Water Under the Bridge

April Theme
Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints)
April 4 - Week 14
Art Challenge:  Watercolors
Journal Prompt:  It's Water Under the Bridge


I have read so many posts on our feed about artists suffering from "blocks" and getting stuck on challenges.  I know the feeling . . . we all suffer from it and this week, it was my turn!  I always have to work a little ahead of the challenges because of my crazy travel schedule and I was getting a bit panicky because I just wasn't feeling inspired by this week's prompt.  It happens.  I tried to dissect what my hurdles were:  1) creating on demand, 2) very tight deadline,  and 3) voices in my head telling me I can't "do watercolor."  AAAACK!!!!  I can't tell you how many times I walked away from this page and came back.  I can't stress enough how much I hated parts of it.  But this is a good example . . . for every one great piece of work that I am really happy with, I have at least 10 that are just awful!  I'm sharing this with all of you so that you know you are not alone.  In the end, you may love it or you may hate it - the important thing is that you worked through the obstacles and even that exercise is therapeutic.

So I would love to tell you that I planned this whole page out and knew exactly what I was doing from the beginning, but that would just be a big, fat LIE!  In order to start, I had to quiet those voices in my brain . . . I had no idea where I was going when I started painting these ovals on text paper with watercolor . . . I was also thinking we have Gina Lee Kim as our featured artist this week, so there was no need to give a lesson on watercolor . . . she had that covered!

Okay, so I have a bunch of ovals . . . NOW WHAT???  Picture me at this point walking out of my studio and spending the next 3 hours cleaning out my clothes closet - true.

Okay, back in my studio again and I decided to rip out my ovals.  Hmmmm . . . water element?  Okay, it was starting to come to me . . . water/bridge/under the bridge . . . AAAACK!  Picture me leaving my studio again and this time going outside to sit in the sun and read.  But that didn't last long.  I felt like I could hear the clock . . . tick, tick, tick . . . deadline. I decided to go back to the studio and put some background paint on my pages.  Well that didn't turn out so well - I used paint and gesso and gel medium and baby wipes and scraped and basically I liked the background but I just wasn't feeling the page.  Okay - picture me stomping out of my studio now and spending the next 2 hours on Facebook.  TIME SUCKER!

Back in the studio again, I pulled out my stencils.  Hmmm, this one from Stencil Girl was very cool!  I started pouncing paint onto the page and WHOA!!!!!  A BRIDGE!!!!  Okay, the ideas started coming!  I used gel medium to adhere the watercolor ovals onto the bottom of the page, overlapping and alternating colors.

I really thought an idea was formulating . . . and the page was kind of cool, but then . . . nothing!  I took a break and went to the grocery store where I spent an inordinate amount of time in the magazine section.  Three hours later I went back to the studio and it was getting late.  I stared at my page.  Blank.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  It wasn't until I started thinking about the timing of this challenge and how it would go live the day before Easter and then . . . LIGHTBULB!!!!!  I remembered a quote I heard a long time ago and finally I had some direction . . . it's all about FAITH!

I cut out the letters F.A.I.T.H out of the same book paper and trimmed them down to form my bridge.

They seemed a little lost so I outlined them in black Stabilo pencil and smudged with water.

I thought my little ovals resembled water, but they started to take on a little more meaning to me.  I used watercolor pencils to draw ichthys symbols in the water.  As a Christian, this is a very important symbol of my faith and I wanted to incorporate it into my work.

I stamped my quote on a piece of notebook paper and ripped the words apart to adhere them onto my page.

Finally . . . I was really happy with the finished product.  It took an extremely long time to get there, but I'm glad I got to show you the process when I get "stuck."  In the end - it isn't a masterpiece, but it is meaningful to me and that's what counts!

I look forward to your challenges this week.  I wish you all a blessed Easter (or Passover) or just a beautiful Spring weekend.  I am super excited about our featured artist, GINA LEE KIM!  She can make watercolors sing! I know you will be inspired!

For more information on this week's challenge you can find us here:

http://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/
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Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

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