It takes courage to be creative and share that part of you with the world. That is what I’ve only learned recently. My name is Irma and I live in the Netherlands. When I was a child I always loved to draw and paint, to create things on paper. But I was very insecure about what I made. I grew up in an environment where art or self-expression were not really valued or stimulated.
Since childhood, because of the criticism, I’ve felt very insecure about what I make. I often quit painting. Almost everything I’ve made until 2013 has ended up in the trashcan. Even though I stopped painting often, fortunately, I couldn’t help myself and was always starting over, because, I just had to. It’s part of who I am.
I tried different mediums throughout the years. I’ve done a lot of acrylics and watercolors. I have tried digital painting and even did some photorealistic pastel. My subjects were mainly people and animals. I’ve focussed on different styles like; cartoon, manga and realism. My heart always longed for the loose and imperfect style of watercolor. It’s my favourite medium. I still focus on different styles. I guess I like to variate.
In 2013, I started doing emotive watercolor portraits. The response was HUGE on DeviantArt. It did so much for me, knowing that there were people in the world understanding and appreciating what I was doing. It was the first time that I could look at my work differently. After that I went “offline” for some years. I recently pushed myself again to share some of my newest work with the world. I’m glad I did.
My Painting Process And Materials
I often “feel” that I need to paint. For techniques, I often watch YouTube, but I never have the patience to follow along. I love to make paintings that breath a sensitive or emotional sphere. I’m a “feelings” painter. I will study the subject and sketch it roughly on my watercolor paper. The only thing I’m really precise about is while sketching. I really want to get the proportions looking right, before I start. After that it’s just a sort of meditative flow, not knowing where the journey will take me. I love to use wet-in-wet and just go with what my mind is intuitively telling me to do. I let go of rules or techniques. I love to throw in some unusual colors. Happy colors. These pieces are the dearest to me.
I often use Dutch watercolor paper: Schut Terschelling smooth. I like to work small. For some reason if I tried a bigger piece of paper it often didn’t work out as I wanted. But, I will keep practising that. I recently bought professional hot pressed paper from Arches. I thought it wouldn’t matter as much, but it does make a big difference! It can handle so much more layers and water. For watercolor I prefer to use tubes. I own Winsor & Newton and Van Gogh tubes. I would love to have a Daniel Smith set one day. I use a variety of watercolor brushes.
It’s amazing how you start with just a white piece of paper and some paints and can create such beautiful things from your imagination. The possibilities are endless! I find this very inspiring and freeing. I find it fascinating to see how we all can make such different paintings with the same materials.
I’m trying to do what I love. I hope to inspire others to do the same. I will even re-open my Etsy store soon. One day, I would love to give my own workshops in self-expression through watercolors. Since I’ve started to take myself and my work seriously and have been sharing it with the world, I’ve met a lot of creative and like-minded people.
It’s ridiculous what we can sometimes tell ourselves. What determines a piece of art is good or not? Is that your responsibility anyway? No one will be able to make what you make. If you don’t make it, no one will. Be happy you are you, and create. For everyone feeling insecure about their work or for those who are afraid to share it with someone; please share it with people. Don’t keep it to yourself, you might touch someone.Recommended9 recommendationsPublished in