You can’t do something if you don’t do it

Koi Watercolors

I first  saw the Koi Watercolor kit when Jon and I were at a Wellness Talk  in Vermont and the woman sitting next to us was using one to paint the audience and panel.  A week later, Jon got me a watercolor kit of my own.

That was about a month ago and I still haven’t used the watercolors.

Jon thinks I’m a wussy, but it always takes to me while to start something new.  And the kit is just the cutest thing, it all folds up into a box the size of a post card.  All you have to do is fill the brush with water and paint.   Part of me just likes looking at the smooth Chicklet colors.  I don’t want to ruin them or use them up.  But that’s really an old part of me.  The kid who used to go to the stationary section in Woolworth’s and stare at all the empty notebooks, ledgers and receipt pads.  Dreaming of having so much empty paper to fill.

The newer fear comes from institutions like The Watercolor Society.  There is definitely a “way to do it”.  I know this is true with all the arts, but for me it’s somehow different when it comes to watercolor.  I was on a NYS Grants panel recently and one of the applicants painted, what I thought were, lovely watercolors of flowers in glass vases.  When we started to discuss the work, I found out I was wrong.  Apparently, she handled the glass well, but the flowers were poorly done.  By the end of the discussion even her glass vases had deteriorated to less than adequate.  What do I know about Watercolor?

I personally like the  philosophy that if you don’t know what you are supposed to do, you are completely free to do as you please.  But there is also  the truth that you can’t do something if you don’t do it.

So now that I’ve analysed it and know all the reasons for not using my Koi Watercolors, I’m still where I started, I’ll either do it or I won’t.

21 thoughts on “You can’t do something if you don’t do it

  1. Hi Maria, Go for it! Remember the advice you gave me about starting Yoga? To “just breathe and don’t judge yourself.”
    Love to Frieda and Lenore, Cindy

  2. This really hit a nerve for me–I know this very feeling. It was the same feeling I had when I’d open a brand new box of crayons and loved the perfection of all the flat-topped tips (and the lovely crayon smell, of course!).

    I too, have some untouched watercolors in my studio. You aren’t alone!

  3. I had to take a class in watercolor (1980) in order to learn the techniques. I became much too sensitive, allergic to oils. What I liked about using watercolors, is that I could layer the color. I can almost do the same with colored pencil, which is what I am down to now. I’m thinking Maria, if you took the plunge and played around with watercolor media that you might decide you like it okay. I liked the Sakura brand in the tube. Koi field kits are made by Sakura. I’ve always like Sakura’s color for its vividness.

  4. I do this same thing sometimes with books, Maria. I will buy a book I am especially excited about reading and then I lay it on my night table and glance at it for a few weeks when I come into the room. There is a certain contentment that comes with having an unopened, untouched ‘gift’ waiting for you….an anticipation of sorts of something good in your life for which you, and only you, can decide the perfect time to open.

  5. I know this feeling. Two months ago I bought art supplies and I have only done one drawing – my cactus cookie jar! The perfect packaging can be overwhelming. I suppose creativity gets messy but it’s worth it!!

    Leap and the net will appear.
    ~ John Burroughs

    1. And I’m not opposed to messy, and don’t believe in perfection, so there goes that…I’d love to see your drawing of the cactus cookie jar.

  6. a stitch, a seam, is all in line and real. shows in yur streaming. which is quite nice and makes you actually look at what you see. water color doesn’t have that line but you see the sutle blend of colors that you have seen. Hug the donkey’s, Fanny an Lulu are great! Look at the landscape around you softer, git a box of crayons and blend what you felt. Watercolor make that feeling soothing. plunge into the box Jon gave you and relax!

  7. Maria – Check out Michele Cassou’s book- LIfe, Paint and Passion. She is a hero of mine. I think you’ll appreciate her approach to art and life. Also, watercolor pencils are really cool. The best of both worlds.

  8. Maria, I am not an artist, just an admirer, so I really like your philosophy of being free to do what you like if you don’t know the “rules.” for what it’s worth, try the water colors. You’ll either like it or you won’t and I as your admirer can be free with my lack of art knowledge to admire away! Best wishes!

  9. Hi,

    I know I’m jumping on this thread way late, but if you still have your koi watercolor set and still haven’t used it, I’ll put in a word of encouragement. My wife has this set and she and I both love it! I’m a graphic designer and don’t often use traditional mediums. I used to despise watercolors because I had no control over them, but the first time my wife let me use her koi set I was hooked. The brush was so versatile and I found I could do a lot of great things with it. Totally worth getting those chicklets all messy!

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