Watercolor Words

I’ve told you before that I was working on a wall of lyrics and quotes as a creative and self-reflective project.  It didn’t take me long to type up a Word doc of my favorite sayings, but I didn’t just want a big wall of text (LITERALLY).  I’m about to digress:

I’m not very skilled in the visual arts.  At all.  I realized this during middle school, when I looked around art class and realized that my pastel picture of a sky looked flatter and sloppier than everyone else’s.  Though I proudly haven’t taken a single art course in my high school career as a result, I still think visual arts are important.

Because as much as I revere language, sometimes language struggles to convey certain feelings that music and art can evoke.  A song with simple words can be so powerful with a moving melody.  And the brain can derive so much meaning from form and color.  Even with cool fonts, my lyrics and quotes looked bare.  So I rummaged through my storage for some long-unopened Crayola watercolor palettes.

Why watercolor?  I have admired watercolor as a medium for a couple years now.  I really enjoy its aesthetic.  But I also wanted this decorating process to feel a little bit like writing: put my thoughts down on paper and let them bloom into a guided but unpredictable finished product.

Unpredictable, FOR SURE.  I angrily typed to my Skype friends once: “Watercolor is a frustrating and mercurial medium.”  The paint ran everywhere, crinkled up the paper and sat in the grooves, and dried strangely.  As infuriating as it was, the watercolor did create some incredible unintended things.

IMG_7343

Like this.  I intended “fall in love” to be yellow and “soul” to be blue but cried out in despair when the two colors crept towards each other and joined.  I was sure it would look stupid, but after it dried I stared at it a little longer and realized the implications of those two phrases being connected.  It’s nice when a mindless art medium outsmarts you.  IMG_7352

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Click for full size!

A bit of double-sided tape later, and my wall is complete!  Well, not really — I’ll always be collecting words to add on later.  Forever a work in progress.

This is an open invitation for you to wonder at my lyrics and quotes.  Ask me about them — where they came from, why I relate to them!  I will address the answer in a special separate post (with a shout-out to you!).

-M.L.

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