Square One

When it comes to watercolor, I sometimes feel that I’m not really getting anywhere, and I’ve figured out why that is. Every time I start to study the medium and work on learning techniques and methods, I reach a point where I feel uncertain about what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t like the projects presented in the books I’m reading, or maybe I don’t seem to be getting the results I want with online tutorials or classes. I just feel “stuck” — and so, rather than keep pushing forward, I step back, decide that maybe another book or another course will be more helpful, and yep, I go back to “square one” and start all over again.

That’s exactly where I found myself yesterday as I went online and browsed “watercolor how-to” books at Amazon. My art library includes several watercolor books. In addition to Watercolour Painting with Aubrey Phillips, which I used as the basis of a 100-day creative project last year, my shelves hold the following:

The Art of Watercolor

David Bellamy’s Watercolour Landscape Course

The Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner

A quick look through my “Kindle” library shows additional titles, including No Fail Watercolor, my most recent watercolor study textbook. Sad to say, I feel that I did fail at this no-fail course. I’ve failed mostly because I chose not to complete it. I worked my way through the first 40% of the book, then shrugged it off.

I’ve shared only one of the projects from the book. I completed the project not once but several times as you can see here:

The Best Laid Plans

If

If you go back to read those posts, you’ll see that I did learn a lot — from both the project instructions and from my own “hands-on” experience. I went on to complete a few other projects, all with some success, but none of the projects gave me a real feeling of satisfaction. Maybe it was because of the subject: more waves, more ocean scenes, a few fish swimming in the depths. As I turned the pages and came to the next project, found yet one more scene of the sea, I closed the book, shook my head, and decided this just wasn’t the right watercolor book for me.

Maybe that’s when the feelings of failing really hit me. Especially when I go to my art library shelves and see so many very good watercolor instruction books. How can I read so much about watercolor technique yet still know so little? How can I work on so many different projects, watch so many demonstrations, and follow so many tutorials only to still be struggling with watercolor?

I needed a fresh start, I decided. That was the purpose of my online search. If only I could find just the right book, just the right teacher, just the right lesson plan, maybe then I could make a little progress with watercolor.

After a bit of searching I found a book — part of the Kindle Unlimited program — and downloaded it. It is How to Paint in Watercolor From the Beginning by Alejandra Viscarra.

Now, most likely you can already see the foolishness here in what I’m doing. Why should I think that trying just one more book will make a difference? Isn’t this another classic example of doing the same thing over and over and expecting by some miracle to get different results?

Yes, it is, but no, not really, and well, maybe this time…

I downloaded the book, opened it, and found myself going through the same introductory chapters I’ve read in every other watercolor how-to book. Chapters on choosing the right paints, how to select the right brushes, the differences between various types of watercolor paper. This one adds information on stretching watercolor paper — helpful to know — and on the proper cleaning and storage of brushes. Definitely there is a lot of good information here.

Yet to be honest, I’ve read all of this good information before. I’ve taken some to heart, even while tending to ignore a lot of it. It was a bit discouraging, actually, and I muttered to myself, “Well, here I am again. Back at square one.”

It was then that I knew I needed to take a look at what was going wrong with my approach to learning watercolor. In looking back, I could show you many different watercolors I’ve made that are good. I’ve even sold a few watercolors, so my work can’t be all bad. After all of my studies, I do have a fairly solid understanding of different techniques. I’ve learned — finally — to create watercolor washes. I’ve learned to use different brush techniques. I’m getting much better at using the right water to paint ratios. Indeed, I have learned the basics here.

The real problem isn’t with any of the how-to books I’ve read or any of the videos I’ve watched. The problem is that I haven’t quite figured out which direction I want to go. There are, you see, many different watercolor styles. There’s direct watercolor as taught by Marc Taro Holmes. This involves painting directly on the page with very limited — if any — drawing. There’s realistic watercolor painting such as these lemons, demonstrated in an online tutorial here.

