Yesterday I rediscovered watercolors. I pulled out my 'good' ones that haven't seen the light of day since the twentieth century (not kidding). I put a spot of each color on a scrap piece of watercolor paper. It's been so long that the color names meant nothing to me. I needed to see the color on the paper. If you are familiar with watercolors, you know that different colors have different properties such as transparent, sedimentary, or staining. As I put the colors on, I looked for that and made some mental notes about each color. I thought about which colors used to be my favorite and tried to remember why. (I have no idea.) I thought about my amazing watercolor teacher from college and how I can still hear her words to..."get the colors juicy."
I experimented with different brushes and started mixing colors. I was reminded of my past frustrations with watercolor: watercolor paper is expensive and you can't just paint it white to start over like with acrylic. Then I began to focus on what's changed since then, how I'm different now. I have a whole lot more patience at 38 than I did back then. I found that I enjoyed using the small brushes and might be better at the details now. Today I'm trying to put aside what I think I know about watercolors and let myself play and discover it anew, for it's different now.