Parrot Scarlet Rainbow Macaw by Nereida Lima

GUEST ARTIST: “The Joy After The Scary Start” by Nereida Lima

That is why I love watercolors! It’s so scary to start on it, but once you start you feel such a joy you want to continue painting more and more. Feeling the adrenaline rush that the mix of water and color creates when you apply it to the paper and it smoothly follows your brush strokes to create art is just immensely satisfactory.

My name is Nereida Lima, I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from Cuban immigrant parents. I had a very happy childhood with lots of cousins and noisy friends around our multi-family homes, just the way it was back then for immigrant Cubans. There was always a cousin around your age to play with and we used to share our toys a lot, except for our coloring books! Those were my treasures and even though I never thought of becoming an artist, I did enjoy painting on them and my coloring book was the nicest.

Blue House And Window Watercolor Painting by Nereida LimaAfter high school, I studied architecture at a local university. Then got married, had kids and, after building a few houses, I decided to work in the family wood furniture business designing baby furniture mostly. I opened my own baby store with the furniture I had designed. After 8 years, and with very bad political and economical problems in Honduras, I decided to close it down.

Just around that time we had a “classmates from Architectural school” Christmas party. During this awesome party, a dear friend and very famous watercolor artist asked us if we would like to learn watercolors and paint with him. That is how it all started and from January 2017 on, we’ve had a painting party at least once a week! We started painting with Crayola kids watercolor tablets… incredible!  It was our new hobby!Well it is no longer a hobby. It’s a real passion now, and best of all, is getting money from it.

Cute Dog Pet Portrait

After each paint party I posted my painting on Facebook, and started creating my watercolor album. At that time, I had almost 5,000 friends, mostly from playing a Facebook game called Farmville ( I was a good neighbor and shared a lot in the game so got many friends) Soon my Farmville friends started asking me to paint their pets. And word got out, and I got more and more commissions for pet portraits.

Practice makes you get better and better, so now I have done over 100 pet portraits and they have gone all over the world to Japan, Australia, England, Spain, Germany, Canada, USA, Mexico and many more countries. Also a few locally in my country, Honduras. That is how I became more known internationally than locally.

In Honduras, we do not have good art supply stores, so every time I visited my daughter who lives in Portland, Oregon (at least once a year) I would ask her to drop me at a Blick store and pick me up after work. It was funny how the employees stared at me. I kept taking pictures of things and asking my friends back home what they wanted me to get for them. It is so difficult for us to get good art supplies in Honduras that every time I travelled I came back with tons of things.

Young Boy Drinking Water Watercolor Painting by Nereida Lima

Seeing the wonderful colors and such a huge variety is really wonderful. I started selecting Sennelier watercolors, because I  love the rich vibrant colors and I like the size they come in 10 ml, (bigger than 5 but not as much as 15) makes it the perfect size to create a nice collection of beautiful colors. I also tried QOR watercolors, very vibrant but expensive colors.

Now I have started a small collection of Daniel Smith watercolors by suggestion of my tutors, but still find Sennelier much richer paints. But, in the end, it is good to mix and match as long as they are all professional grade paints.

I loved watercolors so much that a once-a-week painting party was not enough, so I continuously searched for tutorials. I spent way too much time searching YouTube for watercolor tutorials, mostly a waste of time, and only a few good ones. I joined for a couple months Anna Mason online school and learned some nice techniques with her. Rebecca Rhodes tutorials were also very helpful.

I also started following and sending friend requests to those artists that shared beautiful paintings in World Watercolor Group. It was so exciting to be accepted by the top artists that way, and I could see more from their posts.

One day, I saw an amazing post by Meeta Dani, one of those top artists, was offering an online course Mastering Watercolors Realism. That was it!! I had to take that course! And I did. It was the best investment ever. The most complete course, plus I consider it my very first formal training. This course helped me get my thoughts in order and set my knowledge in the correct direction.

Nowadays, I want to learn more and more. I took a photography course (to shoot my own reference photos) and then a Photoshop course (to be able to edit my own photos), and I’m just now taking a graphic design course. Probably a video editing course next!

Of course, I continue with more watercolor related courses too. Right now I am taking a Mastering Textures course by Angus McEwan and also a Mastering Online Courses with Meeta Dani. So much to learn from them!

Never stop learning! I am 58 now and keeping myself so busy like when I was in my teens. My normal day starts with morning tasks around the home and making breakfast for the family, then yoga class for 1 1/2 hours. Then back to preparing food for lunch and dinner. Afternoons are for watercolors with or without friends, homework from all my online courses and then graphic design class from 5 to 7 pm.

Jeep Car Low View Watercolor Painting by Nereida Lima

Run back home for dinner and a movie or maybe a little watercoloring before bed. On Tuesdays, after yoga class, I give a water+color=art class at the yoga studio for 2 hours by request.

Hopefully I will soon be able to give my own tutorials or online courses. I am now a great watercolor artist enjoying my life very much more than when I was younger. So I really look forward to that scary part of starting a new watercolor painting, because it means so much joy right after.

Nereida Lima

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23 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “The Joy After The Scary Start” by Nereida Lima

  1. I loved your story and your work! I love your enthusiasm, it is contagious. 🙂 It is a small world we live in, I live just outside of Portland. I can just see you bouncing around Blick. My heart starts pounding the minute I walk through their doors. Thank for sharing your inspiring story!

  2. Nereida what a incredible story i love you painted pets they absolutely stunning and how you teach yourself to do watercolors you so talented!!

  3. Nereida, your bold colors and excellent detail blow me away! You should have your daughter check out Columbia Art & Drafting Supply on SE 15th & Burnside the next time she shops for art supplies. They have professional brands that Blicks doesn’t and are often cheaper. Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us!

  4. I am in awe of your amazing art. Your talent plus dedication to continued learning and practising your skills has produced pieces most of us could only dream of. All I can say is WOW!

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