In contrast, there’s loose watercolor such as this gorgeous scene done by one of my favorite contemporary artists, Robin Miller Bookhout:

There’s pen and wash — a favorite of mine — and there’s watercolor abstract expression and watercolor doodling. I’ve tried them all at various times, yet I don’t really know what style best suits me. And so it is that I flounder around, trying a little bit of everything and never really working to become proficient with any method.

Liking what we do — even when we’re following along with a textbook or class — is a key to success, I think. So far, no book has really helped me pin down exactly how I want to approach watercolor. It’s really hard to choose a specific path to follow.

Mostly, I think the watercolor style I want to develop is a bit of a mix between realism and looseness. In browsing around, I came across this watercolor painting by Sophie Rodionov.

This probably best represents where I want to go with watercolor. The question is “How do I get there?” I don’t know. All I know is that I’m presently back at square one, but maybe now I can choose the proper pathway. That means working on projects that are similar in style to what I want to create and consequently skipping over projects — like more ocean waves — that don’t truly reflect my watercolor aspirations. It means finding artists whose work I admire and following along with tutorials they offer, perhaps even signing up for classes they teach.

Even though I’m back at square one now, I’m here with a better understanding of watercolors — as well as gansai and gouache — so I’m better prepared to move forward. I’ll be more discriminating now in the lesson choices I make, and I’ll focus on what I need to learn to help me create the watercolor art I love.

I’ll even go back through No-Fail Watercolor and the other how-to books I have, and follow along with projects there that are more suited to my style. Hopefully in this way I can not only make a good start — again — but maybe I can continue making progress with watercolor. Maybe I can finally move beyond square one. 

 

 

63 Comments

  1. So many paths…options…methods…materials…styles…books…videos! Your patience with this is extraordinary (from my perspective). Having tried the same thing and given up much sooner I can sympathize/empathize. Tbh I think you’re waaaay beyond Step One but maybe those steps have been on several paths so they feel like little actual progress. Maybe it’s a version of “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there.” Finally deciding to just do what I want to do (what I want to see, what feels good to make) took me a while. I still have the books and refer to them occasionally for information and ideas. Nothing’s wasted.🙃…. Can’t wait to see your next piece! Btw, that Rodiomov painting is lovely! 🤗👋

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, yes, I love her work! That’s more or less the style I want to work toward with watercolor, so now it’s mostly a matter of finding tutorials or teachers who can help me get there. I do feel that I’ve learned a LOT about the basics — different washes, brushstroke techniques, paint/water ratios — so I think I am ready to move forward. I hope so! I’m also starting to feel a bit “stuck” with my oil painting now, so I guess this is just part of the process. I was laughing at myself a bit recently when I thought back six years ago. All I wanted to do was learn to draw. I had no idea where this would all lead me! I agree with you that nothing is wasted. Even when I try things that “aren’t me”, I’m still learning and growing. I’m really hoping the coming year will show a lot of growth and development as an artist for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My adult ed watercolor teacher had me try to copy a painting of Robin Miller Bookhout’s. I failed at it twice, but I love her style. Have you looked at any of Andrew Geeson’s youtube tutorials? He has a website for loose watercolors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I’ve come across Andrew Geeson, so I will definitely check out his tutorials. I was madly in love with Robin Miller Bookhout’s watercolors for a long time, yet more and more I find myself thinking that maybe it’s “too much”. This is another dilemma for me. Yes, it’s good to have “a style” but after going over a lot of her work, I felt like I was looking at the same picture over and over, just in different colors or with slight variations. I do still love her work and I’m awed by her talent, but it’s not quite what I want for myself. What’s really encouraging for me is that I think I’m finally at a point where I can start learning to be more expressive with watercolor. That’s exciting, so we’ll see where it takes me. 🙂

