#100DayProject: Watercolors-Week 5

“The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.”—Lester Bangs

Welcome to the fifth week of my #100DayProject. While last week my focus was on happiness and light, this week it has shifted to mistakes. The first two paintings of the week were such a mess I started to wonder why I’m even doing this. My inner critic grew fangs and I became insecure and super wobbly. I dramatically announced to my family that I was quitting painting because “I suck” and “it’s too hard.” My family said nothing, wisely, and I eventually sent myself to my room and reread the guidelines I wrote down in week one:

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

With these points in mind, I tried again. With the exception of the flowers, these are all outside my comfort zone. They are messy and a bit strange, but oddly I found myself relaxing more in the mess. I wonder where letting myself live in this jumbled mistake zone will lead me? I’ve got nine more weeks to find out. Let me know if you have a favorite painting or haiku and thanks for sticking with me as I figure out how to take myself less seriously.

under the big top
spring carnival awakes
can you hear its call?

pitter pat splatter
colorful little clatter
what does it matter?

fingertip dancing
fuzzy family photo
dressed in regal green

messy self-portrait
hiding blue moon memories
tomorrow brings sun

tulips reaching high
calling out your sacred name
remember—be brave

70 thoughts on “#100DayProject: Watercolors-Week 5

    • I’m glad you like that haiku. I read an article recently that said a haiku shouldn’t rhyme, but I really like it (and I’m a big fan of doing what we aren’t supposed to in poetry and art). For that third painting, I was playing around with my nephew and started just pressing into the paint with my fingertips. I was going to throw it out, but when it dried I really liked how it looked.

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      • It looks so cool! It looks kind of like a resist! I have some pictures I might post maybe where I use crayolas as a resist. I thought you might have used alcohol.

        And, I doubt the haiku we all make are any similar to their Japanese counterparts, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I wrote a sonnet for class and didn’t add a turn to it, but it was okay because many writers don’t add turns most artists don’t anyway. English is also much different than Italian so our syllable format and how it’s written will be much different. I think it’s great as it is and the rhyming makes it comfortable.

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      • It certainly does! More staining pigments make some wacky textures, but granulating colors hardly move any. It’s actually quite interesting. Salt is another form of resist and (you know from a science class) dries out the water quickly by sucking it in but pushes away pigment (but sometimes causes little cute rings around them). There’s so many salts to choose from. The bigger the salt particles, the more dramatic the effect (depending). Kosher salt reacted quite strong.

        But with colors that are mixed with a nongranulating, non flocculating pigment and a heavy, granulated pigment, they will separate with salt and can become visible. This also occasionally happens to pigments of different weights.

        A color called cascade green by Daniel Smith granulates, but with salt, its granulation is extreme.

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      • Thank you for all this great information. I’m learning, like anything new I attempt, the learning curve seems steeper and steeper the more I learn. I’m going to try my best to come up with some interesting images for next week.

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      • Same! I feel this way about writing, photography, nutrition, art…pretty much anything I want to get better at. The well of knowledge runs deep and I try and remember I’m on my own journey. Comparisons will only hurt me/you/everyone in the long run.

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  1. ‘My inner critic grew fangs and I became insecure and super wobbly’ – this’s happened to me too SO many times 😅. Glad you powered through it! And 2’s a great abstract painting that really bursts in colour – hope it wasn’t one of those you were displeased with. ❤

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    • Thank you for relating. It’s so crazy how much we have to fight against ourselves to keep going. I was very insecure about all these paintings, but I’m glad you like #2. I’m not trying to be an artist, but I can’t help but be disappointed I’m not growing. It’s human nature, I think, to want to see improvement and to continue to push ourselves.

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    • Thank you! That was the painting I’m most insecure about. I’m a huge fan of children’s books and my dream someday would be to collaborate with an artist to make a beautiful children’s book. I’m so happy it made you think of that 🙂

      I hope you return to watercolors and you share yours. I’ll be looking out for it!

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    • Thanks, Nicole. It’s getting harder and harder to not want to be better (even though I said these 100 days are not about skill). It’s hard to not want to see growth and to come up with new ideas of what to paint. It’s a bit overwhelming thinking about painting 63 more.

