Thursday, November 30, 2017

Watercolor Meditation #3: Resistance

Hello,  Lovelies!

Tomorrow is DECEMBER, which I can't really even begin to believe.  This year has been so crazy full of things that I still feel upside down.   Isn't July 4th next week?  I'm not ready for deep winter!

I'm feeling some resistance to the whole idea of the roller coaster ride that is the holidays around here.  Soooo - I have a fun watercolor meditation all about resistance.

Resistance is futile, but resistance can also be beautiful!

Watercolor Meditation:  Resistance

Take a deep breath and relax. 

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Relax your shoulders. Relax your arms and hands.

Breathe.  You are going to have so much fun!

The purpose of this meditation is examine the patterns created by things that resist or disrupt the flow.  We're going to use salt as a resist.

Gather your materials:  

You will be able to use these few materials for all of the activities in the series.  
  • Watercolor pigments: Tubes, pans, or sets. Whatever is easy for you to get and use. Make sure you like the colors. If you have tubes, then you'll need an old plate or lid to use as a palette.  [You can also use coffee or tea if that's all you have close by.]
  • Paper:  Any size mixed media paper or watercolor paper.   Thicker watercolor paper won't buckle if you decide to use a lot of water in one of these activities.  You'll need at least one sheet for each activity, but you'll probably have so much fun with some of these that you'll just keep playing.  6 x 6  inches or so is a nice size.  Big enough to play, but not be too intimidating.  If you have larger paper and want to cut it down, go right ahead.  [You can also use a napkin if that's all you have close by.]
  • Brush:  Any watercolor brush will do.   Size 8 or 10 round is good for starters. [You can also use a straw, spoon, etc. if that's all you have close by.]
  • Water jar:   To clean your brush in.  A recycled food jar is great.  Pint sized is great. 
And for this activity, you'll need:
  • Salt:  Any kind, any size.   Table salt, epsom salt, sea salt, rock salt. 


  1. Swish your brush around in the plain water.  Get it nice and wet.
  2. Choose your favorite color and make a puddle of that color in your palette.  Light or dark, doesn't matter.  
  3. Lay some of that color on your paper.
  4. Now make another puddle of a color you love.  
  5. Lay some of that color next to the first color on your paper.   Doesn't matter how. 
    • Watch them mingle and FLOW.
  6. OBSERVE how shiny the paper is when it's really wet and how the shine begins to dull as the water soaks into the paper.
  7. Pull out your salt and sprinkle a bit on the dull wet areas and on the shiny areas.   Set it aside flat and in a few minutes come back to see the patterns forming.  
  8. Let it dry completely, then brush off the salt to see the results.  
  9. Use your imagination - Do the patterns remind you of frost, or flowers, or leaves, or feathers...?
  10. Now play. You can't do it wrong.  Lay down the colors and drop the salt in the damp areas.

What's happening on the paper?   Two things:  As the salt dissolves, it creates a resist which pushes the pigment away. In addition, salt draws the water to it, creating little puddles which make patterns as they dry [more on that below].

One more thing...

Other things can disrupt the flow of watercolor also.   This is a picture of a backflow, or bloom.   This type of resist happens when there is a very wet puddle surrounded by damp, but much less wet areas.   As the surrounding areas dry, the water is pulled [wicked] back into them from the puddle. The water from the puddle re-wets the paint and pushes it aside as it soaks into those areas.  Blooms make beautiful patterns.

Look back on your previous watercolor meditations and see if there are any blooms.

I'm here.

Thanks so very much for spending some time with this today.  I hope you've used this meditation to relax and put some calm in your day.  If you have a question, observation or photo you want to share, I'd love to hear from you!

See all of my classes here.

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