The next time you're in Pinterest, search "dreamlovepaint". Your feed will fill to the brim with paintings of colorful flowers, french doors and fluffy cupcakes. Dreama Tolle Perry is a whimsy-colored-painting machine who uses a wet-on-wet oil paintings style called alla prima. There's no way she wasn't having fun when she painted this little jar of joy!
I, on the other hand, used to suck all the fun out of painting. When I painted with watercolors, I knew I only had one shot to get it right, so I would over-plan and over-paint. I would try to control the medium that is most difficult to control. I spent weeks and weeks on one painting, usually because I put it off, avoiding the drudgery of the process.
"Fall in the love with the process", I would always hear, "The joy is in the process". I painted for decades hating the process and only finding joy in the framed piece - that is, when I didn't hate the final result. But I had invested too much time and money at that point, so I HAD to like the darn painting. And it HAD to sell, or all my time and money was wasted, right?
This year, after 25 years of watercolor painting, I switched to oils (at age 49!). I invested in an online painting course by Dreama called Dream Love Paint that taught me so many wonderful lessons I had been missing for so long:
- to relax and enjoy the beauty around me
- to have fun painting with a quick, colorful style
- to use vibrant, transparent colors partially covered by creamy opaques
- to work small and produce many paintings
I don't know what personality type she has, but I am type A all the way. I don't have the light, playful attitude of some artists. I like to complicate things and make them more difficult than they need to be. I want to be excellent at what I do or I don't want to do it at all.
But, I've been learning that it's not about being THE best. It's about being MY best. I'm at my best when I love God, love others, and love what I do. So if I am enjoying life and the process of painting, I will, as a result, excel in ways that can't be forced.
I am finally excited to paint every day. I'm excited to learn to loosen up and interpret my subject in creative ways. I'm also excited to see what the Lord plans to do with this crazy gift He's given me.