Making a Beautiful Mess

Shortly after returning home from our second failed adoption attempt this year, and while I was deep in the hard work of grief and missing more than a few buttons, I signed up for a watercolor illustration class. I certainly didn’t feel like painting (or creating anything for that matter), but I knew I needed something–something to look forward to, something that would make me get out of bed and at least pretend to be living life again. Because sometimes the way you get through a tough time is by faking it and you keep on faking it until one day you find you’re not faking it anymore. So I signed up for Danielle Donaldson‘s online class, Creative Girl: Storybooks and Studious Girls. It was offered through Jeanne Oliver’s Creative Network.

So class started. I dragged my butt out of bed and showed up (mostly because I’ll be damned if I’ll throw away good money). I won’t say it changed my life or anything, but it was a step in the right direction, and it was a lot of fun. Here’s what happened:

No laughing.

Okay, you can laugh, but quietly.

First I doodled some bottoms.

Girl Bottoms PicMonkey Collage 600px

Then I doodled some tops and heads.

Girl Tops and Heads PicMonkey Collage 600pxI put the pieces together.

Complete Girl Sketches PicMonkey Collage 600px

And added some color.

Girls with color PicMonkey Collage 600px

Voila! A character was born.

Complete Girl with color PicMonkey Collage 600px

I think she is my favorite.

Complete Girl with Color2PicMonkey Collage 600px

This was my first time (since kindergarten) playing with watercolor and it was really fun. It behaves so differently from acrylic. I like how imprecise it is. I found that when I stopped trying to control the paint so much and allowed it to get really wet and messy, things started to look a whole lot better. And (surprise, surprise) I felt a whole lot better too. I am always amazed at how healing creating can be. And then I’m amazed that I’m amazed, because it happens. Every. Single. Time.

So go forth, my fellow creatives.

Be brave.

Show up.

And get messy!


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