Use Watercolor to Connect with My Inner Child

Two unrelated events merged together last week showing me to use watercolor to connect with my Inner Child.

The First Event

My son asked if I had any recommendations for my granddaughter concerning learning the art of watercolor.

My first reaction was sending her some of my supplies, as I wasn’t using them. Secondly, I thought, her world is so different from my experience learning watercolor in the 1980’s. Perhaps I should see what new beginning watercolor books are out there. The third book that caught my eye won my purchase.

The Watercolor Book

Creative Watercolor: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners, by Ana Victoria Calderon has everything a budding watercolor artist needs. The book is packed with recommendations for materials, and photographs, illustrating technique and method. Ms. Calderon builds an easy progression of skill into the hands of the reader.

As I looked inside the book before purchase on Amazon, a lightness filled my chest and a smile lit up my face. My memories creating paintings flooded my thoughts. I pushed them aside to focus on the matter at hand, finding the basic tools my granddaughter needs to pursue an interest that brought me so much joy.

Watercolor Tools

I found Strathmore 140 pound, cold press paper in a spiral pad, Windsor and Newton Cotman half-pan watercolors with the palette and one small brush included. My final purchase was a four-brush set of watercolor brushes from Cheap Joe’s. I felt that completed the basic equipment needed to learn watercolors.

Yes, they weren’t exactly recommendations. Hey, I’m a grandmother and finding something my grandchild actually wants led me down the empty cart path on Amazon.

The Second Event

Do you find it difficult to follow your gut feelings, your intuition? Sometimes, I do. It takes a lot of practice to tell the difference between what’s in your heart vs. thoughts of our mind. One of the tools that helps me connect with my intuition is Oracle Cards. I occasionally use them for extra clarity understanding my feelings.

The second event was pulling the card, “Imagination / Inner Child”. Sonia Coquette, the author of my Ask Your Guides cards, suggests this card is about honoring my Inner Child through inspiration, creativity, art classes or simply play.

The most playful way I could imagine to return to my watercolor was through the same Creative Watercolor book I bought for my granddaughter. I went to order another copy for myself and found they were out of stock in hard copy, but available on Kindle. Reading through this book on my iPad brings joy to my heart.

Now, where are my art supplies?

If you want to know more about anything I mentioned in this blog, contact me, or better yet, signup for my newsletter, where you will not only receive my blogs, you’ll also know about other opportunities to connect.

Enjoy this new month!

Dawn

Hit the Reset Button in Your Life

How to hit the reset button? Daily we hit the reset button. We restart our phones and computers to clear out the memory. But do you know how to hit the reset button of your life?

What is Your Morning Routine

I dress, turn on the coffee maker and walk to the curb to pick up the morning paper. Sometimes I scan the front page, but usually I remove the plastic bag, place it in my storage bag to recycle at my grocery store and lay out the paper for those who read it. That’s right. I don’t read the paper.

If I can resist, I leave my phone and tablet to the side, take my coffee out on the porch and watch the sunrise. Then I close my eyes, take a 5-count, slow inhale. As I similarity exhale, calmness inside matches the calmness outside.

It’s taken many years for me to perfect this simple routine.

My First Step to Hit the Reset Button

Thirty years ago, my friend and watercolor instructor introduced me to The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. Our small class of five women tackled the book together. We met weekly, which followed the chapters perfectly.

All of us starting writing our morning pages. Each morning we gathered our journal, favorite pens and began writing for thirty minutes. My first attempt started, “I don’t know what to write. This is stupid. I can’t believe this will do anything!”

In contrast, by the end of my first morning pages I was writing furiously. My thoughts cascaded from my mind, down my arm, through the pen and onto the paper.

Take Your First Step

Would you like to hit the reset button in your life? Would you like to begin a calmer life? I invite you to add The Artist’s Way to your current library. I’m a big fan of ebooks, but this one is much better in hard copy.

Can’t wait for the delivery? I’ve given you the first task, morning pages. Even though you’ve been up awhile, start your morning pages right now. Then order the book. And let me know how this goes. I really want to know.

Warmly,
Dawn

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Where the Crawdads Sing Book Review

Where the Crawdads Sing is the most recent book I’ve read. My husband, Wayne, had been encouraging me to download the Kindle version as we share our libraries. Wayne is an avid book reader and Amazon consumer. He is largely responsible for the success of Amazon. Yet he thinks anyone who reviews a book is a nerd. Well, I guess he’s partially right. In many ways I am a nerd. That discussion, however, is for another day.

My Review on Amazon

In preparation for this article, I copied and pasted my Amazon review of Where the Crawdads Sing into a Word document on my iPad. Unfortunately, I forgot to save it at the time. When I opened Word to check on a recipe, I inadvertently deleted the document. Dang! Oh well, I knew it was on Amazon.

Yesterday, I went to go find my review. The scale at the top of the review area showed clearly that the vast majority who had read it gave it 5 stars, as I did. Yet all the reviews on the first page were 1-3 star reviews. I read them all for at least five scrolls. I couldn’t really disagree with some of their points.

  • Unrealistic
  • Poor supporting character development
  • Never heard an accent like that
  • How could she have survived

By the way, I never found my review, even after looking at them in chronological order.

Why I Loved This Book

I identified with Kya, the main character, in many ways. Her love of nature, feelings of inadequacy in the outside world, and the abandonment she experienced all touched my heart.

The prose from Delia Owens during Kya’s time in her natural world fills the first half of the book. Even during the difficult scenes of home life, the feeling that calmness and beauty was available mere steps away from the front porch bolstered me to read on.

My childhood home was rural. It was isolated from other children, with only my sister for companionship. My parents were not abusive, yet I also enjoyed quiet alone time, discovering insects crawling along the ground or on leaves. My father taught me the insects to avoid and I spent hours looking at the Encyclopedia color plate of poisonous snakes. I suppose my fascination with books and information about nature is also similar to Kya.

Every instance where the detractors point out implausible plot, I had already understood the why; when Kya was taken from her environment she retreated into herself, I didn’t try to read aloud the accents – rather I ‘heard’ Southern accents I’m very familiar with. Finally, I read the story as fiction, giving the author carte blanche to create her reality.

Why Read This Book?

If you didn’t grow up in the South or in a rural area, read it to get a sense of that life. I remember as a child reading, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. My mind absorbed every word about the foreign world of a metropolitan city and it gave me a different perspective . Also, Where the Crawdads Sing will be made into a movie and as with most other books made into movies, the book is always better.

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