My name is Ainara Martín, I was born and brought up in Barcelona. I have always been attracted to artistic activities, especially dancing, drawing and painting. When I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time dancing. I started practicing rhythmic gymnastics at the age of 5. I trained after school and participated in school competitions.
I was passionate about it and, even at home, I was always moving and practicing the exercises. My parents became a bit crazy with me because we had not much space for me to move around all day long playing with the ribbon and hoop. As I was quite busy with this hobby during my childhood, I never paid much attention to paint, apart from some painting I did in school and random drawings at home.
At the age of 16, I had to give up gymnastics because of back problems. It was a hard time for me because I really loved gymnastics and I was forced to leave it. I tried to look for something “softer”. It was then that I started contemporary dance, which was very respectful with my body necessities. At the same time, I started to train kids in rhythmic gymnastics.
After high school, I studied for a degree to become a physical education teacher. I was not very convinced about these studies (as I didn’t enjoy all sports, my interest was around gymnastics, dance…), but I felt like I had to choose something and that is what I did. By this time, I was dancing in a Music Hall show in Barcelona.
Once I finished university, I started to work as a teacher in a primary school of my town. I was 21 years old and I felt like I was too young and wanted to do and learn a lot of things before accepting a full time job. However, I started to work in this school.
Years were passing very quickly and, after a career of 11 years teaching, I started to feel like something was missing inside of me. There came a stage where I felt constantly sad and demotivated in my day-to-day life. I did not know how to manage the situation and I was completely lost. One thing I was sure about was that I had to change something. I followed my instinct and quit my job. That gave me a great opportunity to listen to myself. It was not easy at all because I had to overcome my fears but I knew it was the right decision.
How I Started To Paint
My grandfather was passionate about painting. He was self-taught and loved to paint his birthplace and beloved Cordoba with oil paint. Sometimes when I went to his house, he gave me some charcoal so I could practice at home. When he passed away, my grandmother gave me some of his brushes and canvas which I keep with especial love.
Before leaving the school, an art teacher who was already retired gave me a plastic box and told me “I have to move and I cannot keep them anymore so I think you can take advantage of it”. It was a box with plenty of watercolour tubes! WOW, it was like a treasure for me, but I had no idea how to use them!
In some way, the universe was putting in my hands whatever I needed to start painting, so I could not ignore it! I enrolled in the art school of my town and there the teacher helped me to prepare my colour palette and gave my some tips about how to use the watercolour. I fell in love with this medium ever since I first tried it! I could notice little by little how my vital energy was growing and the idea of painting made me jump out of bed! It’s amazing the effect that painting has on me.
At first I only shared my paintings with my family and closer friends, but I thought it could be encouraging watching other people work and getting some feedback. That was why I opened an Instagram account. I think it is a good place to share your hobby with others, learn about techniques, materials, find motivation and interesting challenges like the ones on Doodlewash.
I also experiment with black ink to add some final details to my paintings.
Why Do I Enjoy Painting?
I find inspiration in dance, animals, landscapes, colourful city spots… I like variety!
Whenever I paint a dancer, I can feel the joy of the movement I am representing as If I were moving too. There is always music when I am painting and that gives me a perfect atmosphere to dive into the creative dance.
I have a cat and I love to observe it and see his movements which I find very elegant. It seems like he likes to observe me as well because he is always around me when I am painting and sometimes gets his paws into the paint and spreads it all around.
I have tried to paint some portraits but they are not my strength. I find them very difficult and I suffer a bit trying to get the features. However, I would love to practice more and be able to do it. I do not want to limit myself!
Nowadays, I am studying for a Masters degree in Dance Movement Therapy which occupies the major part of my time during the week. However, I try to save time every day for practicing my painting and drawing skills, even if it’s for 5 minutes to scribble.
I mostly paint in my house using a photograph as a reference, although I have recently bought a sketchbook and a portable paint brush to use them outdoors whenever I have the chance.
For me, painting is a new opportunity to express myself with which I have rediscovered myself. Since I paint regularly I pay more attention to details of daily things, like shapes, colours, lights. Whenever I walk along the street, I imagine how I would paint that tree, building or the sky, and this makes me see life with a different glasses.
The painting process for me is a meditation itself. While I am painting, I do not think of anything else. I am focused on my work, observing how the colours dance with water, how they mix with each other. Time flies when I am painting and I always find it hard to stop doing it.
Now I can say I am a watercolour enthusiast willing to keep learning, sharing and enjoying from this art.
I will always be grateful to my family and friends who cheered me on when I needed it and encouraged me to do what makes me happy!Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!