Why so serious?

I all but lost October to various health tests and specialist visits, and the less said about all of that the better. The very short version is that I’m (continuing to be) on medication that makes me feel awful, until such time as my condition gets bad enough to warrant surgery. It’s obviously not ideal but I don’t have a choice. Well, actually, there is an alternative medication, but it can cause spontaneous hearing loss and/or blindness, so, no thanks. Better the devil I know!

The seriousness in my real life was very much infesting my art too – rather than having fun I was putting increasingly difficult demands upon myself and then beating myself up when I couldn’t achieve them. I went back to gouache and did some studies of the background paintings from My Neighbour Totoro in my sketchbook, and while they turned out OK, some even quite good, I didn’t feel it was enough. I was actually getting quite stressed about art and all of it. Here are some of the studies …

Sketchbook studies in gouache from "My Neighbour Totoro" sketchbook-colour-studies-gouache-1000w

So, in November, I’m going back to pen and watercolour, painting along with the #WorldWatercolorGroup prompts, which all seem to be food related this month! I may do other paintings too, I may get bored with food, I may skip days – who knows. The point is to get back to just having fun with painting instead of turning it into work. Here are the first two … the scans look rough because I’m using a sketchbook that only has 150gsm paper so it buckles with watercolour. I could fix it in Photoshop or use a heavier sketchbook, but again – trying to have fun, not be serious!

If you want to paint along, check out @doodlewashed on Instagram for the prompts.


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