Not knowing

Change. Changes. Changing. Why? Because I haven’t been able to master not changing, I guess.

I last poured some fluid art a week ago, but it seems a lot longer than that. Since the loss of my friend 2 months ago, my feelings about painting have changed. I take the frustrations more to heart, and the “success” brings less joy. Grief colors all things, undoubtedly, and art therapy isn’t a cure-all.

I know that for a while now, even before this summer, my passion for fluid art has been waning, just a little bit here and there. I’ve thought now and again about returning to watercolors though I know it would be starting over from square one. I had only worked with watercolors for less than a year, and had just begun to get some handle on the water and pigments. I’ve stuffed my head full of the chemistry of fluid art for about 20 months now…wow….and what I’ve learned in the past may be too far in the dark corners to simply call it up and go for it. And that’s okay, I just need to be realistic about it.

There are a number of things that attract me to watercolors at this time. One of them is that lovely small work space that you see above. A photo below shows the whole workbench, two-thirds of which I need for pouring fluid art. If all those supplies were removed, I would have enough space to set up for alcohol inks again — or whatever else might strike my fancy — and still have plenty of space for watercolor painting. And we haven’t even looked at all the shelving space used for canvas drying and what freeing that up does.

Then there’s the waste, or lack of, for watercolors. If I paint something that I’m not keeping, it’s no big deal to toss that piece of paper in the garbage, or even stick it in a folio for reference. It’s not a canvas or album that will take up space on the planet until….whenever. There’s a lot of other waste with fluid art that I feel more aware of all the time.

Now, let’s talk about clean up. Ahhhhhh. Night and day, my friends, night and day. Just trust me on this one.

Well, I’m not putting the fluid art supplies away quite yet. I have tidied up the area, and set up my watercolor supplies on the other end of the bench. Should I get a wild hair to pour, then I’ll pour. For now, I’m taking some online watercolor classes and really enjoying them. Just play! No Etsy selling or Instagram posting. No goals, no expectations. Just PLAY with water and pigment, and maybe some Posca pens and gel pens, too. It feels quite lovely. Of course, I have no idea what I will want to do tomorrow or the next day. Thankfully, I don’t have to.

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.

Gilda Radnor

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