      Like

    1. Oh, yes, I agree! I’ve been learning that lesson more and more recently, so I think that’s a good sign. It’s telling me that I’m becoming more confident, more certain about who I am and what I want to do with my art. Figuring out who and what we’re NOT is maybe even more important than deciding who we are and what we want to do. 🙂

      Like

  3. You’re certainly NOT at square one, you just seem to be focusing on thinking and reading about watercolor though. I get the impression that you feel if you understand what to do and how, then you’ll be able to do it. That’s only the first step!
    You also need to practice watercolor painting! A LOT; perhaps a lot more than you think. Many students believe watercolor is easier/quicker than it is. You don’t become a good watercolor painter by taking a six week course or painting even a dozen pictures. Watercolor is complicated. Even as you become skilled, you will still have good days AND days when you struggle. Everyone does.
    Make mistakes, experiment, keep at it. Persist. Do not become impatient.
    Do the work. Don’t overthink. Don’t get discouraged and run off to start something else. Paint scenes that interest you. Paint some more.
    If you want to learn watercolor, commit to it. The only real mistake you can make is to give up.
    If you WANT to become good at watercolor, you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent points, and this is part of my dilemma. I’m basically NOT a watercolor artist. I enjoy playing with watercolor, but my true love and my greatest interest in art is landscape painting in oils. But I have fun with watercolor. For me it’s a quick, easy, simple way to relax. I agree that it’s a very challenging medium, and I’ve never taken it too seriously. For a long time, I just wanted to “learn the basics” — and I think I’ve done that now. So, yes, I do want to learn more about watercolor, but at the same time it’s not going to be my main focus in art. After doing a lot of things and trying a lot of media, I’ve settled in to three areas where I want to concentrate on learning. First, I want to keep working to improve my still-limited drawing abilities. Second, I love landscape oil painting, and I want to learn as much as I can. And then, because I have fun with watercolor, I do want to learn a bit more. For me, just figuring out what sort of watercolor style I aspire to have has been very important. I have a better idea now of where I want to focus my learning. So I will keep playing, keep practicing, and — hopefully — continue to enjoy watercolor as I continue to learn and grow. Thanks so much for your comments!

      Like

    1. I’ll never be a serious watercolor artist, and that’s fine with me. I like to do it for the enjoyment. Sometimes it’s easier — and much more fun — to just grab a set of watercolors and play around than it is to get my palette of oil paints prepared and spend time at my easel. That’s the appeal of watercolor for me. It can be quick, easy, and fun. I need that sometimes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the sprites . I am not good at arts but I do drawing everyday, just grab a pencil draw random things comes in my mind.it was fun. And it was funnier when I stuck in a long boring meeting:)

        While we studied watercolor back to my school life, I have a classmate he often cut classes. One day he showed up and he just randomly waved his brush and thrown colors to the paper ,he created an abstract work . In my opinion it was just like crime scene.lol

        I’d try some day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha that is a good one. And it is a little different than the one my buddy made.
        Yours , well, it seems like blood dropped from a small wound .or a victim tied on a chair had been bit very hard.

        But His was more violent. Just like he cut the throat of victim’s in front of the wall.all blood blow out!

        LOL I watched too much Criminal Minds

        Liked by 1 person

      3. LOL how bout that!
        I’m a big fan of criminal minds also a big fan of Clint.I even read some books of former BAU special agent John Douglas’s.and those books give me a fresh spot to understand those series killers that tragic childhood and bad parenting made them.so
        I care a lot of my cat so she will not kill me after I fall sleep XD

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL. Our cat used to wait until we’d fallen asleep and then sneak in and climb in bed. Now she knows it’s all right, so she comes right in and curls up with us. She is such a delight. We’ve had her for almost 6 months now (rescued from an animal shelter) and we can’t imagine life without her now.

        I’ll have to check out books by John Douglas. Those sound very interesting. We’re also watching a Netflix series called “Catching Killers” which is about serial killers.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I am working on that she always bite my hand.do you have any advices?

