How long? That long ....?

Talking to visitors at the various shows where I exhibit, the discussion frequently comes around to "how long have you been painting?" I am happy, of course, to chat about my lifetime of artistic ventures. Not so happy to discuss "how long did it take you to paint that picture?" I used to get the latter question a lot when I showed at wood carving shows and that wasn't so bad, as I often put fifty or a hundred hours into a carving - the major reason why I gave up that art form.

I have been actively painting since 2005 and  painting seriously, by which I mean painting regularly for shows and competitions, since about 2008. Not very long really, but I would suggest that a great deal of artistic experience finds its way into my work, not just the experience of the past few years. I reckon this is true of many artists, once they learn the basic techniques for their chosen medium.

Watercolour has been my weapon of choice. I think I have admired the medium for as long as I can remember and have always wanted to try my hand at it. I was given encouragement to proceed by a very supportive teacher, Ruth Hayes and, later by my advanced teacher, Barry Coombs. I think so many people shy away from painting with watercolour because they believe it's too difficult. Thank goodness I was fortunate in my teachers; there was never any discussion about difficulty - only taking it one step at a time and enjoying the adventure.