Faith Real Life

A touch of watercolour and a stroke of simplicity

September 22, 2017

It was my second mother’s day and when my husband asked me what I’d like, I had to stop and think. Well, I wanted something that was just for me, that I could find rest in. Something that was creative, but didn’t require technology or a lot of forethought. I wanted something that was pretty (as per usual). Thus came the idea to take a trip to Michaels together and get a few starter watercolor supplies. I was elated!

Troy made me promise that I would do it for the pure joy of creating, and not have the expectation of being good at it right away. Or ever.

That was a hard thing to agree to. But, what’s the point in doing it if I’m not going to be good at it. See, even at 36 I am still learning this lesson I know I will be teaching our girls in just a few short years!

I tend to complicate things. Anyone else? And like to be good at them right away, or else, what’s the point?

The point is to learn something new for the sake of learning. The point is to create for the sake of creating.

The point is, to try, and fail, and try again.

The painting on the left was what I started with – a picture of a field of hydrangeas. Can’t you see it? 😉 Hydrangeas are a favourite and they appeared simple enough in the picture I found online. Not so, says the newbie with a paint brush. It was created one day at naptime as I started to learn what watercolor actually meant and how to layer. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it, but I had fun trying.

Then the picture on the right is what I tried next – some simple botanicals. And I love them!

When I look at this, it’s a reminder to me that starting simple is beautiful, that trying is worth it, and that learning anything new takes time. I want my daughters to see how their mamma tries new things and is okay with it not being perfect or the way she originally thought it would be. To create for the sake of creating.

I was listening to a podcast this week by Coffee & Crumbs as three moms talked about their challenges with perfectionism in different areas of life. And they talked about in Genesis 1 how when God was creating the world and everything in it, He didn’t step back and fix this and that and wonder what people would think – He enjoyed creating us ya’ll. He stepped back and just said, “It is good.” (Gen 1:31).

As someone who can’t help but create, I needed this reminder: creating for the sake of creating is good in itself. This blog is a form of creation for me. And sometimes starting with, and sticking to, simplicity is where it’s best.

Because you know what? I love watercolor. I love the rest and escape it gives me. I love developing a new skill, even though I have MUCH to learn. It feeds me in a way I need right now.

Whether it’s meal planning, decorating, weekly schedules, creating a new habit, or planning your career growth – sometimes sticking with simplicity, if that’s where you’re at, is best. Set aside the expectations that it has to be perfect the first time, and create for the sake of creating.

And it is good.

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