        My colleague found Liac weeks ago, but she has one adult cat already, so she asked me if I can adopted this little one.
        I never had a cat before,everything is fresh. All I got is love LOL. And it’s cold as hell last year,I don’t know if she can make it out there.so, I had to give her a home.

        John Douglas has been considering as the o character prototype of David in the Criminal Minds.John was original members of those experts who found BAU team as I read and he wrote a lots of books just like David did in the show.

        My favorite character is Jason. He had many mental trauma but he acted like a rock.
        And Arron Hotch. I admir his words on trauma:

        —…. I am not surprising that some people (who were abused in youth)grow up to become killers.
        —some people?
        —and some people grow up to catch them

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Having lots of love to give is the best thing when it comes to pets. 🙂 With cats, though, it’s good to remember to let the cat take the lead. Sometimes cats just don’t want human interaction, so let your kitty guide you. As for biting, one thing to remember: Don’t use your hands and fingers like “play toys” or she’ll think it’s all right to bite and scratch. Do you have a “wand toy”? Our kitty has feathers on a string attached to a long wand. We can let it “fly” through the air or we can drag it along the ground for her to chase. That gives her a chance to “hunt” inside the house. Kittens especially need lots of playtime. I’ve learned that kitties also like lots of blankets and pillows — things they can snuggle up with. What they’re really doing, I learned, is putting their scent onto the fabric. That gives them a sense of “ownership” and makes them feel secure.

        I haven’t watched Criminal Minds as much as my husband, but of course I love Penelope. LOL. I like her style, her quick-thinking, and her ability to track down the information needed. I will definitely look for books by John Douglas. I’m fascinated with the idea of “criminal profiling”.

        Back in my childhood, growing up with my grandfather, I heard a lot about Cesare Lombroso and his “theories on criminality”. My grandfather had read his works and he believed the theories — mostly that being left-handed was a sign of criminal tendencies, especially for females. This was the reason why I was forced to learn to write with my right hand instead of my left. So, yes, I’ve always had an interest in criminal profiling. It’s come a long way since the days of Cesare Lombroso.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Wait. Base on the movie The Kings Speech forcing child to use right hand sometimes always give children a lot of pressure! It’s not a good idea .

        Also they said left hands are smarter than right hands.

        But yes, I read that they considered left hands were of demons’ in mid age. sometimes they burned them alive.

        Character profiling is fun ,we profile people every day.
        My tool is Maslow hierarchies of needs.
        what do you want makes who you are.LOL

        The tips you given are real new to me.I will print them out and stick on my workplace!thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Yes, being “switched” from left hand to right hand did leave me with some emotional scars, especially where art is involved. I do use both my right and left hand now when drawing or painting, but I’m still very clumsy and uncoordinated, especially with scissors. This is why, as a child, I was never able to draw and was always horrible at any kind of “crafts” projects.

        I think Maslow’s hierarchy is a very useful means of understanding human psychology, and you’re right. We do tend to “profile” people every day, based on many different things.

        Criminal profiling is very interesting. Sometimes it’s quite amazing, in fact. I mentioned John Douglas to my husband yesterday and how David Rossi was based on Douglas. He thought that was quite interesting to know.

        I did look up John Douglas through our library internet card catalog. I have actually read one of his books already. It was “Anyone You Want Me to Be” about John Robinson. That was of special interest since the crimes took place in our area. In fact, I know people who came into contact with Robinson (known as the first internet serial killer) through professional settings. Plus, my husband often worked in Olathe, Kansas. It was all very creepy.

        I’m going to put a request in for another Douglas book. Which one would you recommend? Have you read “Mindhunter”? Would that be a good one to read?

        Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I guess I only read his MingHunter. LOL the book starts with a case that a teenager stole his pistol, right?
        Mr Douglas tried profiling Jack the Ripper in his book.

        Ive also read a few pages of The Anatomy of Motive.too.

