Being a beginner ... again

· Musings

Do you really think I should have included the watercolours on the new website?’ I said cautiously and clearly needing reassurance.

I recently updated my tired old art practice website and included works since about 2010. I felt comfortable about putting a selection of early works on the site, as it demonstrated the different mediums as well as the technical improvements I’ve made across my practice over time.

But then came the decision about pieces I made during Covid.

You may recall when the workshop studios were closed and, like many artists, we had to make do. This is when I picked up a paintbrush and watercolours for the first time in many years. The pieces were okay for a beginner but in no way do I see myself as a painter or watercolourist. It was just fun, I enjoyed being in the moment and playing with colour.

At the risk of sounding self- indulgent, the decision to upload these pieces on my website was a big one for me.

Creating art regularly means a commitment and some would even say it’s hard work. But I knew at the time of Covid that I needed to make as it would not only extend my practice, but as importantly make me feel better mentally.

I also know that the more I engaged, the more motivated I would become, as I was developing a new habit that could, at least during the numerous lockdowns, enable me to keep my routine going.

On reflection it also meant I went back into the challenging beginners mode, which can sometimes feel frustrating and uncomfortable.

So why expose these pieces to scrutiny via the new website? I think I’m trying to be authentic and true to my word. In my creative catalyst workshops, I’m often highlighting how we can feel overwhelmed and inadequate when we start a creative project. Sometimes we stick with it and other times we decide too quickly to abandon it when we can’t see our skills developing.

So I urge you to hang in, be curious, and to stay in experimental mode, without judgement or fear. Swim in the discomfort and see where it takes you.

I’m continuing with my watercolours, making cards and pieces that are personalised and given as presents. And go figure… recipients love them!

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