Better With Art

Watercolor Flow

Okay, Friend… There’s almost nothing in this week’s video that’s as I planned or thought it would be. From the prompt, to what it was filmed on and the room it was filmed in. What is as it should be is that I showed up. With your weekly reminder to take time for creative self-care, assurance that taking time to make art is not a waste of time, and invitation to keep at art date with yourself.

Welcome to Better With Art. I’m Melinda and I’m here to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care, with weekly small-art prompts that can be done in an art journal or on paper if you don’t have one. Link at end of post if you’re looking for one.

So, no, this week’s prompt did not go as planned, but here we are. Life often doesn’t go as we plan. Or expect. Or hope. Or would prefer.

But we make the best of it, or at least we should, and move on from where we are, the only place we can make progress from.

Getting started & moving forward

This week’s small art was going to be an experiment I was going to invite you along on, however it turned out for me. Instead it’s more an art equivalent to comfort food that I hope you find as comforting and reassuring as I did.

We’re getting the watercolors back out this week. I used just one smallish soft round inexpensive watercolor brush from… hmmm… I think it was Hobby Lobby. I did a two-page spread, putting plain printer paper under each page to protect the other pages and my work surface. I also taped around my pages to better protect my pages and for nice clean edges. It made a big difference in the mess I would have made and made this easier and more relaxing than some of my art-journal watercolors have been. I’m not tidy. Highly suggest doing this week’s project like this. A spray bottle also made this project more satisfying.

My intent for my pages was using the primary colors: red, yellow, blue. And create the secondary colors as they blended. But being the rainbow-order color person I am, I forgot after putting down some red in the water on my sprayed page that I should grab yellow or blue next and went rainbow order. Theoretically I probably should’ve started with yellow, the lightest color I was going to use, but… yeah, rainbow-order brain. Since I had the red and orange I decided I’d make one a warm-color page and the other cool.

But what about purple?

I love purple, but when it comes to laying down a bunch of watercolor to pool and blend, it can’t go with it’s cool green and blue brethren or the warms thanks to how complementary colors interact. With its combo or red and blue, green doesn’t like it, and yellow doesn’t either. These colors can look great beside each other, but if you want to avoid mud and keep your colors vibrant, purple sadly does not play well with others.

But blues and greens can make some gorgeous colors.

Spray your paper well or, if you don’t have a spray bottle of water, wet your page with a brush but not too evenly. Have fun. Play. Do whatever works to get you into F-L-O-W. Let the movement of the color through water distract your mind from all the other stuff.

When your pages are full, it’s time to let them dry or use a hairdryer to make them dry.

Things changed again when all was dry…

When I got things set up to film today and opened another new art journal, I still had no idea what I was going to make as I did not have the energy for my planned experiment.

When I decided on flowy watercolor my intent was to find flow in the painting process and again in pen lines. Sort of a combo of previous projects already done this year. As far as the watercolor part, less blob more flow.

As things progressed I was thinking some abstract flowers in the warm page, and using the edges of colors for lines in the cool.

But when I saw my pages dry, especially after I pulled the tape, I loved them just the way they are.

If I need more doodling time I can just doodle. But these…

They somehow calm my soul. They make me smile, at least internally.

They started out as quite pleasurable background-making and became something I love on their own.

Again I say, while working on your Better With Art art journal do what works for you. If you’re excited about playing in watercolor again or if this project sounds like relief as it did for me, I’m glad.

If you’re thinking “meh” give it a try anyway. It may lead you into something better suited to where you are in the moment. Or if it’s give you an idea for something else, do that.

Better With Art isn’t about doing exactly what I do. I’m here to give you ideas and a few tips, inspiration, motivation to sit down and take time for art-making, and encouragement to practice creative self-care.

It’s important. We’re wired for creativity. Made in the image of the Creator. When we’re not exercising our creativity in ways we enjoy and find meaningful we’re not as healthy as we could be.

Let’s make some art!

If you’d like to extend this week’s theme with a writing prompt, receive weekly arty encouragement in your inbox as well as an invitation to the private Better With Art Facebook group, click here to sign up.

My Better With Art journal recommendation

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