What do you think of when you imagine abundance? If you’re anything like me, the first image is food-related. I start with “abundance” which leads to “plenty,” which leads to “horn of plenty” or “cornucopia” and next thing you know I’m counting the days until Thanksgiving, or at the very least, digging into a pumpkin pie! (Charlie O’Shields, I know you’re agreeing with me; I’ve seen your paintings!)
But if we add “watercolor” to our word association, what comes to mind?
What does your abundant artistic dream consist of?
Maybe it’s owning that coveted Kolinsky sable paint brush and shelves stocked with luxurious paper and all the colors on the paint sample chart.
Maybe you imagine a gallery glowing with the colors of your art and your own exclusive show.
Maybe you simply want enough time to paint.
Abundance in my art journey has meant all of these things to me at different times, and more. But I have also realized that yearning for abundance is not the same as having it, and often I found myself overlooking the plenty I had while wishing for what was out of reach.
When I treasured my expensive sheets of cotton paper, “saving them” for when I was a better painter, I was failing to value the development stage I was in and recognize that my “ruined” paintings were teaching me the most. I was holding back from pouring all of my curiosity and intention into my paintings and missing out on discovery.
When, in the busy days of parenting, I wished for a long afternoon spent in painting and reflection, I failed to see that in the fifteen minutes I was able to snatch here and there, I was learning to walk away from a painting before I overworked it, and becoming better able to analyse the next steps because I could view the painting with fresh eyes after yet another interruption to my process.
When my budget didn’t allow me to invest in new colors, I learned color mixing that gave me an ability to substitute and improvise and find my own favorite mixes, rather than copying my instructors.
Drawing from the Well of Creativity
There’s a lot of talk these days about having an abundance mindset, and I believe that adopting a mindset of abundance is a game changer for an artist. If I am able to approach my painting practice with the conviction that I have everything I need to make the art I’m meant to make today, I can paint without reservation, trusting that the creativity I use today will provide fertile ground for tomorrow’s growth. My creativity is not a cistern, holding a finite capacity that decreases as I use it, rather, it’s a spring, flowing from deeper sources than I can imagine, welling up to replace and overflow as I draw from it.
“I have everything I need to become the artist I’m meant to be.” Claim it. Believe it. And then act like you believe it! Paint from that place of security and strength.
This week’s World Watercolor Month video: Intuitive Gladiolus in Watercolor
Watch the video and post your own art inspired by this week’s lesson on social media using the hashtag #worldwatercolormonth and #angelafehrtutorials.Recommended1 recommendationPublished in