Member Spotlight

Vanesa Sanabria

Having spent my entire professional career in the left brain world, I never thought I had a creative bone in my body. Then in 2019, at the age of 57 and having been retired for 2 years, I decided it was time to start working the right side of my brain … if only to help stave off age-related challenges sure to come. I landed on watercolors as was taken by its transparent qualities. Little did I know how much I’d fight with the water-to-paint ratio part as well as the part about leaving some of the paper white (hahaha).

As I started my journey, I was very lucky that the world was about to slow down (my COVID “silver lining”, I suppose) AND that I quickly found two communities which proved perfect for a beginner … one being Susan and her Paint With Me community. Now, with a few years “under my belt”, I am very comfortable saying:

  1. I simply want to paint what, when, and how I (not others) want
  2. I have no ONE style (though I love a good abstract session)
  3. I so enjoy a “detour” no matter how deep the “rabbit hole.”

What does painting do for you?

Painting has brought me so much more than I anticipated. It’s time where I can get lost, it’s creative growth I didn’t know I had the potential for, it allows from me to flex my problem solving skills, it provides a sense of accomplishment, and it brought me new friends … some which I’ve even come to know outside the world of painting and even in real life. I couldn’t have asked for more.

A favorite quote:

Focus on the things you can change and let go of the things you can’t.

How does community play a role in your creative practice?

As a beginner, the Paint With Me community provided me with a “safe space” to ask all the beginner questions. These days it continues to be a place where I can share my work as I grow in my creative practice, where Susan challenges me with new lessons, and where I’m ways learning about new techniques and “tips and tricks”.


Supply Recommendations:

Besides the obvious (for me: Arches 140lb CP paper, Daniel Smith paint, and Silver Black Velvet brushes), I love my Ampersand hardbords and “generic” acrylic sheets for taping my paper onto. Embarrassing admission: I have waaay more paints, ceramic palettes, and brushes than should be allowed (or is necessary. Hahaha.)


Geographic location:

San Antonio, TX. USA


Other (Creative) Outlets:

Watercolor opened the door for me to journaling as well as use other mediums such as watercolor pencils, acrylics, gouache, and oil pastels. I also enjoy reading and working on word/logic,puzzles … and have come to realize that my athletic endeavors are actually creative time.

Grow Creatively While Painting