I tried, I really tried. Inspired by the beautiful traditional watercolors exhibited at the 2014 Sunny Vista Art Show in Colorado Springs and by some brilliantly-hued tulips, I tried to paint slowly, intentionally and in a sort-of-traditional style. I couldn’t completely control my spontaneous bursts of energy, so I knew I wasn’t going to fully succeed anyway. But then these lovely washes of color sprawled across my paper and I could no longer control the irresistible urge to paint the energy of the tulip – growing, reaching, becoming!
I entered three pieces in the Sunny Vista show, and I was disappointed that only one, “Safe Passage,” was accepted. However, when I saw the show hung, I was grateful that one was selected. My style just doesn’t fit. I’m not sure where I belong. I started out painting traditional watercolor in my late teens, but now I mix media and push the boundaries of watercolor, pastel, and other materials. My “style” launched through a shaky transition. In art school at the University of Denver, watercolor classes weren’t even offered. My professors pushed me to press through painting what I saw in front of me, to painting an invisible reality. I resisted at first, then discovered new freedom and joy.
Now I can’t go back. It was an odd feeling this week, trying to recover the former things and finding that the trail is obscured. Although I am not at all sure where I am headed, I know I need to keep pressing forward, trusting the One who declares all new things. The One who whispers to me to keep walking into what is springing forth, into what He will tell me. (Isaiah 43:9)