• Angela Fehr changed their profile picture 3 weeks ago

  • Thank you, Sandra! Learning to clear away the clutter is a big part of finding that artistic mindset, I think. It’s a lifelong journey!

  • A few months ago, in one of the watercolor Facebook groups I follow, a user asked the group, “Who is your favorite watercolor artist?” When I saw the question, my instinctive response surprised me. My imm

    • Such a wonderful post…you really inspire a lot of people…

    • As usual, you go directly to the heart of the matter, clear away the clutter, and reveal the joy that we can take from our art, if we’ll only let ourselves.

      • Thank you, Sandra! Learning to clear away the clutter is a big part of finding that artistic mindset, I think. It’s a lifelong journey!

    • Hi Angela,
      I had no idea you were not only Canadian but in my same province! I’m in Nanaimo but hope someday to move to SaltSpring Island. To be able to live in the largest artist community in Canada would be a dream come true. I loved Mr. Dressup too, oh the wonders of his tickle trunk. I was in love with Finnigan, lol. Loved that dog! Thanks for the memories and I totally agree about loving yourself as an artist. it’s the biggest gift I’ve given myself over the years of learning. I love my own art and am unashamed of it now. Lovely to know you’re a fellow Canadian! Where are you in BC?

    • I know you! Thanks Angela for your guidance. Watercolor is way in my blood now.

  • Yes – why is it so hard for us to remember this sometimes?!

  • Isn’t it wonderful when that happens!? I’m so glad these things I’ve learned get to encourage other artists.

  • Thank you, Frances! I have had that same experience – it’s so meaningful when we get just what we need at the time we need it, isn’t it?!

  • That makes me so happy to hear! When you paint for the love, it shows in your work.

  • It’s even better when you get to the stage where you love your own work so much (even when you don’t know why it feels so good) that it doesn’t even matter if others don’t see the same beauty you do!

  • it’s the clumsy learning time! It’s okay – without those awkward transitions, we would never get anywhere.

  • I call this “trusting the process!” Doing the work and knowing you are moving forward, even when you can’t tell. Yes!

  • I frequently share Ira Glass’s talk – it so aptly explains the creative process!

  • Recently, I finished teaching a six-week intensive online watercolor course, teaching principles to help intermediate watercolorists develop their personal style and achieve mastery of watercolor. It is so

    • How true! Seems like this post was written for me😊..feel motivated to continue logging in those brush miles. Thank you, Angela!

    • I’m in the midst of embracing a more abstracted style in my own watercolor work after years of highly realistic work. When I get frustrated (often!), I recall this excellent advice for creatives by Ira Glass of This American Life; in fact, it’s framed and hanging in my studio. https://csuphoto.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/enhanced-buzz-5314-1367445376-0.jpg

    • I was so inspired and relieved by your blogpost. I had a friend who looked at one of my watercolor “attempts” as I call them, and said, “I don’t care if you don’t like it, I love it!” Best encouragement I ever got. I smiled at one of the comments that said they were encouraged to continue logging “brushmiles”. Love this stuff.

      • It’s even better when you get to the stage where you love your own work so much (even when you don’t know why it feels so good) that it doesn’t even matter if others don’t see the same beauty you do!

    • Yes!!! Thank you for putting this concept into words. Im trying to move from planned layers to pulling hints of edges out of beautiful washes in a more organic way. It. Is. So. Hard. I still have to do at least one ink and wash piece a week to keep myself sane. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • So inspiring…Thank you, Angela!🙏

    • This is a very helpful, realistic explanation, Angela. Thanks for the encouragement, as always!

    • Yes it helps lesson the negative

    • Great topic… I have this as a topic o write about as well… For me, when I stretch to try new things I get before they are integrated when I try my old moves they seem awkward.

    • I’m working on art for my book and I’ve faced this. Instead of beating myself up I have learned to accept my me-isms . I’m still learning. The more I let go of how they paint, I am able to just paint my ideas and I love creating just like I did when I was a kid.

    • I seem to hit the obstacle cycle fairly often. Thank you for encouraging us when it happens.

    • I must confess that this was the first time I have felt so incredibly inspired to do what I love I may never be considered a artist but with these wonderful words I will always enjoy whatever art I create

    • Hi Angela!

      It’s funny, but your article made me feel the same way in church when the pastor would encourage and welcome those congregants who were in pain, had a problem, wanted to get “saved.” It was always as though it was personally directed at me, his encouragement, suggestions, targeted towards me. Your article made me feel the same way. It spoke personally to me at a time in my life when I needed someone to let me know it was normal, it was okay, and how to move forward from my “stuck, comfy” spot. Perfect timing, Angela, as all your writings speak so clearly to me. Thank you!

      • Thank you, Frances! I have had that same experience – it’s so meaningful when we get just what we need at the time we need it, isn’t it?!

    • Isn’t it wonderful when that happens!? I’m so glad these things I’ve learned get to encourage other artists.

