diary and began drawing. I found some old lipstick, eye shadow and pencil, that I had kept for years. I began drawing and was amazed at the result. I decided then I wanted to get serious about art so off I went shopping for paint, brushes, watercolour paper and canvasses.
My first attempt using the correct tools was a disaster as for my second and third. I became disheartened and tore the paintings up into shreds. I felt I was not a painter. It seemed hopeless yet the one I had painted earlier using make up had given me the incentive to go out and buy the ingredients to make “real art.” I needed to attend some art classes and felt afraid of looking foolish in front of strangers. My determination to hone this skill was stronger. I finally found a class I thought would be suitable for me.
Upon arriving at the art class, I felt like running away as soon as I got there. I forced myself to keep walking slowly into a room of artists who had been painting all their life. I went from one room to another, some spoke to me as I admired their work. The smell of oil paint was quite nice yet it made me anxious.
I eventually found the watercolour section and was about to embark on what was going to be a dream come true for me. I had set a goal which required overcoming a lot of anxiety and the dreaded fear of failure. I was there amongst it- ready to begin with some of the best artists in the country. It was now or never. As I worked on my first watercolour painting of “Mt Warning” in Australia.
I could not hold the brush, my hands shook badly with nervousness and I was awkward. I almost froze. At the end of the session the tutor was impressed along with a few other artists who asked me how long I had been a painter, I felt a little silly as I mumbled “Its my first day.
“The encouragement I was receiving gave me the courage to go back and practice and learn the perspectives of art. I was starting to become confident with using watercolour. I set myself little challenges everyday by painting something that was difficult. Roses are something I find quite a challenge, it was easier to paint daisies, therefore I kept up the roses until I could paint them as easily as the daises.
Seven months later I teamed up with a well known commercial artist from Sydney. learning the perspectives of art was not an easy task for me, as I had battled the cruelty of dyslexia all through my school years therefore I had to master this part of art if I was going to live up to the my own expectations of being the best artist I could be and expand my capability in being diverse.
I was brutally honest with my peers and casually yet confidently told them “I was dyslexic,” therefore it will take me longer to grasp these fundamentals. I immediately felt embraced with tons of encouragement once again. I was asked to join a local group of artists who were exhibitors which gave me the opportunity to finally be able to see my own paintings hanging in the art gallery I had always visited and wished I could be a part of.
What ever your passion is walk towards it. There will be challenges on your journey, don’t be in a hurry. Slow and steady wins the race and remarkably my dream came true.
Please click the link to view some of the work I have completed over the past two years.
Article By Greta Jourdane
Food for Thought:
Far from What I Once Was But not Yet What am going to Be…