        And there was a book written by British writer that I forgot its title. It mentioned a case of a missing little girl. I will check my computer then answer you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Thanks. I’m going to put in a request for “Mindhunter”. The online catalog says it’s available so I should be able to pick it up tomorrow or the next day. (We live only a few blocks from the library.) I appreciate the recommendations.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I have very mixed feelings about capital punishment. I’ve read several books about America’s criminal justice system and how often it actually fails. Here in Missouri we’ve just had a case where a man served 43 years for a triple homicide only to be found innocent as he had always claimed. It would have been wrong to have put him to death, and the truth is, he’s not the only individual to be wrongly convicted. Having learned about so many cases, it’s difficult to support the death penalty. People argue that keeping someone in prison for life is too expensive, and I see the point. Overall, I think our US justice system needs a lot of reform. What are you thoughts on the death penalty?

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I get your point. Everyone could make wrong. Even elite agent. It’s easy to send someone to the chair but what if they made mistakes?

        Sometimes I feel very angry about those criminals who did bad things to children and females. I was like how you just shoot them!
        LOL
        I don’t support death punishment . Because I trust not about our system neither. I can not say more you know

        Liked by 1 person

      13. I think we’re in agreement. Too many mistakes happen in our imperfect system of justice. The important thing, I think, is to keep criminals locked up, not allow them out on “parole” after a few years. Sadly, most of them go back to committing crimes. It’s better to have them locked away.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. How horrible! Sometimes it seems a “death penalty” should be imposed, but again, we’re only human and our judgments can be wrong. If there’s absolutely no question about the atrocities committed, maybe the death penalty would be justified. For me, I want to believe that there’s a “higher form” of justice that will eventually punish those who deserve it.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Exactly. But if there’s any doubt, I think we need to step back, take a deep breath, and not make any rush to judgment where “capital punishment” is involved.

        Like

      16. I know how you feel. Whenever we watch crime shows (especially true crime programs), there’s always a feeling of sadness. Such a sense of loss! Sometimes I wonder why we watch the programs. It’s frightening to realize such evil people exist in our world. I think my husband and I both enjoy learning about the “mental aspect” — the criminal profiling, the way the detectives piece clues together, the methods of forensics — but there are times when I have to turn the programs off for a while and watch something more uplifting. We have so much crime in the world!

        Like

      17. Oh miss Rachel ,Batman’s first love, slapped Batman because he tried to shoot the guy who killed his parents.
        I didn’t get it then. What’s wrong with revenge.
        Now i understand why police hunt superheroes as the same time they hunt for criminals

        Liked by 1 person

      18. That’s a sensible answer.
        In different ancient cultures, people have rights to revenge.
        Because law was rare thing to people living in remote areas like the OLD WEST of America and villages in ancient China.
        I read a case happened in thousand years ago, a local bully but butchered another family for some reasons, a loyal servant exchanged his young master with his own son.
        The lucky young master came back after 20years and revenged on his enemies in the same way.
        The public opinion and the king who had supported his enemies back them, tended to support his behavior.

        But legal revenge is only for the times before civilization.

        (My English is self taught so I am not sure whether understood easily LMAO)

        Like

      19. I made a comment on your blog a few minutes ago about your English. It’s very good! English can be a difficult, confusing language. Learning it on your own is quite an accomplishment. If you ever have any questions about the language, please let me know. I’ve studied several languages — currently working on Dutch — so I’m always willing to help other language students.

