#100DayProject: Watercolors-Week 1

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you insane your whole life.” -Anne Lamott

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you may remember I started my photography journey this time last year by participating in the #100DayProject. It was a wonderful experience of growth and I appreciated how much feedback and advice I received throughout the process. I discovered photography was more than a passing hobby, it was something I love and will continue to do for the rest of my life.

When I saw it was time again for the #100DayProject, I did a lot of journaling about what I might do this year to grow as a creative. The idea of perfectionism kept coming up and my desire to think more out of the box. I’ve been exploring this idea of abstraction in my poetry, but I want to push myself further. As both my children did a lot of watercolor painting in their Waldorf education, and I’ve always admired how the colors blend across the paper, I decided to focus the next 100 days on exploring watercolors.

I’ve always been very critical of my lack of artistic skills. Embarrassed would probably be a more accurate word. Art, to my untrained eye, always appears to contain a fair amount of magic and natural ability I don’t possess. So, it was very important before starting this project to create some guidelines to work within. I’m not trying to learn skills or techniques, but rather to allow for exploration, stress relief, and self-expression. I’ve given myself a few guidelines:

  • be messy and imprecise
  • have fun with the process
  • don’t overthink
  • don’t plan
  • don’t judge the finished painting
  • be brave

This first week was challenging. I looked up images in books and online and when I tried to duplicate them found myself getting into the mindset of failure and comparison. It was only when I started painting my feelings and allowing myself to be silly, it started to feel more enjoyable. Each week I’ll share 3-4 paintings without commentary (other than perhaps this format of including a haiku). I hope you’ll enjoy watching me experiment with letting go.

Here are my offerings for Week 1:

wiggly bright full moon
shining in a pale green sky
you grow lovely plants

colors dance freely
across the watery page
revealing flowers

hidden dark red sky
delicate flower bouquets
spring is almost here

wavy broken lines
colorful light bright puzzle
what things do you see?

79 thoughts on “#100DayProject: Watercolors-Week 1

  1. I like the guidelines you set yourself; many of these also encompass writing; I lie ‘be messy’; love these sketches, Bridgette, they have charm and innocence; love too the little ditties that go with them; my fave ? #4 , I see Ukraine in there, I reckon —

    Liked by 4 people

    • I suppose they do! I first started writing more when I decided that waiting for perfect prose wasn’t the way to go, but giving myself permission to write badly in order to grow has changed everything.
      I’m so happy you found charm and innocence and Ukraine within these first attempts. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s so cool that you’re getting into a new hobby! I do hope you enjoy watercolor like you enjoy photography.

    It’s true that perfectionism is awful. I am a bad perfectionist and I end up getting performance anxiety. It’s exhausting. That’s why I have to basically be my own “coddler” and try to make myself safe and happy enough to draw, despite the bad thoughts I get while doing it and the criticisms not even applied to me.

    We got this.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks, Michele. I think it’s a huge part of my healing journey—being willing to try new things. I spent so much of my life trying to be invisible, hiding behind others, or blending into the background. It’s hard sometimes to keep going, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come from the day I started this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome, Bridgette. I understand. Writing and sharing on a blog has rewarded me with self-discovery and healing, having started my blog a few months after my father passed. Photography is an enjoyable bonus for me and I love that it gets me outside!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. So amazing you watercolour painting. I like the guidelines set yourself. I love the haiku. And recommend the watercolour arts.
    It’s true that perfectionsim is awful. Inspiring guidelines.
    Look forward to seeing these, Bridgette!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve always been a writer in some capacity and have aspirations of being published, while I don’t think I’ll ever have the desire or natural skills to be an artist. I do wonder if I’ll find the act of painting becomes as necessary to my mental health as journaling. Will see ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      • With any of these things, it’s the enjoyment of the process, I think.
        I have mixed with people who have been published and it’s not all it’s made out to bew. Yes, published, but 12 hours work for renumeration that’d hardly buy you a coffee? There are better ways of erarning a living. Sure, there is Stephen King but how many people like that are there?
        Even self-publishing is a lot of time for a small reward. I’m happy to publish what I like, when I like, and be done with it.
        Besides, “published” just means someone thinks they can sell it. Doesn’t mean it’s any good!

        Liked by 2 people

      • You are very right, it’s about the enjoyment of the process. I’m trying to get to the place where I paint without judgement or expectation. I’m excited to see if I’m able to get closer to doing that as the 100 days progress.

        You are right about publishing, but it’s still my dream. I want to leave behind books my kids can have on their shelves and give to friends. I want my stories to mean something to them…and if others like them, that’s a bonus!

        Also, you are so right. Published doesn’t mean good or that it will sell. I suppose I should reframe my goal as wanting to write stories others enjoy instead of being published—they aren’t the same thing.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Watercolor is a great medium for the growth you seek. The water goes where it wants, making the paint do wonderful things. You are off to a good start with these paintings, I can’t wait to see where your 100 day journey takes you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a kind comment. Thank you. I love what you said-the water goes where it wants. That’s life too and it seems like a beautiful metaphor for flowing and learning to turn our journey into art.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I can’t draw either, but I am trying to push myself past the place where I put limits on how I think about what I can and can’t do. I want to explore new ways of thinking and processing my feelings.


      • You’re welcome. I do understand what it’s like to think *not very good at art*. Personally, I’ve struggled my entire life since the 6th grade with it. In 6th grade the art teacher yelled at me in front of the whole class saying that I was ruining a class project. Ouch. It stuck. BUT, a couple years ago, I started in, doing art again. Best I can tell, ALL art is needed. Even if we don’t think we’re good enough, our art is still needed in this world because no one makes our art like WE do. Shine, girl, shine! Love your paintings!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Congratulations, Bridgette, on taking on another 100-day challenge. I wouldn’t have a clue where to start as I seem not to have an artistic bone in my body (or so I was told at school!) Is it any wonder I have no confidence in art or even attempting it? Your watercolours are just lovely, though. I have two favourites, the first being #2 (the design reminds me of tie-dying t-shirts when I was younger. It resulted in brightly-coloured patterns like your painting, which brings back happy memories for me). Also, I love #4, which I see as countries, as others have said. I’m sure that the yellow/orange shape at the bottom centre is a slightly squiggly shape of the United Kingdom (probably only in my eyes.) I can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous paintings. This sounds like the beginning of a wonderful adventure for you. Enjoy it all. You have so much talent, my friend. Much love to you and your daughter, as always. Xx 🌷💛🌹

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Ellie. I hear this so much from people—someone tells a child they aren’t good at something and so they don’t do it ever again. I feel that way about dance, something I LOVED and still LOVE. I took ballet at 5 and the lady told my mother, in front of me, I was uncoordinated and it “wasn’t for me.” Those words have stuck with me far longer than I care to admit.

      I encourage you to keep trying new things, Ellie. You are a creative writer and I bet you could do wonderful things with paint and a brush. It’s all about getting out of our heads and not worrying what others think of the final product. (I’m working on both!)

      I grew up with a very hippy dad, so maybe I’m drawn to the tie-dye look! I painted another this morning in a similar style. I just really love watching the colors blend into each other—it’s magical.

      Hope you are well dear friend. Thank you for being my biggest supporter. I appreciate you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ” It was only when I started painting my feelings and allowing myself to be silly, it started to feel more enjoyable. ” That’s a beautiful line. I often feel the same way as I was very much afraid of doing something wrong and being ridiculed. And your pictures always look lovely!!!

    Liked by 3 people

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