Painting #3: Water Lily

Did you know that I take watercolor painting lessons? Yep, I do, from Guy Magallanes in San Carlos. A few months back, I shared my first painting from those sessions, a pansy, and now, here is my third: a water lily. What do you think?


I’m pretty happy with it, given it’s my third painting and I’m still learning. Plus, I learned a new skill with this one: how to use sheeting frisket (that’s the plastic stuff you see in the animation below). Each of these first three paintings was guided step-by-step in my group class with Guy, but starting next week, I’m headed into the big girls’ class, where we select and paint our own inspirations. Yay!

After losing my photography mojo, I found that art and craft classes were a much-needed way to reinvigorate my lost creativity. I embarked on a whole series of lessons all over the world, from glassblowing and lampwork beadmaking in Hawaii to metal clay, jade carving, and traditional jewelry crafting in New Zealand. Eventually I tried painting in Australia, starting out with oils—which I discovered I don’t have the patience for—and winding up with watercolor back home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

You may be asking why, after all of those artistic adventures, watercolor is the one that stuck. One reason: It feels like play. While I’ll always appreciate the beauty of blown glass, the intricacy of lampwork, and the craftmanship of jewelry making, watercolor is the process I enjoy most. I can dabble and experiment and relax into it—and it’s always fun. When it comes to art right now, that’s what I need most: A creative outlet that’s easy and undemanding and enjoyable.

Here’s an animation to show you how a watercolor painting comes together:


What have you been doing to fuel your creative fire lately?