        As for revenge, yes, our ideas about it have changed as our world has changed. Ideally, we should be able to trust our system of justice, but as we’ve noted, it often fails. There have been some good films based on the idea of “revenge” as a way of seeking justice. But revenge can lead to more violence, more crime, and even more injustice. We have such an imperfect society. I think what’s needed is a careful review of “justice” in hopes of improving the system itself and lessening the need for revenge.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. I read a little about Thomas Paine(he was an saint to me) society is a blessing, gov even in the best is a evil.
        I see his effect on your words. Always keep eyes on the system. As I said, it’s citizen consciousness.
        I have a lot of to say about this topic but my English can’t help me out now. LMAO
        I’ve read that comment about my English lol . Have I reached the level of a elementary school student? I did a test that I only know about 5000 English words. And English grammar is so difficult.
        Needless to say those slogans LOL
        My goal is simple that native speakers understand what I say.

        How many languages do you speak?

        Liked by 1 person

      21. Your English is certainly good enough for you to communicate your thoughts, and that’s the purpose of language. Is it perfect? No, but then again, neither is mine. English grammar is difficult, and honestly a lot of native speakers have poor grammar, yet still, as long as communication/understanding occurs, grammar mistakes don’t matter. The English language has a LOT of words, far more than many languages, so just continue working on vocabulary. What is your native language or “mother tongue” as it’s called?

        I speak English, Spanish, and fairly good Dutch. In the past I’ve studied Russian but that’s a language you have to practice every day. It’s extremely difficult for me to read the Cyrillic alphabet now because I haven’t kept up with it. I’ve also studied Japanese, French, a bit of Portuguese, and some German. I can read the “romance languages” easily even though I can’t speak them all or understand them when I hear them. Because I do have a familiarity with different languages, I can usually get a basic understanding of almost anything I read — as long as it’s using the familiar 26-letter alphabet.

        One of my major interests in history, especially early American history, including the Revolutionary War era. I am very familiar with Thomas Paine and his writings, so maybe his words have influenced me. It is interesting to read actual letters and essays from that time to understand more of how the people felt. History is fascinating.

        Liked by 1 person

      22. History helps us understand the nowadays. We learn human patterns from it. There is not new thing under the sun.

        Believe or not, Chinese are very familiar to US stuff. You can even heard their opinions about America from a vegetable man. Thanks to public broadcasting.

        Youngers like NBA , Hollywood, Taylor Swift , HBO and AMC works.on the other hand people consider US as enemy. lol
        It’s complicated.
        Nationalist problem.

        I learned a few of American history from internet. There was a professor Joanne Freeman from Yale whose open lesson videos uploaded on line about Independence war. That was great and give me a total fresh point to understand Americans.
        In my history book it said Americans hated English and UK did complete bad things in North America,etc.
        It was first time I realized history itself was more complex than what teacher teaches.
        History is not cartoon.

        That changed my world outlooks.

        ///

        I speak mandarin at workplaces and use local tongue at home.same words but different accents.the fun part is we can’t communicate with different accents LOL
        Very few people leaning foreign languages .only a few of high educated youngers study second foreign languages as I know. Most of them working with international enterprises.
        The first purpose to me learning English was checking news of my favorite sport team. lol
        I’ve been being a baseball fan since last year.
        I sometimes watch equipment football games.

        I learned a little Japanese, a little Hebrew(i tried to read original BIBLE ) and a little Spanish from Duolingo App.I failed them.too many things distract me.

        Always trying never succeed lol

        Liked by 1 person

      23. I use Duolingo. That’s how I’m learning Dutch. Do you have favorite American baseball teams? I think the internet is a great help when it comes to learning languages. It’s so easy to find newspapers, magazines, and even videos in different languages. I’ve also found “audio books” helpful. There are a lot of “freebies” available. You might be interested in Librivox — all the books are in the public domain, so everything is completely free. These are recordings of people reading the books.

        https://librivox.org/

        There is definitely political tension between China and the US. This is one reason why I think it’s important to read the news — from different perspectives — so I can try to form my own opinions. Of course, there is a lot of “misinformation” and “disinformation” (and a lot of lies) going around the US.

        Real history is a lot different from the history lessons we had in school. A lot of students never like history and that’s because they don’t really know the true stories and the personalities of the men and women they read about. Schools could do a much better job in teaching history, I think. As you said, it’s much more complex than what teachers teach in the classroom.

