Member Spotlight

Emma M.

I work at an accountancy practice – preparing UK & FR company accounts.

The origin of it all like so much of what you read – is ‘creativity isn’t a real job’, so all childhood/teenage ‘making’ adventures were ditched for more serious paths in academic studies. I literally was told at a careers aptitude analysis testing session (to ‘help’ me find a vocation) at age 18, that if I was not at the top of the art class then I should stick to maths and do business. I wasn’t even taking art at the time …

I started the path towards watercolor when I opened a Pinterest suggestion email in 2016 which lead to:

  1. Falling down the hole of bullet journalling – briefly (2 journals-worth I think), which lead to…
  2. Brush lettering/calligraphy (yep – A LOT of brush pens and coloured pens & monthly challenges), which lead to…
  3. Watercoloring, probably around early 2018, where I still am today, having dropped off intermittently from doing anything creative whatsoever, so each time I come back I start at the beginning again.

I think the art/creative community on Instagram (at the time anyway – I have since removed that time-stealing app from my phone) is hugely encouraging, inviting & kind. It makes you feel like you want to have a go, can have a go, and are able to achieve something creative while actually really enjoying the exploring.

I am very very grateful for it leading me to enthusiastic teachers and learning platforms, for all sorts of creative outlets, and of course eventually and especially to Susan and this community, which IS actually the best resource to come home to, particularly after a break or a dabble elsewhere.

Why do you watercolor?

Painting is my escape. It is just for me. My ‘me’ time, which increasingly I am taking, rather than getting all the things done before actually picking up a brush.

Nobody else in the family does it so there is me able to be alone and unique. I love the freeness, the looseness, the effects, and the almost thrilling excitement of sitting to actually do it, followed by the joy, satisfaction & surprise of what happens, how something turns out and the wonder that it was ME that did THAT. Obviously, there are frustrations too but even when something isn’t going how you think you want it to or think it should then it is all learning and only by perseverance & repetition can we achieve more ‘aha’ moments and secretly smile.

It allows my brain to focus elsewhere and everything else disappears. Sometimes a little more helpful and easier to get into than meditation, where focusing on the breath does not always appeal to an active brain!

A FAVORITE QUOTE:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

– Arthur Ashe

How does community play a role in your creative practice?

I think the fact that I knew literally nothing about watercolouring or painting or drawing at all, means there are no preconceptions or misunderstandings because it is ALL learning and ALL new knowledge to take in and analyse or let it go and let it flow. Having this community to come to to delve into to look around and explore and engage in is amazing because we are all at different levels of ability, knowledge, needs and all eager to learn and create, all with different preferences, for paints, brushes, substrates, effects, & everything so it is a great mix for discovery and encouragement a wonderful place to feel able to share, question, wonder and be amazed.
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Supply Recommendation

Recently I have been enjoying the Rosemary & Co Pointed Round SER301 no 6 brush – painting all the April & May 2024 class swatches and when ‘painting properly’ (not swatching)

The Meeden Cold Press Watercolour paper is great … & cheaper than Arches!

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A Favorite Artist

Current favourite inspirational (love her seemingly simple style landscapes…. ) artist is Valeriane Leblond … a French lady who lives in Wales UK (whereas I am a Welsh lady that lives in France!)

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Geographic location:

In a town that is both a summer (hiking & mountain biking) and winter (ski) resort in the French Alps.
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Other (Creative) Outlets:

I seem to be collecting/gathering/hoarding all sorts of pretty paper, ribbons, cards for potential future maybe mixed media collage (or something) making. I also started with embroidery in that initial fall into a hole in instagram and enjoy stitching small speedy pieces, especially in summertime when painting falls away as I cannot make myself stay inside when it is glorious out and the paint dries way too quickly.

Instagram: @snowflake.sparklies

Want to start painting?