How It Started: Rachael started painting watercolor earnestly in November of 2018, but had attempted a galaxy painting a month prior. "I hated it. The paints didn’t do what I wanted and I had no idea of where to even start with watercolor paints. For whatever reason, I still kept that first galaxy painting and I’m glad I did."
"Improvement is subtle."
I was nervous about putting my work out there, especially if I was not happy with it. I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist, so I’m my own worst critic. Once I started getting into watercolor, I needed to let go of some of that control. Watercolor painting has helped me learn how to ‘go with the flow’ and incorporate that into my relaxation time.
Rachael, unlike most artists has a tribe of friends and family members who support her artwork. "My aunt and I have long shared a love of art, she used to give me fine art supplies and take me to different classes. I loved drawing animals, so I have many sketchbooks filled with attempted horses, cats, dogs, dragons & birds.
Life, however, got in the way and I pretty much dropped art as a hobby through high school and most of college. When I picked up art again last year, my family and friends were thrilled. My aunt and I even have ‘art dates’ again, including my best friend who rides horses and does art with us too!
"Additionally, my mom, dad, and brother have been extremely supportive – my mom rides with me, but never got into painting. Nonetheless, when I hosted my first watercolor workshop this past summer, guess who was there! My aunt, my best friend, and my mom! The loving support around me makes it possible for me to create."
I mostly get my inspiration from color palettes and photos – Pinterest is a great help! Other artists in the community also inspire me to do better, to take risks in my pieces, and expand my repertoire. My aunt is also my inspiration. Her and I both share a love for art and horseback riding. Two hobbies now I cannot live without! I have many joyful memories featuring my aunt and these things – art dates, horseback riding dates, sometimes combined art and horseback riding dates!
I sell my art on Etsy, through word-of-mouth on Facebook, at local craft sales, and my family and friends! I am looking to get a website soon, and am planning on having my art featured in some local galleries!
What Would You Tell Your Future Self?
Be patient & practice. When I first started, I approached a piece with exact intentions, wanting it to look exactly like the image I had in my head. The nature of watercolor is unpredictable. Sometimes the paints just do what they want. Now, I approach a piece with an idea in mind & let it develop naturally. Before i start a project I’ll have some colors picked out, a general idea (i.e. a galaxy with mountains up front), and then I’ll just paint. It’s difficult to let go of control, and I still find myself struggling with this occasionally. I’m a constant work in progress, as we all are. The sooner we can accept this, the better we’ll become!
It’s okay to incorporate things you enjoy about other artists’ works, but in order to truly develop your own unique style you must be true to yourself and your desire to create. Look inward, not outward.
"Be inspired by others, be honest with yourself."