Several years ago on kind of a whim I bought a set of professional water color paints and a how-to manual. I hadn’t tried using watercolors since I was a kid and, frankly, they are a lot harder than I remembered. You can’t layer paint very well with watercolors, it jut makes everything a muddy-colored mess. Within a few weeks I had given up on watercolor and moved on to oil paint, where the final product is ALL about layering. I watched some YouTube tutorials, read “Oil Painting for Dummies” several times over (yes, really), and got my hands dirty.
I quickly fell in love with the medium, with the smells of paint and linseed oil, the feel of brushes and palette knives, and the different ways to get paint from the tube onto a canvas: big brush, small brush, fingers, skinny knife, wide knife, paper towel; thick paint vs thinned paint; paint well mixed or paint with stripes of the combining colors still showing. I love mixing up colors, trying to add a bit more yellow, or burnt umber, or viridian to get the perfect shade.
Now, I am in no means a professional artist, and for now I have no real aspirations to become one. Professionals have taken years and years or courses in color theory and composition and medium; they have spent tens of thousands of hours honing their craft and practicing. Really, I doubt I will ever attain that level of skill, I prefer “abstract” because for me it’s easier to identify my attempts as such instead of trying to pretend I know how to draw faces or bodies or anything else truly recognizable. I sometimes dabble in reality, but usually give it crazy sky or bizarre colors or something so I don’t have to worry as much about it being too real-looking.
But, I love it. I think this will be a life-long hobby for me. One thing on my life bucket list is to get paid for a commissioned painting; I would not accept payment for something I didn’t consider at least quasi-professional, so for now I paint for my family, and a few friends, but mostly I just paint for myself.
Ok, so, based on this post you’d think I have a thing for windmills…and, I suppose I kind of do, but mostly I have a thing for color–the crazier the better! Do you have any hobbies you’ve taken up as an adult? Or hobbies that you dabble in for the love of it, and not necessarily because you’re brilliant at it?