5 ways to deal with your old watercolor artworks

What do you do with your mounting pieces of art? Before you know it, they have begun to probably gather a fine layer of dust and have started fading and inching their way into every space available!

Yes! storage does seem to be an obvious solution but we have only so much space! So I came up with 5 very simple ways to handle all the clutter created by old and growing number of artworks.

1.Categorize

This is the most important step. I categorize my artwork chronologically. This is a good way to keep everything organized in one place. It actually also helps me look back at my old paintings and reflect on how much I have grown as an artist. It’s almost like a journal that takes you down your memory lane. However you can also organize your artwork according to subject like flowers, landscapes, portrait etc.

2. Put them up!

Adorn your wall or space! Fish out some pretty or interesting pieces and put them on frames on the wall or counter tops. The best part is you don’t need many frames, just a couple and you can keep changing the display. This works really well in kids’ rooms using their “own art”. Another way to display your artwork is by simply pinning them up on a cork board in your work space area and just watch them bring in some cheer!

3. Create something out of them

While categorizing my artwork I discovered sheets that had only one or two nice pictures. So I cut out the good ones like a bouquet or a flower and then glued it on another piece of paper to use as a bookmark. Or you can glue the cutouts on a card stock paper to create greeting cards also.

4. Gift / Give away

There’s always someone who really cherishes your artwork – your grandma or your friends! Gift them a pretty one. They will LOVE them! You can also donate to the library or to a classroom if you have a lot of nice paintings that need a home.

5. Recycle

Yes you heard it right! There are always some artworks that we are not very proud of and don’t mind getting rid of. Just recycle them and claim back your space!

I hope you liked these tips. If you know of any other tips please share them here. I will appreciate!

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Sunday poetry

S U N D A Y

rest and reflect

day coming full circle,

winding down

to begin all over again tomorrow,

hopes, dreams and desires –

brand new beginnings

and second chances

here’s to another day

Flowers of the day

I thought I would jump start this week with this watercolor collage I painted recently.

Flowers – roses, sunflowers, poppies, pansies, lilies, dianthus, and lavender!

My favorite flower is the rose but I love watercoloring poppies the most…. they are um…so dreamy, fragile, so… surreal!

What flowers do you love to watercolor most?

April showers bring May flowers

..and lots of them!

Here is my latest watercolor floral art that I want to share with you.

Most of the time I paint roses, poppies, sunflowers and lavender, but this time I tried painting plumerias, hollyhocks, and crocuses. Even though I do not have a green thumb, I love painting flowers.

Painting hydrangeas was so much fun. The trick to painting them is you start with the central blossoms coloring them a little darker and as you get to the ones in the periphery you lighten up the shade.

Believe it or not, I found painting the plumerias most difficult even though they look pretty simple! My favorite however was the hollyhocks!!

Lessons from a watercolor landscapes collage

Does practice make perfect? Does it make better? Or is it something else?

I started this set of landscapes in watercolors early this month and just finished it. My goal was to paint the same picture over and over again to get it ‘perfect’ but after two or three, I got so bored and it dawned upon me that I needed to get better not perfect!!

So then the fun began – letting my imagination take over, allowing myself to make lots of mistakes, experiment with colors and have fun.

How often I have held myself back with rigid rules and lofty expectations and then ended up dissatisfied with the end product.

What I learned from this experience is I need not be a perfect artist. I have a style and a process of my own and I just need to embrace it fully.

So if there’s anyone out there like me who doubts herself, just remember you need to ‘enjoy’ the process and own your style.

Another watercolor collage

Here’s another watercolor collage that I started last year (December 2018) and completed this year (yesterday)!! How time flew by!

Next time I might add dates underneath each painting to make it a visual journal so that when I look back I get a better idea of the flow of life. After all, art is a reflection of our thoughts, ideas, and experiences – everything that makes up life. Isn’t that so?

Discovering Gouache

Somewhere in the aisles of Michaels, I discovered Gouache. At first, I struggled to pronounce the word (gwash) and when I finally figured it out, it took me yet some more time to understand its nature, its texture….its purpose! I simply couldn’t fathom why one would need gouache. Didn’t the world already have the transparency of watercolors and the opacity of acrylics and oils?

Anyway, I went ahead and bought a box of gouache paints mostly out of curiosity. But they just sat on the shelf. It was tough to reach out for them. Watercolors seemed so familiar, so comforting….And acrylics so smooth as they gracefully flowed over the canvas while the box of gouache, shy and awkward just sat there forgotten.

Alright! I had to give it a chance so I gingerly opened the box. The colors looked pretty on the palette, no complaints there. I quickly sketched a little scene and started working the paints onto the paper. Gosh! So this is Gouache! Colors – so vibrant, opaque and matte – I fell in love with them! I had to work fast with them (they dry up pretty quickly) but like the acrylics, they are quite forgiving… I could paint over the last layer over and over again and in doing so hide any mistakes or add depth to the surface. The only pain – the paint dries up really fast. In the end, my painting looked just like one of my watercolors except more opaque and bright. 

All in all, I enjoyed the experience and I will paint some more with gouache. But I guess watercolor is still my top favorite medium.

My very first gouache painting!