Red Tulips & Watercolors

Stop Thinking, Start Doing –

This week has made me realize a few things…First, I’m not sure I’ve ever really paid much attention to Spring weather before. In the past, I’ve always been too preoccupied with finishing projects for class or dreading being at work.

Red Tulip Reference 1

Now that neither is the case, I think I was insane for EVER saying Spring was my favorite season. Obviously, I didn’t know what I was talking about. Because I like warm breezes and hot weather. Not cool breezes and warm-ish weather. It’s a constant struggle of taking on and off my sweatshirt. And I can’t stand it! (Don’t mind me as I daydream about the hot summer days ahead. Sigh…)

Watercolor ProjectWatercolor Paints

Anyway, back to it… Second, I’m realizing that just because I don’t feel motivated to work on projects this week, doesn’t mean I’m incapable. It just means I’ve had to redirect my weekly plans to find more fitting projects. You know, the projects that sound fun, easy, and carefree. The projects that don’t need all my attention and focus, but the ones that I can mindlessly work through and enjoy.

Paint Brushes

And honestly, if I hadn’t told you…would you even know I was feeling unmotivated? Probably not! But I think it’s worth sharing, because I know I’m not the only one who feels unmotivated at times. And with this blog, it probably comes across that I have an endless supply of creative motivation and inspiration. Which is NOT true, but I’m not letting that hold me back, and neither should you! Everything comes in ebbs and flows, and as long as you keep pushing forward…IT’S ALL GOOD!

When Inspiration Hits –

Luckily for me, this past weekend I gathered a lot of inspiring photos from the Rolling Hills Zoo (click here to read more). Which made finding a fun, easy, and carefree project to work on this week much less difficult than anticipated! Inevitably, a few photos stood out in my mind, but didn’t quite make the cut for my blog post. But nevertheless, those beautiful, vibrant, red tulips just had to be seen! (I couldn’t let them go to waste!)

Tracing Paper Compositions
Transfering Sketch

So, what better way to make use of those photos than to use them as reference for art! As most people know, some artists prefer working from reference (i.e. people, objects, photos). Whereas other artists prefer working from their imagination. Personally, the only time I like working from my imagination is when I’m sketching or doodling for fun. Otherwise, I just don’t feel like I’m doing the subject justice.

Watercolor BaseMixing Watercolors

But that doesn’t mean I strictly work from reference. Usually it’s just a means to get started. You know…to become motivated! Sure, my artwork will look similar to the reference photo in more ways than one. But art has a funny way of morphing into what it wants to be. For me, usually that means: slightly realistic, but mostly whimsical and cute.

Personal Style & Preferences –

I know my art is mostly whimsical and cute, but you might be wondering…well, what’s my style? That my friend, is something you’ll have to practice and develop on your own! The best way to develop a style is by practicing. That’s how my personal style developed, through a lifetime of practice. Like most people, I took art classes all through elementary, middle, and high school. However, unlike most people, I also took art and design classes in college.

Graphite Shading

For anyone who’s never taken a college art or design course, let me fill you in! Like most college courses, there are two or three classes a week. Unlike most college courses, each class is almost three hours long…EVERYTIME! (Two hours and fifty minutes to be exact. I’ve counted down the time to get through a lot of them. Phew!) So, as you can imagine…all those hours of art and design classes lend themselves to a well-developed personal style and preference.

Red Tulip Painting

But that’s not to say I’ve found my personal style and now I’m done. Art doesn’t work like that. Art, and the artistic skills and abilities that come along with it, are ever-evolving. And what’s really nice about art is that it’s like a lot of other skills…you don’t have to go to college to be good at it. Sometimes you have natural talents, but mostly it’s just like anything else: Hard work and a little inspiration, motivation, and diligence can get you a long ways!

Red Tulip Detail

I hope you’re feeling more motivated than I have this week! But no matter, if art is important to you, or an interest to you, make it a priority. I know it’s hard (and a bit intimidating), but pick up a pencil or a paint brush and see where it takes you—find your style! (And just be happy you’re not stuck in a college class for two hours and fifty minutes!!! Yuck.)




  1. Cathy sent me your blog and I have enjoyed looking through it! I’m the owner of Main ARTery in Ulysses and wondered if you would like to show me more of your art in person? And possibly show your pieces here?

    Since it’s Easter holiday, if you’d like to visit, we are open 10-5:30pm Tuesday through Friday, 10-4pm on Saturday. If you’d like to come in that’d be great. Our phone number is 620-424-3828
    Tracy Teeter

  2. This is Tracy Teeter – I will be gone next week until Thursday, April 20. Sorry, forgot to put that in the last comment.

Leave a comment