Do Something Different

I recently took a break from writing (and thinking about writing) to allow my other muse to play. For three days, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., I participated in a watercolor painting workshop.

Now, I majored in art and taught art, but that was eons ago and I’ve never had formal lessons in using watercolors. (Of course, that didn’t stop me from painting with watercolors a few years ago.) I thought this workshop would be fun, and it was. Masterpieces were not expected, in fact we were told, since the work we produced had been influenced by the instructor, we should not exhibit it or sell it as original work. Considering the pieces I brought home, I don’t think that would ever enter my mind, but knowing this was just so I could learn different techniques was liberating. Oh, and the subject matter was to focus on water, above and under.

Here are a few of the results.

This is supposed to be a sunset. It’s watercolor on wet (saturated) paper.

These are supposed to be waterlilies. painted on dry paper.

Underwater scene painted on YUPO .

Waves, again on dry paper

I was exhausted by the end of each day, didn’t spend more than 10 minutes on my computer, and while I was painting, I didn’t even think about writing or my story, but I think those three days were valuable. Most writers, I’ve discovered, have more than one creative talent (singing or playing an instrument; quilting; weaving or rug hooking; designing clothing; jewelry making; and on and on.). I think it’s good for us to put aside the writing at times and allow those other sides of our creative nature to emerge.

I also think I need to approach my writing, especially the first draft, as I approached these paintings: “Relax and have fun, stop worrying about the results, just let the paint (or words) flow.”

I can always go into these paintings and make improvements. The same is true of my writing.

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15 Responses to Do Something Different

  1. I thoroughly agree with the idea of taking an “art” break from writing. Your paintings are far better than anything I could do, and I especially like the water lilies. One of my other loves is photography, and every now and then I have a small exhibit of my work. Anything that gives a writer (or any artist) a new perspective is valuable.

  2. Like Susan, I agree that an art break is a good idea. I particularly like your water lilies. I also do some painting and find it relaxing.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks, Jacqueline. This class was especially relaxing since we were primarily learning techniques, so quality wasn’t all that important.

  3. Melissa Keir says:

    What beautiful pictures. Congrats on taking some time for enjoyment! Well worth it every time!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Wil, have you ever tried that YUPO? It’s fun, but not easy to control and the swipe of a wet rag will wash off everything on the paper.

  4. Terrific idea. Your paintings are just fine for starters, that is. And you mellowed out, fresh with ideas. My best way to shed the blues is to smile, dance wherever I am, and hang out with the menagerie here in my daughter’s home. She claimed me after I fell. Life is definitely better now.

  5. Don’t underestime this gift you have. Very pleasing images.

  6. Diane Burton says:

    Lovely, esp. the water lilies. (I love flowers.) It’s wonderful that you’ve found another outlet for your creativity. I used to do a lot of different needlework (embroidery, counted cross-stitch, etc.) and quilting. I don’t make time for that anymore. I should. Thanks for sharing your work.

    • Maris Soule says:

      You may get back to it someday, Diane. Maybe when your grandchildren are older. My mother did some beautiful cross-stitch in her seventies.