The Inception of the Course (and Hope for Those Who Doubt Their Artistic Abilities)

How I came to this create this course is a long story that I will spare you the boring details of.  However, the general story is a good one for giving hope to anyone who thinks they could never be a watercolor painter.  Hopefully by reading the story of how this course came to be, you can let go of some self-doubt about your artistic abilities.

When I was young, I always dabbled in drawing a little here-and-there, but honestly I wasn’t that great at it, and I was never satisfied with what I created.  In fact, I would say I was worse than average.  I simply was NOT talented at art.  Like so many other people, I began to convince myself that I wasn’t meant to be an artist.  I just wasn’t one of those “gifted” people.   And like so many others, I assumed you had to be “gifted” at art to ever be good at it.

As I grew older, I tried drawing again and again at various stages of my life.  I practiced and practiced, and I still wasn’t happy with what I created.  Eventually, in frustration, I scrawled in big angry letters over a failed drawing, “I suck!” and I put away my drawing journal.  I put it away for 5 YEARS and never touched it!  In the meantime, I became a school teacher.  I taught science and math at the junior high level.  I quickly realized that I was probably more gifted at teaching than anything I had ever tried.  I also realized that a good teacher could teach just about anybody anything if they were willing to learn it.  I saw kids that had been “bad” at math and science their whole lives become straight-A students with a passion for these subjects.  Eventually I began to ask, “Was the reason I was never good at art not because I wasn’t “gifted”, but rather because I just needed a good teacher?”

At the age of thirty, I decided to give art one last chance, but this time I was determined to first pick a medium that I gravitated toward, and then find a good teacher.  After looking at many different paintings in many different media, I decided to try watercolor.  I tried some classes, but now knowing what good teaching looked like, I was quick to recognize poor teaching when I saw it.  What I found was that a good artist doesn’t necessarily make a good teacher, and there were quite a lot of bad art teachers out there.  Then, through the grace of the internet, I came across Interactive Watercolor, created by Peter Saw in the UK.  This is a CD of with an astounding amount of lessons and information about watercolor, and I could tell immediately that this man knew how to teach.  I purchased the CD, and it began a 10 year journey into the world of watercolor.  My theory proved right; with Peter’s excellent instruction, I not only learned watercolor, but  I also enjoyed every minute of the learning.   And lo-and-behold, with the right instruction, and with tons of practice, I eventually found myself becoming a professional artist.

It was over a year ago as I write this that I decided to combine my two biggest passions: watercolor and teaching.  I wanted to create something for others out there like me who think they aren’t “gifted” and “just can’t paint”.  I also wanted something comprehensive, that could carry a learner through the entire process one-step-at a time; unlike my journey which was quite arbitrary and inefficient.  I also wanted something that intermediate artists could use to help them advance to higher levels.  I wanted to help others avoid the 30 year search that it took me to find the joy of painting.   And here is the result; Watercolor

Hopefully this little story gives you hope.  Hopefully, with this course, you will discover the wonderful joy of watercolor much quicker than I did.