    • Yes – why is it so hard for us to remember this sometimes?!

  • It’s important for all artists to educate themselves on copyright – it’s a complicated topic!

  • Copying is a great way to learn! I think part of the process of learning is that desire to do something ‘more’ and it becomes so exciting to put more of self into the art. And there is never any shame in being a beginner, a learner or looking back at the work that led to the development of where we are now. I’m so glad we are able to be proud of…[Read more]

  • I became so much more satisfied in my work when I began painting for me first. This brought significance to my art even when it didn’t make sense to anyone else. It’s always like meeting a friend when you encounter another artist who understands this. Thank you!

  • Absolutely! It’s all about logging those brush miles!

  • Yes, you are so right; it is part of the process! When you know your tendencies to overwork it becomes easier to keep them in check, but it takes time to learn to trust yourself. You will get there!

  • The first painting I ever made was, unfortunately, a copyright violation. Not that I knew it at the time. I was sixteen years old, and for my birthday, I’d been given a set of watercolor pencils. On the box was a

    • This is wonderful inspiration. Thank you for sharing. Your work is beautiful.

    • I kept painting, and the painting. I was never able to bring back the joy I had felt in that first layer. Oh my goodness this happens tp me ALOT and I start this cylce if amI really doing what I believe I must. I say yes I always get in this overthink phase and that’s what ruins tings. I am so glad to have read this today!! I am not alone and its all part of the process. Thanks!

    • Nice post😊👍 Every painting from the past is a stepping stone to becoming a better artist….

    • I had no idea I was violating copyright until I joined our local watercolor society and it was part of their rules for entries. I was already retired and taking local community college classes in the emeritus program and the teacher never mentioned it. in fact, she would bring in clippings from magazines as examples for us to paint. I had spent most of my life painting calendar pictures sent to my from my relatives in Germany, something I still like to do. But until I joined the water color society copyright violation had never occurred to me because I was changing the medium from a photo to a painting.

      The first painting of the Matterhorn still shows the budding artist in you, even though you see it as amateur now. You did something that can be very hard for the rest of us. You edited it. You left out the flag pole and other objects that cluttered the original. You didn’t try to paint a photo likeness.

      I’ve kept almost every painting I’ve done so far. (I’ve sold one and given two as gifts.) While it might be cringe-worthy I do occasionally force myself to go back and look at them from the first I painted until my most recent just to see the progress I have made. Maybe at some point I will get rid of the early copyright violation paintings but for now, I think they serve a purpose. I will still do a copy or two of some photo I’ve found just to practice a certain technique.

      • Copying is a great way to learn! I think part of the process of learning is that desire to do something ‘more’ and it becomes so exciting to put more of self into the art. And there is never any shame in being a beginner, a learner or looking back at the work that led to the development of where we are now. I’m so glad we are able to be proud of our work as we create it, even though better art lies ahead as our skills grow.

    • A study is not a copyright violation. In the same way that you might use a quote from a famous book to practice your penmanship, using a copyrighted photo to practice your technique is perfectly legal. It only becomes a copyright violation if you are entering it in contests, selling it, using it to teach your own workshops, or otherwise benefiting professionally and/or financially.

    • Wonderful words from a wonderful artist. Thank you for sharing your art and explaining so well, some of the feelings that go along with the journey.

    • I became so much more satisfied in my work when I began painting for me first. This brought significance to my art even when it didn’t make sense to anyone else. It’s always like meeting a friend when you encounter another artist who understands this. Thank you!

    • Interesting discussion started on copyrights. I take a watercolor class that is mostly about techniques and many times I have had someone offer to buy the work. When I tell them that I can’t sell it because it isn’t my composition and also that it was done under the steady eye of an instructor, they are surprised. I take photographs of everything! When it is time for me to paint, I first go to my photo collections for my own work, and if not, lean on the “free images” available on search engines for animals, flowers and other artifacts for the composition. Copyrights are complicated, best to create your own archive of materials and images if possible. Inspiring post, thank you.

    • Excellent write-up and so very true. It’s something I have to constantly remind myself of, and keep from trying to please everyone but myself.

    • Wow..You have written such an inspirational post from your heart…Your tutorial and posts are so helpful…They have helped me in understanding what mistakes I am making and in trying out new techniques…

    • Thanks Charlie for another inspirational article! On 26 January this year I set a goal to to a Watercolour Sketch a Day and have thus far done 16. Today is Day 17 and am thoroughly enjoying the journey. 🙂

    • Angela,

      I truly enjoyed reading this article. You made three points that really resonated with my art journey and hope to keep in the front of my mind as I paint:

      “I can look back and see that change does occur and trust that growth will continue to happen as long as I am painting.”

      “I kept painting, and overworked the painting. I was never able to bring back the joy I had felt in that first layer.”

      “I grew more frustrated with my desire to paint for others rather than for myself.”

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful article with us.

    • This is gold. Thank you.

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