I am still working on my food alphabet but I took a break to play around with doing some watercolor washes. I love putting down multiple washes of color and see how they create a unique design that I can draw over. This time I chose some different greens and yellows and I thought it would make a perfect background for some cacti. I looked at some photos of cacti and started drawing. Really like how the drawing and wash combo turned out.
"I can't do this." "This is too hard." "I am not good at art." These are all the most common phrases I hear when I am teaching art. I always answer them with something like, "That is why we are doing art so you can explore art and get more comfortable with it." I totally identify with the students because that is how I always felt about doing math assignments. I hated math pretty much from 4th grade until college, when after failing the same math class 2 times, I took the same course again with a different teacher and suddenly I just got it! It was amazing. I still don't consider myself someone that likes doing math but I feel like I can finally understand that if I am shown how to do something in a style that works for me and I practice I can actually understand math.
So many of my students stop trying to do any art before they even try it. I love teaching art because it really inspires me to challenge myself to think up new ways of explaining how to do art and use materials I don't use all the time. I really enjoy working in ink and watercolor but I love to explore all ways of creating art. When I went into college for art I didn't pick a specific style to work in. I think it has been very useful that I can produce an artwork in all types of mediums and choose what medium works best for the idea I am trying to get across.
The scariest medium for me is acrylic paint. I just don't get how to make it look right. I have always avoided using it. So I bought a large canvas recently and decided to paint a succulent for my office with acrylic paint. Immediately those thoughts came up, "This is too hard...I'm not an acrylics artist." I felt just like my students. It's not that I am not an acrylic paint artist, it is that I have not done much practice with acrylics and the only way to get better is to practice. I got my easel out of the garage and set it up in my office/studio space and started working. I painted to a point, the point when I would get frustrated and it wasn't fun. I stepped away and didn't go back until I sounded like fun again. I am currently in the process of painting the succulent and it isn't coming out how I imagined but it is my own creation. Currently it sits half finished until I start on it again, maybe this weekend.
I am going to post more in progress photos of different work so I can share what I am up to.in this blog. I think it is important to share as I go to keep me in practice and motivated.
Heather Norris is an Art Educator, Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Fine Artist.