It has been approximately a month (?) since I purchased that watercolor set on a whim.

It’s been less then two weeks since I laid in my bed and played with my watercolor pencils -before adding the paints ultimately creating my rose.

(You can visit my other paintings and blog posts on the topic by clicking on the My Art! category on the sidebar)

I don’t paint every day, but I do spend time every day researching other artists techniques-Watching YouTube tutorials, reading articles and how-to’s, studying other paintings, pinning inspiration etc… to my Pinterest Board….and I have to say: BLESS each and every one of you who take the time to make these videos and articles!

Every time I set out to paint something– I try to make sure it is a new subject- a new challenge and the more I do this- the less I try to imitate and the more I try to add a piece of myself.

I post my paintings on my social media. One of my best friends is hilarious. She kept telling me to paint her and cracking jokes under my other paintings saying “That doesn’t look like me Irene…..”

Well- It was on my list to try painting some sort of portrait. I have never painted a portrait in my life (Unless you count when I was in kindergarten…) – so I bumped that challenge up to make her laugh. I took her profile picture- which lucky for me was very artsy already and voila!

A watercolor ode to my bestie!

These are my abstract birds to date. These are versions of paintings I fell in love with online- so I tried them myself. I look at them and see where I want to change them the next time I attempt it- but I am so proud of how they did turn out and I have plans to improve them for a few friends who have requested paintings. I am extremely flattered that they would like to have my work in their home.


My youngest daughter asked to choose my next painting. I showed her the subjects that I wanted to attempt next. She decided that SHE was going to draw a lion and I was going to paint a lion. So she picked which kind of Lion painting to do. Of course it was the most colorful and abstract looking one off my inspiration board.

So here is HER beautiful Lion sketch that she made while I drew mine out.

My six year old loves to draw along side me.

Notice I start with a very boring- really bland drawing.

It may be hard to see….

Next I started to add the color. I will fully admit that when I do these paintings- I quite literally do NOT know what I am doing- I just look at my inspiration then do my interpretation.

Splashing color around-Trying to get a feel for it

As I was painting this lion- I realized I didn’t like it. It certainly wasn’t as nice as the one by my muse. It certainly wasn’t the best out of the ones I have done. Truth be told I started to really hate it and almost gave up half way through- but I had already posted a teaser painting on my Facebook for my friends- so I thought I had better stick with it and keep going.

At this point- I considered giving up.

As I was just finishing up the painting I realized something.

My complete abstract Lion.

It looks like a clown.

Now some people may have seen it before I mentioned it.

You may see it more now if you look again.

The good news is that art is subjective- and while I may not like this painting that I have created- so far I have friends telling me they do.

I find it highly ironic (and a tad hilarious) that the painting of a majestic animal I love- The animal that represents my astrological sign- The mighty lion that also represents the fierce kind of woman that I am (Hear me Roar!!) – has turned out looking like the one thing that I despise.


I am NOT a clown person.

I like funny -but I don’t like clowns. 

(It started with the original movie of Stephen Kings IT and that is that….since I was 12 year old- I have avoid clowns like the plague- they give me all kinds of creeps….it certainly doesn’t help that my mother dresses up as one from time to time… DON’T ASK!) 

This Lion will NOT be hanging on my walls any time soon…. but if you remember the watercolor painting that I created from that online tutorial? (My third painting overall?) 

Well that beauty was framed and now hangs on the wall of my formal dining area.

It was exactly what the room needed!

All of these adventures that I am having with my paintbrushes just proves that even when you try something new- It can turn out really amazing and fun.

Maybe one day I will spring for a class or bring in an art teacher to go over the finer points of watercolor with me. Until then, I will continue to do what I have been doing.

Any watercolor artists out there reading this? Since I am brand new to this whole world of watercolor- I would really appreciate any tips that you can give me!

My next goal is to create a beach scene using some photographs that I have taken over the years. 

I guess we will see how that goes!

All Images ©TheyOnceCalledHerPumpkin