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  2. The first painting’s my favorite — and I’m not even all that fond of blue, apart from our bluebonnets! I do have a little story for you.

    The mother of a friend was downsizing after her husband died. She was quite the accomplished artist: some of her large florals hang in the state capitol, or did. She gave me a couple of paintings, but I asked if I could have one she had placed in her ‘discard pile.’ It was smallish, on fiberboard, and done in acrylics. It showed a winter scene: a cabin, trees, plenty of snow, and a cardinal in a tree. I loved it, and put it in a special place.

    One day, she asked if I still had it. When I said I did, and that I loved the red cardinal especially, she started to laugh. She laughed so hard I worried that she might choke.. When she composed herself, she explained. What I’d seen as a cardinal was a bit of red paint she’d dropped into the painting by accident. She didn’t think she could paint over it effectively, so she just left it: my favorite bird started life as a mistake. Methinks there might be a lesson there!

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    • You are so kind! Thank you. I know my art isn’t ever going to obtain some kind of mastery, but it’s helping me get outside of my comfort area and that can only improve my writing. I’m so glad you found them delightful. ❤️

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  3. Oh Bridgette, I love what you do. You know, it not necessarily the poem/painting, but the process I see, and adore. Of self-doubt, well how many years have I been in my poem kitchen. Some moments I look, think pretty good, why are folk not getting what I write? Turn around, the other side wonders, thinks what drivel my writing is. They take turns, still, after all these years. THAT is the nature of judgments, both ways, both pretty useless. Your “guidelines” are spot on.

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    • Thank you, Neil. You are so right. The judgments we place on ourselves are pretty useless. A writing friend once told me to write the truest thing I know and then let it be—what happens after isn’t something to concern myself with. It stuck with me. I can rework a painting, poem, short story, novel until they are a shadow or maybe a muddy puddle of what they are. Creation is a lot of just getting out of our own way and stopping the constant barrage of judgment. My best work has always come through play.


  4. part 2, getting odd again…

    Be brave. Know that you are loved (by so many of us). You brighten me. AND I love #1, so interesting, #2, obvious isn’t it, #3 cause family paintings are just right to do, #4 because you ARE brave & invite us in, #5 cause it’s all sacred. (AND #3 again because that makes you trustworthy and opens my heart)

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  5. So beautiful & silent colour combination watercolour painting. All is best paint. Love & inspiring 4th & 5th Haiku.
    Beautiful you sharing your 100day project watercolour painting with Haiku, Bridgette!

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  6. Well, I liked them all Bridgette. My favorite paintings were #s 2, 4, and 5 with #2 being the all-time favorite with a perfect haiku to accompany it. Looking at #1 I saw legs of chorus line dancers on stage behind an opening (or closing) curtain. See all the heads of the audience? Fun, fun, fun. I am about to start my art time for today and these paintings are inspiring.

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    • I love that you saw a chorus line of dancers! I see it now 🙂 I’m so happy you like my attempt at art and haiku—it means so much to me. Hope you had a wonderful painting day!


  7. #2 and #5 are tied for me….#2 has such a fun, light hearted feel to both the painting and haiku 💞 #5…you can’t do wrong with tulips 💞💞💞 I’m glad you went back to the parameters you set for yourself…that danged self critic needs to just hush and learn how to have fun! 💞💞💞

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  8. Well done for pushing through your doubts, Bridgette. I love these paintings. My favourites are #1 (it’s just the type of picture I would be likely to create and have done so in the past). It’s something about the order and details of the pattern. I love the haiku with it, too. I also like #2 just for its randomness, but then the haiku tells us more. Brilliant as always, my friend.

    I hope you will forgive me for not having caught up with your recent posts. I’m really struggling to catch up with all the blogs I missed when the children were here. I hate deleting people’s posts if I haven’t left a comment, although I do read them all, but I’m getting somewhat overwhelmed, and my concentration is awful right now. I hope to get back on track soon. Sending you much love Xx 💖🤗💞

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    • Hi, Ellie! I’m so glad you had the kids to visit. I’m really behind in reading blogs too and might have to be okay with missing some. Life gets busy and it’s totally okay. It’s a treat to hear from you, but it’s not an obligation. Hope you are feeling well and you have a beautiful day ❤️

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