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  • Writer's pictureLeslie McCrea, artist

Changing directions

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

I'm changing directions. This year has been all about changes. They're never easy, and I hope they're for the good, but all I can do is follow this path before me in faith and wait to see what happens. Not very different than painting really. So, thank you for joining me. Company as I sojourn is quite welcome.

Here is what's been happening in my life:

In March I traveled with eight fellow artists to England for an art holiday. It was so exciting to take a journey solely for the purpose of pursuing my art. I sketched and painted every day, and in the process, I changed. We all know travel can do that to us, but this was different. I'd been taking classes and enjoying painting, but now I was walking a path that made me something different in my own mind. I became an artist.

When I returned home, I took another step, I began to share what I had learned with others by teaching watercolor classes. I've always been a teacher, so this was just a new direction in a familiar field. It's humbling when your students are art teachers themselves! That's a good place to be as a teacher: humble, but open and ready to share.

In May, I retired from teaching middle school Western Civ, and became a student in an intensive online art workshop, Creative Visionary Program at Art2Life. It had been recommended by an artist I met on the trip to England, Alice Sheridan. I spent 12 weeks under the tutelage of artist Nicholas Wilton and his team, studying with some of the finest artists in the world. I'm still fan-girling over the company I was privileged to keep. How all that I learned will be applied is something I'm still working out, as I learn to handle this new medium and apply the principles to my watercolors. I've always been a student, and I always will be.


June rolled around, and I began leading Sketch Hunters, a group of artists recording in ink and watercolor all the beauty they found in our urban spaces. It has been a joy to join them. I had to get used to creating publicly and letting it all show: crooked fences, wobbly lines, all of it. Again, it's humbling and courage-building, but that's just what life ought to be: humble, but courageous.

And now it is August. For a change of pace (as if the pace needed more changing) I spent a morning with Jana, my instructor and mentor, painting plein air at the UCCS farm where my daughter works. The photo below shows the farm with my daughter running off to water some parched plant. It's harvest time, and everything has burst forth in color and activity. And it all felt like my life. Abundant. Overflowing. Blessed.

So, I'm taking time to reflect on all the changes, and be grateful for this plentitude. Though I don't know what direction tomorrow's path will take, I am confident that this path has been planned for me, and I walk it in faith and wonder.

#artist #abundance #changes

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