One of my Christmas gifts was a beautiful set of watercolour paints, brushes and paper. Since I received them, it has amused me that I have kept looking at them, handled them, read lots of articles about 'starting with watercolours' on the internet, browsed the art department in Salts Mill and daydreamed - all without ever picking up a brush. The dallying comes from being strongly a reflector/theorist by nature. I haven't used watercolours since I was at primary school and it's a long time since I tried anything remotely artistic (apart from photography, which is a wholly different endeavour). I finally put 'PAINT' on my 'To Do' list, marked DO IT!
Eventually, on New Year's Day, I did it. Filled up a small jam jar with water, unwrapped all the sweet little pans of colour and tentatively began to paint. It seemed safer to start with abstracts, just to explore how the paint feels and works and how wet-on-wet blends into itself. I learned that: it dries pretty quickly; too little pigment dries looking very pale; the gradual bleeding of colours goes on longer than you might imagine and is hard to control; it's easy to contaminate the little pans with other colours; too much colour mixing results in a brownish tint; the wet-on-wet looked better when I added some wet-on-dry embellishment ... and ... it's fun! Quite quick, too, as a way of producing something vaguely artistic.
I didn't start out with any pre-formed idea of what might result. These ended up looking a bit like slices of fantastic fruit perhaps? As a first attempt I was pretty pleased with it, anyway. I love the colours I achieved and it has encouraged me to keep on making an hour here and there to experiment. I hope I will get bolder and more confident with practise.