Watercolor: Ranunculus (& encouragement to get back into your art)

Ranunculus 8 x 10 Watercolor (available as a print)

No Room on the Artist Elevator

Years ago (before social media), an accomplished art instructor gave me a lecture about being industrious in the art world. He said if you collected all the abundantly talented artists in America, you might populate the island of Manhattan in New York. If you removed the artists who didn’t prioritize practicing their craft, and the artists who were too “thin-skinned” to handle rejection and criticism, and the artists who lacked the social skills or desire to meet patrons, and talk about their work, and the artists who couldn’t focus or stay on-task to meet deadlines, or work in series, you might reduce that group to a quarter of the original size. So, the world of “working artists” wasn’t such a big population after all, and there was likely space in that smaller crowd to jump on in.

Artists Wear Many Hats

His lecture was encouraging at the time, as a wannabe painter. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of showing your work, and everything it entails related to marketing, inventory management, presentation skills, etc. Especially now, when social media gives us a telescope to see into so many uber-talented artists’ studios. His theory was conjectural, but his point was this: Don’t be swayed by populous competition in the art world.  There are thousands of amazing cooks, and gardeners and sewists out there making great things with their hands too. Many of our talented peers want to make art, but they might not be interested in all the other hats required to make a living at it.

Looking at other Art: Intimidated or Inspired?

Thousands of talented artists are sharing amazing work on social media. And that’s a wonderful thing. You can choose to be intimidated or inspired. I vote for inspired. You’re in such great company.  Share your work. Post your creations on facebook, instagram, twitter and pinterest.  Make an art blog and post every little bud, leaf & blossom that sprouts from your art-making hands. Be encouraged by your peers. Take every opportunity to practice talking about your art, and uplift your fellow artists to do the same. (Watch this video about the effects of praise on the brain)  With diligent habit, we might color the internet with our own little colony of hard-working, We-Got-This artist friends, populous enough to occupy all of Manhattan. ?

Testing swatches of watercolor paper for color density, blending & lift

Which Watercolor Paper Should I Use?

Thanks to everyone who responded to the download fact sheet on Watercolor Paper 101 (the link is here). I really appreciate the feedback, and I’m so glad the details are helpful.  Stocking your art-making space with watercolor paper is so much easier if you understand your options. If you’d like downloadable info-sheets on other topics, leave a note in the comments, and I’ll add your request to my list of future topics. There are more in the works.  Now, let’s get some painting going, shall we? 🙂

Thanks for stopping by – I’ll see you in the next post!
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Art Quote

My Dear Matisse,
I hope you will soon be well again despite this new winter chill, which in any event is healthier than that horrible fog we suffered from here as well. I almost ran out of coal, there wasn’t any more in Cannes, and they brought me a truckload from Nice. So now we can relax. My work is going pretty well, especially in the direction of understanding. During my morning walks I amuse myself by defining different conceptions of landscape – landscape as “space,” intimate landscape, decorative landscape, etc. But as for vision, I see things differently every day, the sky, objects, everything changes continually, you can drown in it.  But that’s what brings life. I hope that as the days grow longer I will soon be able to come to Nice, and will be happy to see you.
Our friendliest wishes,
Pierre Bonnard
Spring, 1940
Bonnard – Shimmering Color, Antoine Terrass

The print of “Ranunculus” for scale. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Watercolor: Ranunculus (& encouragement to get back into your art)”

  1. Dear Belinda,

    You are an inspiration! Your latest, “Ranunculus”, is alive. It appears you got lost in the glass and it’s shadow. I think that is the secret to success.
    My days are filled with the practice of rendering many drawings for reference and the desire to capture color before the winter grays close in.

    My fondest regards,

    Amy Rie McGuire

    1. Hi there, Amy! Thanks for the kind compliments on Ranunculus. It was good fun. 🙂 And gold stars for you to harness the bright sunshine of summer before winter cloaks the light. I wish you many moments of Ah-hah and Oh-Yes in your art-making adventures this season. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. This inspiring read brought a ray of sunshine on this overcast winter Saturday morning – LOVE those sun-soaked roses and sparkling glassware, your inspiring encouragement and, as other readers noted, that marvelous quote from Bonnard, particularly, that line: “My work is going pretty well, especially in the direction of understanding”. I want to remember that when a painting is not turning out as expected…..I can ask myself: ” But, has my understanding increased?” And the truth is, regardless of outcome, yes, one’s understanding has benefited! And, thank you for the watercolor paper information.

    1. Hi Gayle! I’m glad you found the post sunny, and I agree with you on the best part of that Bonnard quote: increased understanding. Its a wholly separate thing from skill, but it’s the foundation of the house, and the target on the horizon. Happy painting today!

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