Painting lately — Jennifer Marshall

Painting lately — Jennifer Marshall

One thing I’ll be sure to pack are my watercolors. If we have any downtime, I’ll pick up my paint brushes to get lost in the colors and composition. I’m sure inspiration will be around every corner of the park, and my phone camera roll will retain the evidence as we hike. Both nature and art have been instrumental in my recovery. I aim for daily walks along the trails in our neighborhood, helping me to get the exercise I know is crucial for improving mental health.

I recently sold a few new paintings on my Etsy Shop and with the profit treated myself to two new pads of watercolor paper and two new tubes of paint. I remember when I first taught myself to paint. I had ordered Jenna Rainey’s Everyday Watercolor book: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days and practiced each of the lessons one by one. It was the perfect book to begin to learn the art of watercolor. Then I moved on to following her YouTube tutorials. I learned the foundations of watercolor from Jenna and then other artists I found online. You can truly teach yourself anything thanks to the power of the internet.

These days I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself to create perfect paintings. I’m working on enjoying the process and the way it benefits my mental health. When I’m painting, my anxiety goes down, and I’m able to focus on the colors, water and brush strokes. It’s almost like meditation in a way. I’m grateful to have found a practice that helps to calm my anxious brain. The plus is that people actually like my art enough to purchase it for their homes!

As I continue to work on my mental health, I know painting is one of my top tools to support my recovery. We’re coming into another season of change, with the end of summer approaching and the beginning of the school year starting, and I know I’ll need to stay focused on what helps during times of high stress. Fortunately, I have a mini art studio set up in my kitchen each day which allows me to do just that. 🙂

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