Where I Should Be

Today – July 14 – I should be hitting the “quarter pole” — meaning I should have only another quarter to go on my 100-day project. This is the 75th day since I began, but I haven’t yet reached this marker.

I’ve been taking my time, exploring new pathways, and even stopping along the way to figuratively smell a few flowers.

Had you suggested to me a few months ago that I’d be spending a good part of my summer doing watercolors, I would have shaken my head. Not me. I’m not good at watercolors. Funny, though, how life often takes us in different directions from where we think we want to go.

Exploring watercolor has been interesting, and it’s been helpful to my overall development as an artist. My personal creative adventure — following along with Aubrey Phillips — has taught me a lot, and while I’m not as far along as I should be, who’s really counting the days?

What’s important in any creative challenge is what we take away from it, and even if I were to stop today and say “This is as far as I’m going,” I’d still be walking away with a wealth of new knowledge.

But, I’m not stopping. My “100-Day Creative Adventure” might turn into a 200-day project. It might take me a year to complete. That’s fine. Even if I haven’t reached a specific marker by a specific date, it doesn’t matter. I’m learning what I need to learn. I’m gaining the first-hand experience I need with watercolor. Day by day, I’m discovering new elements of art and creative expression.

So, precisely where am I? I’m behind, that’s where. Had I faithfully kept up with my 100-day schedule, I’d be on page 84 of Watercolour Painting with Aubrey Phillips, learning about weather and mood in watercolor painting.

Instead, I’m lagging behind — way back at page 65. Here’s my most recent project painting:

AP Cambrian Winter (2)
Watercolor based on “Cambrian Winter” by Aubrey Phillips

For reference, here is the original painting as it appears in the book:

Phillips Painting (2)

The most important thing I’ll be taking away from this little adventure is a sense of my own watercolor style. I’m learning different techniques, and I’m learning how to apply those techniques to create watercolor art that is uniquely my own. I draw inspiration from the paintings of Aubrey Phillips, but I also make note of what I want to do differently.

I’m beginning to like a lot of my watercolor art, and that’s the most surprising thing about this creative journey. It’s been worth every step, and I’m glad I’m not rushing to catch up, keep up, or move ahead. I’m learning and growing at the pace that’s right for me.

Yes, indeed, I am where I should be, even if I’m 20 pages behind the time-table.

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