Being a perfectionist

Botanical watercolors, Painting, Winsor and Newton watercolors

When I started this painting a month ago, I was obsessed about learning how to get movement in my leaves by using shading and tones. I also thought it was time I stopped copying from my guidebook or other people’s drawings and learn to paint from a “live” subject (well my plant is a a living thing…) After all I started painting almost 6 months ago so I should be able to, right?

So instead of painting one leaf, I decided to paint a whole pot of leaves, yes why do easy when you can do complicated, I always say… its also a great way to get really frustrated and give up halfway, which I did. I left it aside for 3 weeks and finally finished it yesterday. By that time, I was completely lost among my leaves and just gave a few washes over the unfinished leaves and with wild abandon, did the background! It was scary but exhilarating to paint the background with no structure and even blending it with the leaves I had spent so much time trying to get the shading right. It’s still not right but at least now my brain understands it and my hands just need to catch up.

I guess, as a new friend just pointed out to me, I’m a perfectionist at heart. I know I was one growing up, but thought I lost it for good after raising 3 kids. Its very frustrating to be a perfectionist and wanting to be a semi-abstract botanical artist at the same time. Nevertheless I’ve decided to embrace my need for perfection by mastering the basics and knowing all the rules, before I go about breaking them! I signed up to tons of online drawing lessons and I’ll continue copying other people’s art and hopefully one day, in another 6 months 😉 , I’ll have the confidence to paint something of my own and really like it too!

In the meantime, thanks for supporting my mediocre art with your kind comments, it is more appreciated than you can know.

Have a great day!

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Pain before Pleasure

Blog, Everyday Watercolor, Painting, Watercolor, Winsor and Newton watercolors

Who would want to put pain before pleasure you might ask but many of us actually do it. I’m not talking about anything sexual here, just life in general. Some do it out of necessity, like having to go to work so that they can afford to do what they love. Or others like me, have to take care of daily stuff, like housework, before being able to craft or paint. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and say I’ll put the pleasure before the pain, I’ll paint or craft before I do the housework but then I look at the dirt on the floor and know I won’t have peace of mind until I clean it. Am I OCD you might ask, no I’m just governed by guilt.

I once went AWOL for a week and didn’t cook or clean and just crafted and painted and binge watched my favourite series till late at night. And I slept in, instead of waking up to make my hubby’s coffee and say goodbye to the kids. (Its ironic that since I stopped working to follow my hubby’s job here, I wake up earlier than I used to then when I was working!) Anyway my week of respite didn’t last long as my hubby got upset and called me a “footballers wife”, meaning living the easy life.  He’s since felt bad about what he said and tells me to stay in bed but I’ve felt so guilty ever since that I don’t sleep in unless I’m ill!

dragonfruit ew.jpg

I’be been a housewife for 5 years now but I’ve never been able to get used to it. I’ve tried to psyche myself into making housework enjoyable, counting it as gym workout, trying to enjoy the satisfaction of having a clean house, although with 2 dogs and kids, that lasts for about an hour, LOL! My life isn’t even all about housework and kids. I go to the gym, have lunch with my friends, joined the PTA, started making cards and painting, run a book club, have parties, go out with the girls… so yes I lead the life of the Desperate Housewives of the named series!

Why then do I focus all my attention on the one detail in my life that doesn’t make me happy when theres so much more going on in my life? Why do I let that one aspect over shadow everything else I have thats good. I’ve been happy with this life until now, so whats happening?  I guess I’m probably going through my mid life crisis, at 52 I’m due for mine and it’ll pass.

In the meantime, I’m going to get a maid! I’ve felt guilty (that again) getting one since I’m free and physically able to do it. Nevertheless I’ve decided that I shouldn’t keep something in my life that causes me so much pain. I’m going to try and live a life doing only what makes me happy! I’ll be racked by guilt for awhile I’m sure but we should all try and put pleasure before pain when its possible.

Bird of paradise ew

These paintings above gave me alot of pleasure and are part of my ongoing learning process with watercolours using Jenna Rainey’s Everyday Watercolor book. The Bird of Paradise is the most complex painting I’ve done so far and for the first time I tried to paint after a photo of a real flower. I used Winsor and Newton’s professional watercolours: Cadmium Orange, Opera Rose, Scarlet Lake, Sap Green and I can’t remember the names of the purples and blues as I have them in cakes.

Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of a spoilt desperate housewife, but I hope you put some pleasure in your life today and do something that makes you happy too!

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