When I was in high school I wanted to be a fashion illustrator. Back in the day, art wasn't usually thought of as a viable career so I ended up on my Dad's advice, going into the business world, and spent 10 uninspired years after college as an insurance underwriter. It's a funny thing though, I have found that often people reconnect with their earlier dreams, and find some way to express what is most meaningful to them. For me, it meant finding my way back to a creative path-photography, scrapbooking, painting, knitting...the list goes on. Any day with creativity is a good day!
It makes me sad to hear that the arts are often the first thing cut in a school budget. I feel that the ability to think creatively is so important to finding solutions to problems. At any rate, in the art world today, you hear a lot of buzz about watercolor journals. It's hard to pick up a schedule of classes at Community Ed without finding something on watercolor or visual journaling.
You see things differently when you observe them slowly and take note of the details. The best thing about Watercolor Journaling, is that you do it for yourself. You don't have to be a good artist-as with most endeavors, you get better by just doing it.
Here's a painting of what it looked like from our balcony at the Scottsdale Fairmont Hotel last fall... as you can see I'm just a beginner.
It's fun to photograph with the intent of painting at a later time.
These images were photographed at the Eugene OR Farmers Market, and painted later.
Also, your supplies are very portable and inexpensive...what you need, you can fit into a large Baggie. Basic supplies include a 2B pencil, kneaded eraser, watercolor paint kit ($20-35), a couple of good brushes, a 10' x 7' Field Watercolor Journal with 140 lb paper ($ 15), and something to hold water. Of course, you'll need watercolor tissue i.e. Kleenex! I hope you try water color journaling-you'll see life in a whole new way. As one of my teachers once said "If you don't know what to paint, start with your breakfast."