Sunday, December 11, 2016

Creativity and Snobbery

I promised myself a while ago that one day I would give watercolor painting a try. Like many others creative people, I have experimented with lots of different outlets over the years: cross stitching, needlepoint, rubber stamping, scrapbooking, collage, mixed media, sewing, bead making, quilting... and more I have forgotten to include. I didn't even include knitting and crocheting, because those are things I still do every day.

I finally decided to stop just thinking about trying watercolors. Stop just reading blogs and articles, stop just watching videos on YouTube, and actually sit down and give it a real try. It's easy to spend a lot of time observing but not actually doing. After a while, you start to feel like those other people out there know absolutely how it should be done. The "right" way. Then the doubts creep in, and you start to feel frozen... but what if I can't do it the way they do? I don't have the "right" paper, the "right" paints, the "right" brushes. I don't have a background in fine art, don't have an art degree, don't have a former career in graphics, and so on.

I have a million questions, but I realized the best way to answer them is to just try, and see what works for me. It's funny, though - if you look at comments on YouTube, most people ask about equipment brands, not about techniques or inspiration. I guess I'm not surprised to find that the world of watercolor is just as full of snobs as the world of knitting.

Some knitters are very proud of the fact that they will only knit with the finest wool, silk, cotton, whatever. They boast about being "yarn snobs." If that's what makes them happy, good for them. It would be nice, though, if they kept their judgmental comments to themselves. The knitters I hang out with on the knitting/crocheting community Ravelry are not yarn snobs. Like me, they are perfectly happy knitting with 100% acrylic, or acrylic blends. Those yarns are more affordable, and garments and blankets made from them are easy to care for. Sure, knitting with nice quality wool is a pleasure, but I have a lot of fun knitting with my humble acrylic yarn, too. And for me, that's what it's about - having fun.

Right now, I don't have the top of the line artist grade paints. I don't own any sable brushes. I don't paint on the handmade, cotton paper the "real" artists use. If I get to the point that I use up all of my economy grade paint and inexpensive paper and feel motivated to keep painting, I might look into buying something that is a little better quality and give that a try. But I'm in no rush, because - guess what? I'm having fun.

1 comment:

Joansie said...

There is no end to your talent. I love, love, love, my watercolor card from you. Very you.