Still Growing, Part 2

Dear Liza,

Last summer, a few months after the Covid shutdown, I started painting with an online group organized by Ruth Inman. It made sense that we should start painting with flowers…. who doesn’t like flowers?

Step by step watercolor Cornflowers

My skills weren’t very good, and I was scared of making mistakes, but being with an old friend put me at ease. The tremor in my hand got in the way a bit, but I’d just power through, realizing that the wiggly lines could be just part of the picture. Flowers don’t have straight lines, anyway.

Wacky candy wrapper collage

As the year passed, Ruth would give us challenges to use different materials, like candy wrappers or other recycled papers. These let me realize that ART didn’t have to mean making a perfect painting every time. The making, the process, was the main thing. If other people liked it when you were done, that was a bonus. But it was not the main goal.

Fun with Acrylics

Realizing that, I got more confident. I also came to understand that different media work in different ways. Watercolors always show through, so planning is crucial. Acrylics are more forgiving and will cover up mistakes. Collage needs a careful hand but is amazingly freeing. And all of these can be used in the same piece, if you like!

This is my new favorite, a remembering of a drive along the Willamette. As I sat on a bench looking at Mt. Hood far away across the river, I planned out how I would construct it. Watercolors for the sky and ground, THEN the distant mountain (out of a bit of Kleenex box), THEN the flowers/ trees in front of it, then the river and dogs. I found the note in the sky folded up in our picnic table, and wanted to include it.

Close up!

I built up from the background to the foreground, and was pleased with how it turned out. The snow on the mountain is a tiny bit of Posca marker.

I’ve learned a lot this year. Mostly, I learned that I am still learning, which is a good thing.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

4 thoughts on “Still Growing, Part 2”

  1. Jude, Thanks for sharing!  I love this new picture.  So fun and cheerful too.  Great to see how you’re growing as an artist.   Do they know what is causing your hand tremor?  I have another friend with that too, though I haven’t asked about the cause.  My Aunt had it too (I didn’t know why), but my folks didn’t have it. I’m just off the phone with Jackie.  She’s driving up to Chico by herself today to spend Easter weekend with Joel.  Typically he is in school on Saturday’s but probably has a full weekend due to the holiday.  It’s going to be her last trip to see him.  He’s expected to complete his Academy course by mid to late June.   Going out to walk the dog. Elaine 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  2. Jude, as soon as I opened your email and saw those blue cornflowers my face lit up with a big smile. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of you for pushing forward. The growth in your confidence and your art has filled my heart with more joy than you know. And the fact that you now realize it’s the process and making yourself happy that matters is a bonus! I love seeing where your art goes and I love seeing your face on my screen every other week. I really really miss you when you can’t make it. Thanks for being back in my life. 🙂 …Ruthie


    1. Dear Ruthie,
      I had a bad night and didn’t really want to get out of bed, but seeing your comment made me glad I did! I owe you so much for your encouragement and help and silliness this year, I can’t put it in words. I’m glad that seeing this old face gives you joy.

      Sent from my iPad


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