Watercolors…My First Love

Thomas Zuber, Landscape, Watercolor on Paper
Thomas Zuber, Landscape, Watercolor on Paper

I hate watercolors!

A common overheard statement usually borne out of frustration. Too much water on bad paper with no means of control leads to scrubbed fibers and grey-brown blobs of pigment supposed to represent a still-life apple.

Been there. Done that.

For some reason, I was lucky enough to be able to get my BA in Fine Art without ever having to deal with watercolors. For me, they remained a junior high experiment in creative failure and messy tables. I tried them once, couldn’t work with them, and walked away deciding to NEVER work with such a stupid medium again.
How fate laughs at my decisions…

A few years after getting my degree, I found myself TEACHING watercolors to junior high boys and girls. I feared that my failures of the past would catch up with me, invalidating myself in front of critical adolescent eyes. I swallowed my pride and asked another art teacher for advice.

As many artists are, she was more than eager to show her watercolor skills and reveal how she tamed the beast. In the end, learning watercolors was rather simple, once I understood a few things about pigment, water, the right paper, brushes and the use of paper towel.

Looking back, I recall beginning my journey into abstract art using watercolors. I see that they were my first love.

What’s your creative first love?

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