It has been 4 years since my book, Watercolor 365, was published and nearly 9 since I started the journey of daily painting and blogging about it.
At the time that I started blogging daily, I had been blogging 2-3 times each week anyways. But that blog was about the events in my artistic life. This new blog, Watercolor Weapons, was a blog offering watercolor techniques, tips and inspiration to my students.
I know I say that I wrote it for my students, but what I don’t admit is that it was actually written for me. At the time of it’s writing, I was going through a difficult part of my life. I had moved to Vancouver, BC from Victoria and felt extremely isolated). A few years before that, I had moved to Canada from the US. You may think that Canada is very similar, but it was still a foreign country. And on top of that, I was an East Coast girl that had moved to the West Coast. I was asked those first few years living in Canada what the differences where, and to be honest, I don’t know if some of the differences were a US/Canada thing or a East Coast/West Coast thing.
So here I was in a foreign country without family and with very little support. Shortly after moving to Canada, I discovered how difficult my marriage was becoming and that I was very much alone to figure out how to navigate this country and to do so without asking for help. I was fortunate enough to get a job teaching art at the local community centers where I made some really wonderful friends. The teaching and the friends became my refuge and I started to think of Victoria as my home in spite of my circumstances.
Then we moved. Again. Time to uproot the kids. Again. Time to start over. Again.
So I started a blog hoping to stay in touch with those students and friends. At first I didn’t admit that it was going to be a daily blog. I just went ahead and kept blogging every day. At first it was general information about watercolor and then I started to throw in some thoughts and quotes about how to stay inspired and to keep going.
At first I thought those thoughts would help and encourage my students and maybe encourage me to keep blogging. Three years after I started that blog, I contracted with a publisher to turn the blog into the book.
The timing for the book was an even more difficult as I was trying to extricate myself from my nightmarish circumstances. It also could not have been a better time for it. During the book’s writing, I realized that my blog was much more than technique about watercolor and words to keep you painting. It was words for me to get up every single day, to keep looking forward, and to keep hoping for something better. It was me being my own cheerleader and it was the words I wanted to hear from others while I felt alone for those many years.
By the time of the book was published, I realized I wasn’t alone at all. I had many, many friends that had become (and still are) my cheerleaders and gave me more than just words of encouragement. So the book became not only words for me to keep going but once again words of encouragement for others to let them know that I hear you, I understand you, and you are not alone.
Keep going. Keep painting. You have something beautiful and unique to say with paint.