Friday, February 6, 2015

Do you dabble?

 The dictionary lists one definition of dabble as "to take part in an activity in a casual or superficial way". If you work mainly in one medium, how often do you dabble in others? Do you enjoy the change, or does it bother you to be less proficient in such "casual or superficial" endeavors? 

I am not a painter—let's get that straight right off the bat—but I wanted to take some art supplies along on my trip to Hawaii last week.When you're trying to capture those Hawaiian colors, a few colored pencils and/or graphite just aren't enough. But I ventured out of my comfort zone (I haven't used watercolor much since high school a hundred years ago) and bought a tiny little set of Winsor & Newton watercolors to take along. (It was just their Cotman line, not the much pricier Professional one, and with my ever-present Aaron Brother's 50% off coupon, it was a deal!)

Here's what I took (you'll notice that I replaced the (mostly useless) half-pan of Chinese White with some nice Payne's Grey):

It all fit nicely into this little 8 x 10 pouch:

I won't subject you to the first little seascape that I did. Yikes. It was such a cliché little thing. Okay, maybe landscapes weren't a great place to start. I usually draw little things, so why not paint little things? So here's what I ended up with, along with the page above.

I had fun, but I found myself trying to "draw" with paint, which only works for some things. Also, I'm used to colored pencil work which involves layers of colors, but too many layers of watercolor look scrubby and muddy. Agh!  And I couldn't decide whether to use ink for the outline drawing, (first 2) or just go with watercolor (last 2). 
Lots to learn. I kept thinking of that old saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none".

So, tell me—do you enjoy dabbling?  Or would you prefer to be a master of one?