Thursday, March 9, 2017

Change. What it really means.

Black and yellow butterfly landing on Indian Paintbrush wildflowers. Oh, spring, come soon.

The words to describe how much I need spring.  Right.  Now.  I love Montana.  I love it all year long.  I wish spring didn't take this long to arrive.  I grew up in Nebraska.  I've been in Montana since 1994.  It makes sense that I should have adjusted by now.  Nope.  I keep saying, "spring will come," and, "it's worth the wait."  Oh, and I tell myself the moisture makes for "happy farmers."  That's my reminder that there's good in more snow.

We've had more sunshine lately so that helps a bunch.  It melts off partially.  More light snow showers arrive to lightly coat everything again.   As I write at mid afternoon, it's 36° F and the sun shines so brightly.  I crave the sunshine.  I'm eager to have the days warmer, the hours of sunlight longer, the soil ready for planting seeds in a garden.

Adding to my longing for spring, I'm preparing for change.  There's good to come and yet there's sacrifice at the same time.  I'll soon have to rework when and how I work in my art room.  It's going to be a quiet place during the daytime hours. When the creative spark is lit in the evening hours, I would like to think I'll be drawn to this inspirational and relaxing place.

Creative energy...the artistic's a part of me.

It's been suggested that maybe I'll have to give up my art for the present time.  I just can't accept that.  Maybe that's what will come without my acceptance.  Creative energy...the artistic's a part of me.  I feel vibrantly alive when working with my brushes and palette.  Sorting through watercolor tubes for a specific pigment is so familiar to me. the face of letting go and embracing the new.

What do we do with change?  How do we meet it?  Is there a wait to greet change with hope and joy?  Even if it's in the face of letting go and embracing the new.  I go forward because I'm choosing to be happy anyway.  What unexpected adventures are waiting for me?  I don't know, but I know it will be worth watching for the surprise blessings in the journey.

I'll share more another time.  For today, I'm contemplating these thoughts.  I'm doing a bit of clean up in my art room.  I've got some relaxing music playing.  The fish tank filter bubbles away like a water fountain.  The sunlight through the window blinds, creating shapes on the floor and wall, is warm and soothing.  I breathe deeply...feeling like I haven't been so aware of my breathe lately.  I need to breathe deeply more throughout my days.  I will sweep and vacuum a bit.  And then I'll glance at my art table and study that one area of the current painting that is driving me crazy.  Maybe I'll have an ah-ha moment of how I'd like to tackle that hollyhock blossom.  A way to move on and complete this artwork before my days adopt a different routine.

Can you relate to the ebb and flow of seasons for creativity?  How do you handle the change?

I'd love to hear your suggestions for working art time into your extra moments.

Until next Thursday...or when I can find spare time to write again...


She must make art.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

24 Must-Try Watercolor Techniques

24 Must-Try Watercolor TechniquesTechniques and Tips for Watercolors

When it comes to watercolor painting, these are the tricks that draw the ooh's and aah's every time.  Watercolor as a medium seems like such a challenge because it seems unpredictable at first glance.  It's so important to learn what to expect from the pigment when it meets water.

When learning watercolor basics, these will help form a better foundation in painting with more enjoyment.  The frustration is lessened because you have a better idea of how the pigment is going to respond to what you do.

There are many helpful videos on YouTube that are great resources shared by other artists.  Do a quick search on YouTube and you'll have a great time watching artists demonstrate these techniques.

When teaching these techniques in a workshop, I bring out these posters and copies of the instructions as handouts for students.  I'm sharing those handouts with all of you, here and now!  This post has been a long time in the planning stages and I'm so thrilled to have it finally ready to share with other watercolor enthusiasts.

So, I have a bit of confessing to do first.  Have you seen my pins on Pinterest for these techniques?  Years ago, when I was new to Pinterest, I created pins for the images of these posters.  At the time, I didn't realize how popular these posters would become with time.  Now, these pins are my most commonly saved pins!  Unfortunately, they lack any explanation.  The pins lead nowhere but to the images.  Lesson learned, believe me!  I can't tell you how much I regret that mistake!  It's taken me a while but now I'm glad to share the posters and the tips that help explain each one. 

If there's a technique you'd like me to elaborate on more, please let me know in the comments.  I'd be more than happy to help you with that!

When it comes to watercolor painting, these are the tricks that draw the ooh's and aah's every time.

Watercolor Techniques Pages 1 and 2

Created by Christy Sheeler.  For personal use only.  Request permission to reproduce.

Created by Christy Sheeler.  For personal use only.  Request permission to reproduce.

Tips & Explanations for Watercolor Techniques

I know the text on the tips sheets may be hard to read so here's a link to the printable PDF file:

I hope you are able to try these techniques on your own!  These make up a watercolor artist's tool box for creating unusual effects.  There are several I use often.  There are 4 or 5 I rarely use but at times, these techniques are useful.  It all depends on the style and subject matter.  It's a good idea to become familiar with them, try them out with a bit of practice before applying them to an artwork you are working on.

Leave me a note in the comments!  Let me know if you've got questions and I'd be very happy to explain any of these further.  Thank you for stopping by and sharing a few minutes here today!

ADDED NOTE:  So many have commented and requested to use this as a resource for instructional material.  Thank you for the compliment!  I am glad you have found this to be helpful in teaching in your own settings.  Use permission is granted with the agreement that source credit is given to Christy Sheeler Artist and She Must Make Art, the art blog.  Permission is not given to altar these in any way or form.  I know the images above do stipulate for personal use only.  I do appreciate you commenting below your own purpose for using because it's so nice to read your stories.  I love knowing how these are spreading to touch others' enjoyment of watercolor painting.  -CS  2023

Thank you to those of you who have requested my permission in the comments.  I am too often late in replying so thus the reason for adding this note.  May your instruction go well and these resources be a blessing!

-She must make art.