Playing in Watercolors: Worthy As I Am

Saturday, November 20, 2021

I've admired watercolor artwork for as long as I've known what to call it. 

It has such an ethereal quality when used loosely.

It's almost romantic, in a way.

Every year I tell myself it's going to be the year I learn how to use watercolor to bring my own dreams to life.

And then life gets in the way and I don't.

But recently, after a little meltdown at the end of summer, I said, "to hell with this!" and just made time happen.

It's an act of self care I tell ya.

I've managed 8 - 10 practice sessions now, I think.

At first, I followed tutorials on YouTube, specifically from Nianiania.

I never stop following tutorials really. They are a great way to get your creative juices stirring when you hit a block.

But after a few of her fantastic tutorials, I decided to try some things of my own, and the thing I liked best was my mushroom skull (above)

I was looking for inspiration and found this really cool skull home decor (?) and I thought the concept would be great for a watercolor painting.

And that is how I found the motivation to step out of the tutorials and do my own thing.

I've worked on a few more things that didn't turn out but I learned something new with every failure, and though I was not happy with the results, the practice still helped me build muscle memory and from that - better brush control.

I learned to step away when I became frustrated. To go do something else for a little while, when that inner critic - the "Nega Nanny" as I call her, started pestering me about how I am not good enough and never will be. 

I sat down a few days ago to do my own version of Nianiania's recent abstract mushroom tutorial.

I actually did pretty good until I started working on the background and picked all the wrong colors.

It was a tired person's mistake, because if I know anything, it's colors.

But the mistake frustrated me, so I closed up shop for the evening.

Then today, after catching a willowing video in my YouTube recommendations, I went back (mentally) to ye' old days of Lifebook 2013? I think. I ended up signing up for Life Book twice. 2012 or 2013, then I skipped a year.

Unfortunately, I didn't touch a single lesson the second-go-round, but I did quite a few from the first and it was from that era in my art adventures that I was inspired to create an art journal page.

"Worthy as I am"

I was so happy with the end result, I cut it down to fit in this fabulous frame I found thrift shopping a few years ago but could never find just the right artwork for.

Tamara Laporte teaches art in a very self-care, art therapy sort of way. I have no idea if she is certified for any of this, but I was going through a lot when I found her Life Book back in the early 2010s and it was exactly what I needed at that time.

So, certified or not, her internet presence was a boon to my existence.

Strangely enough, I am in a similar space right now.

After having weight loss surgery almost 4 years ago, I've had regain. 

50ish lbs of regain.

I've re-gained half of what I lost after the surgery.

Perhaps it's partly due to the emotional stress I've been under. 

The first year or so after the surgery, I had so much unfamiliar energy, I could not sit still and I let my little hobby business basically dissolve into nothing.

After a couple years now of trying to build it back up, the momentum is gone.

So, having potentially failed at weight loss surgery, and having let my little business turn to dust, I have been feeling the lowest I have felt in a very long time.

I have been down and out. Flat on my ass.


But not quite.

Fortunately, I am no quitter. 

I am an ALMOST quitter. 

But I seldom stay down for long.

As far as the regain, I'm considering making a whole post about that, but to keep it short, I've gone back to the basics with a "pouch reset". 

I won't go into my thoughts about "pouch resets" on this post, but I think it has helped me get back on track and I'm modestly hopeful that I will get the regain off. 

And as you may already know, I closed and re-opened my Etsy shop

Did I tell you that Etsy literally takes 1/3 of every individual digi sale I make? 

Were it not a source of passive income (after I create and upload the images) it would be a complete loss. And if I don't sell at least 10 of each image I upload, it is still a loss. 

Which is why I like Patreon. The fees are not as awful, but unfortunately, a lot of people are scared off by subscriptions. 

Which I get because it drives me crazy that literally everything is a subscription now. 

So, although it looks very dismal right now, I am still pressing forward with trying to rebuild the hobby business and getting my head together so I can get my weight (and health) back on track.

But even if I am not capable of earning with my art ever again, and even if I never lose another lb - or even if I gain another 50 lbs!!! - I still have value. I am still worthy of love and happiness and my place in this world.

And I needed that reminder very much today.

So I've framed my purple eyed girl to hang here in the office/studio/dining room (lol) as a reminder. 

I am not a lesser person if I am not capable of earning a proper living.

I am not a lesser person if I am overweight.

I am worthy as I am, right now, in this moment and in every moment.

And in case you need a reminder -

You are worthy too

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