Awakening at Eighty
Watercolor and story by Phil Reilly
I am a volunteer guide, providing tours for individuals and groups with disabilities, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I have always enjoyed watercolor, both in viewing and in dabbling- in reality, painting for 3-4 weeks, then not painting for 3-4 months. About 10-12 years ago, the Museum had a special exhibition of Winslow Homer's work, which I found extraordinary. It encouraged me to get serious about painting and so I spent the next nine months copying his and other artist's work, trying to figure out how they did what they did. I even took an eight session watercolor course at the museum. But then, unfortunately, other things got in the way and I was back to dabbling.
My main problems were lack of patience- I could never wait until the paint dried, and planning- I would just forge ahead, blindly, toward my next mistake.
But then I turned eighty and as a present, from who knows where, I received the gift of patience. All of a sudden I was planning my work, experimenting with techniques before I started painting in earnest, and waiting for the paint to dry.
Now, I wake up each morning eager to start painting- I'm currently working on all of the family's pets, past and present, with satisfying results. I do most of my learning by experimentation, but would like to receive instruction on color theory, composition and brush techniques. I have viewed the free demonstration course from the Watercolor Academy and was very, very pleased with the quality of the presentation. I would like more of this type of instruction but have never been able to afford the cost.
I hope that people will vote for me because I am finally ready and eager to do the work.
I want to win this Competition and I need your help!
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