Watercolor Painting as a Healing Path

When I first began painting, it was kind of like a ray of hope blasted through the shell that my existence had become.  I was trying to find a new hobby, anything to get into and I looked at the bookshelf and saw an old crayola set of watercolors there.  I happened to have a pad of paper and just began washing colors onto the page.  Something in me shifted just applying the paint to the paper.  It was so freeing and felt like a weight had been lifted.

At the time I didn't have any experience with art.  The last time prior that I had done anything with visual art was in middle school, Seventh grade.  So I had absolutely no visual art skills when I began at about the age of 28.  I got a book called "The Big Book of Painting Nature in Watercolor" and got into painting really primitive landscapes and florals.  

If you are looking for a creative hobby, something to be passionate about, I recommend watercolor above all else to begin with.  There is something about painting with the watery, flowing pigments that stirs something within your heart.  It gives you the freedom to get messy and watercolor is the perfect place to make mistakes and just play.

All you need is a cheap set of watercolor pan paints, paintbrush, an old mug to designate as a water source and some watercolor paper.  Splash some color on the page and see how it feels to express yourself with a bit of color.  There are tons of free tutorials online about using watercolor, which is how I got started.  

When you allow yourself the freedom to play with watercolor, something in you will shift. Especially if you are a perfectionist, watercolor guides you to accepting imperfections on the page and imperfections about yourself as well.  When you can accept the totality of who you are, just as you are in this moment...there is power there.  It is a place to begin again.

SpiritualityKathryn Sturges