        I’ve heard that Mandarin is one of the most complex and most difficult languages in the world! In fact, it is sometimes called the hardest language in the world. I once learned to say “Thank you” in Chinese. Google Translate gives me this: 谢谢你 How accurate is it? Oh, I also learned a bit of Kmer. Several years ago I worked with a girl from Cambodia. I helped her with her English and she taught me some Kmer. I could speak and understand a little, but I never could read or write.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. I don’t have a favorite team yet. It’s just one year as a baseball fan(I even don’t know how to pitch LMAO).also I don’t have special feelings with any team,I didn’t live there lol.
        But the success of Atalanta did get me touched.what a team. How fascinating is this season. And their 1st baseman Freeman is a model sport and a noble man.every member provided best performance. And their little axe is cute too.

        And I also like San Louis Cardinals because of their come-back in 2011. They might had god on their side.I was very excited while I was watching the tape even I’d known they won.

        Years ago I listened BBC English on iPhone podcast I like British accent very much. but now it’s blocked. I keep reading news from internet and searching every conner to learning new things.I was like in an earth size library. I even tried onion network. There are many drug sellers XD

        I believe mandarin is very difficult to westerners. Because we are in different systems. It must be easier for you to learn French and Spanish. Same letters and closer pronunciation.
        Unlike English, you can read our newspapers with knowing 500words. But I could pass my first English exam with 1000 English words. By the way I was good at English in my mid school LOL
        I was told a native Americans knows more than 20,000words at least.
        since you mentioned 谢谢你 the answer should be 不客气 (boo ke cheee)but people used to reply with 没事(may-she)which means “not a big deal”
        It is confusing to foreigners.

        Google was my favorite tool. (Blocked now)

        I’ve added librivox to my bookmarks. Thanks again.I download books from an app(ePub Reader)on my blackberry. It provides some free sources like:
        Gutenberg.org
        Feedbooks.org
        Allromancebooks.com

        And other dozen links.

        XD Too many choices.

        Like

      25. Maybe you can cheer a bit for our Kansas City Royals. 🙂 I wasn’t a baseball fan until about 2012. Before that, I really didn’t understand a lot about the game. After I started watching it more, I saw that there was some strategy involved. I even started collecting baseball cards for a while. Then, when our KC Royals won the World Series, everyone was a baseball fan! Now, the team is “rebuilding”. Most of our star players have moved on. I don’t think we won even half of our games this season. I was very happy that Atlanta won the Series this year. I used to like the Houston Astros, but then they got caught cheating. 😦

        Gutenberg.org is an excellent source for books. I’ll have to check out the others you’ve listed. Thanks for sharing them!

        Well, Flower Child is meowing. She thinks it’s about time for her “ding-ding” (which is what we call her dinner.) Do you make up words with Liac? We call it “ding-ding” because each morning and evening when I set her bowl out (it’s metal) I tap it with a spoon, and it goes “ding-ding”. Cat owners are silly, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      26. Royals were ,might be not ,the toughest but still on top three.in off-season history they always made a comeback in a situation of 1-3 tail. They lost some but won more.(I like researching data, we discussed 1-3 comebacks when Astros were in the same situation this year.)
        So there are something in your team, sport sprites ? City quality? I don’t know.maybe they have the best fans supporting them whenever won or lost.
        It’s very hard for a major team to win World Series back to back. It’s not NBA, they create TV heroes with money and dirty referees. And that’s why I have given up watching them since Kobe retired.
        Astros’ cheating is a stain, also RedSoxs involved in some cheating issues too.
        So when those teams in games I cheer for the opposites of course. Yankees and dodgers attract the most attention here.but not me.

        But I will watch more of Royals,transition can be longer than you expected. Do you support Chiefs?you have the best Quarterback Mahomes.

