GUEST DOODLEWASH: A Gift Discovered After Cancer

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting of koi fish by Tamz Canete - #doodlewash

My name is Tamz Canete. I’m 31 years old from Iloilo City, Philippines. I’m a Veterinarian by profession and an artist by heart (follow me on Instagram!).

Growing up I never knew I could paint, even during my college days when we were required to draw lots of things. I’ve never seen my work extraordinary, nor artistic. I started to paint during the time when I was recovering from cancer. Yes, I’m a cancer survivor. Those days, I didn’t have any idea that I could paint. I just tried it to distract my mind from thinking about cancer. 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting of lighthouse by Tamz Canete - #doodlewashAcrylics were my first paints. My husband bought me a set of small tubes to try. At first, I really enjoyed playing with them because of their vibrancy. One thing I also like with acrylics is that you can layer your paint several times. That is also an advantage if you encounter mistakes because you can cover them up easily by putting another layer of paint.

After a month, I got tired of using acrylics because the paint dries so quickly. You have to finish your painting in one sitting or else your paint will be wasted. I hate seeing myself scraping dry paints on my palette. That’s the worst part, wasting a good paint. Despite everything, acrylics will always have a special space in my heart as I started my painting journey with them.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting of bird by Tamz Canete - #doodlewashAnd so I decided to try watercolors. I love the idea that you can multi-task while painting and you’re not worried that your paint might be wasted. I started using cheap watercolor paper and student grade watercolor paints available at the local stores. They are nice for a beginner like me of course. I never knew back then that there’s a student grade and artist grade watercolor paints.

Sorry for my innocence, but I really thought all watercolors were the same except for their brand names. During my first few tries of watercolor I got frustrated. It didn’t turn out as what I’ve seen in some YouTube videos. My paint was very opaque and it did not spread quickly.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting of rooster by Tamz Canete - #doodlewashBut I didn’t give up. I continued painting despite the problems I encountered with it. I still have that determination inside my heart to learn how to paint with watercolors. Later on, I asked my sister to buy me Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors because I’ve heard they are pretty decent paint and they are good for beginners. That’s the start that I fell in love with watercolors. I love how the colors behave and they can be easily managed.

I’m living in a tropical country so my inspirations are usually flowers, birds, butterflies, beaches and anything I see around that I want to paint. I really love to paint flowers because they are very colorful and it teaches me how to mix different shades of colors. I usually sketch some important lines before I paint my work just to get the proportion of my subject.

My difficulty in watercolor painting is usually putting in shadows. I find myself having a hard time figuting out how and where to put them to make it look realistic. Until now, I’m still practicing how to do it.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting of sunflower by Tamz Canete - #doodlewash

Most of the time, I’m learning to paint on my own but sometimes due to lack of experience, I encounter problems so I tend to watch videos and tutorials to correct my mistakes. 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting of sunset on the water by Tamz Canete - #doodlewashAs of now, I can’t talk much about different techniques because I still consider myself a beginner. To my fellow beginners out there, let’s just enjoy the process of painting. Let’s remember that every painting we make is always an opportunity to learn and improve.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you Charlie for featuring my art. You uplift my spirit and you inspired me to keep on painting everyday. My heart is overwhelmed with so much joy. Godbless and Morepower to you! 

Tamz Canete
Instagram

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!
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6 Comments
  1. cjwaterfield 8 months ago

    Your watercolours are beautiful. I loved reading your story, you are a true survivor and I love that you’re not afraid to admit where you struggle. I LOVE your little sparrow watercolour. Great work, and keep on learning and fighting! Watercolours are a notoriously difficult medium, and I myself am by no means an expert; I struggle with many of the same things that you do. So when Charlie decides that my watercolours are good enough for his blog, I feel humbled, inspired and honoured. Thank you Charlie!

  2. memadtwo 8 months ago

    Very nice work. Following you on Instagram. If you’d like to follow me I’m @h_zimel. Thanks.

  3. SHARON HASCHALK 8 months ago

    Hello Tamz, your watercolors are so peaceful looking and beautiful. I started out with watercolor but then had a chance to take some free acrylic classes. I did okay with them, but like you, I got frustrated with the paints drying on me, especially since I was used to watercolors that don’t dry up like the acrylics. But like you said, they have a lot of vibrancy and I did like that. But after 3 or 4 classes I went back to my watercolor and that’s where I’ve stayed. You said you are a vet – I have a little female Maltese that is 12 and has never been spayed and she’s developed mammary tumors, and now she has to have surgery next week. I’m pretty worried about it since she’s only 4-1/2 pounds, but I have a lot of confidence in my vet so I hope everything goes okay. Say a little prayer for my baby if you would. Thanks and I love your work! I will follow you on Instagram.

  4. beverlydyer 8 months ago

    So glad you found art as a way to cope through your journey! And look at the beauty you are creating!!

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 8 months ago

    Tamz, I love your story and wish you continued good health. Your art is joyful to see, a reflection of who you are. I love that you are willing to practice and try new techniques, discovering the artist inside you. She who was always there.

  6. smzang 1 month ago

    I love those paintings! They have life and breath.

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