|"North Yorkshire Moors at Twilight"|
This is the introduction for my six week watercolour course for beginners called 'The Magic of Watercolour':
"It seems to me that making marks or painting has been a fundamental part of the human experience since the dawn of time. Even the old caveman took time off from making grunting noises and dragging his wife round by her hair (do NOT try this at home!!!) to make exquisite paintings on cave walls that have survived to this day. Using basic materials and simple colours they recorded what was going on around them and the animals they depended on for survival. So people have always painted and always will I hope. In pre-camera times painters used to record events and places in paint but even back then the vast majority of people painted not for posterity but for enjoyment. Today more people than ever before paint for pleasure and you are now one of them. Obviously there are many factors but one of the main reasons for painting has to be that its fun. We are here to enjoy ourselves. Please, please promise me that you will never forget that. When all is said and done it is only a piece of paper. Winston Churchill painted for fun as a pleasant antidote to the weighty responsibilities he carried on his shoulders and he famously remarked – “I could shout at it, curse it, screw it into a ball, throw it in a bin and it never once did anything back to me…it is just a piece of paper!”. This is a very good lesson to remember unless of course you really want to live and paint in a cold attic, drink absinthe and maybe even cut your ear off to be a ‘proper’ artist."
I have reproduced it because I think it is so important to establish the 'fun' principle right from the start. If we enjoy doing the painting then people will enjoy looking at it. It is important to remember the principle when things don't turn out as we would like them to. It is all part and parcel of the process and providing we learn from our mistakes then we can still enjoy the experience. So whatever stage you are in your painting journey...relax and have fun!