        I don’t have any code words with Liac.but when she hears the noise that cookies drop into her plate she runs like a cheetah in a high speed with her tail pointing to sky.
        I feed her cat cookies she is too young to eat meat. My two female colleagues are my consultants who forbid me to wash her hairs.

        I won’t let she drink water from my cup. I know what she licked before LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      27. LOL… yes, cats lick a lot of places and then want to come shove their butt in your face or give you a kiss. They are so funny. And I’m glad Liac has her tail in the air. That’s a sign of a happy cat, so you’re obviously giving her the love and care she needs.

        Yes, I am a big football fan. So is my husband. We love watching the Chiefs every week, and it’s been fun to have Patrick Mahomes as quarterback. The team hasn’t done as well this year as in the past, but we’re still hoping to win our division. Of course, from there, we’re hoping to keep winning in the play-offs and make it back to the Superbowl again. You might know this, but a bit of NFL history… the Chiefs played in the very first Superbowl. Len Dawson was the quarterback, and sadly, we lost to the Green Bay Packers. Vince Lombardi was their coach… he was probably the most famous NFL coach of all time.

        Well, it’s a short morning for me in the art studio. My husband has an appointment with a retinologist — and that might be a new word for you. It’s a doctor who specializes in eye diseases, specifically diseases of the retina. My husband has to see this doctor about every six weeks to prevent blindness. Our appointment this morning is early, so I have to finish things up and get ready to go. My husband drives to the appointment, but after the treatment I have to drive back home. Give Liac a hug for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      28. Wish him the best!

        Chiefs beat Falcon very badly. But they lost to Old Brady’s buccaneers last year.

        But Mahomes is still the best.

        I’ve worked at designing position for years but not a good one myself.

        I just arrived at home from a two days traveling with my company. Very tired this moment, will write you later .

        good luck Judith

        Like

      29. With two days Dad not home. Liac give me a hot claws hug and I can feel pain through my jeans!
        There is only a moment I doubt she were a tiger cub so hurt!
        Just cleaned her toilet and gave her some fresh water.and I found she put some little holes on my sheet.

        chiefs are always one of elite teams in history. They won two Lombardi cups in 50 years.

        Liked by 1 person

      30. Do you have anyone close who can come in to play with Liac when you’re away? We had to leave Flower Child for two days when we drove to Tennessee recently. We missed her so much! We did have a grandson come to the house each afternoon after school to play with her and make sure she had fresh food. She was still very glad to see us when we got home.

        Like

      31. I don’t . I live alone here in this city, and I don’t have any friends convenient.
        It s good I don’t go out the town normally.
        I should have prepared some friends who can look after Liac LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      32. Cats can do well on their own as long as they have plenty of food and water, and if they have toys to play with, that’s good, too. Having someone come in to visit Flower Child while we were gone helped us relax and feel better, I think. We really missed her!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Instead of reading why don’t you try to see videos on YouTube and follow them. Practicals are much more effective as compared to books when it comes to art. Also learn abt various watercolor techniques such as wet on wet, dry on wet, wet on dry and dry on dry. Practise a lot start with shapes, trees, mountain, Hut, leav, flower and use good quality gsm sheet to hold water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably will be watching more videos on watercolor. I’m not a “serious” watercolor artist, just an artist who enjoys dabbling with watercolors and who hopes to get better. I have fun with it, and I’m finally getting the basics — water/paint ratios, how to create different washes, using different brushstroke techniques. Now I think I’m better prepared to watch a few videos and work to develop my own style with watercolor.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Would you say that your style of learning your art style resonated with the great art masters as well? Did Monet, for, example,discover Impressionism over time or did it become quick and easy for him from the beginning?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question. I always imagine the great artists as simply always knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. What’s most interesting to me is to read what critics had to say about some of the great masters. Every new style was harshly criticized. It’s amazing that artists had enough confidence to keep going!

      Like

I'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s