Amplify Your Core Values (Through Art Supplies)

Over the last few years, I've made it a point to acquire a large number of mixed media supplies, mainly because FREEDOM and DELIGHT are my most prominent Core Desired Feelings (the idea of CDFs comes from Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map book). Looking back through my life, FREEDOM and DELIGHT are what have driven me, and they continue to drive my choices.

Along with freedom and delight, the EXPLORATION of full experiences is what I crave. Exploring new experiences is far more fulfilling to me than accumulating material "things." I'd much rather take a road trip, try the food at a unique local establishment and then go for a hike in a gorgeous mountain setting than buy an expensive pair of high heels or have a mortgage for a fancy huge home.  I could write books and books (and maybe someday I will) describing all of the experiences I've gathered over the years. And the desire for exploration and fully immersing myself in new experiences (via physical locations) is probably part of the reason I've moved so many times in my life (I've lived in at least 40 different homes over my lifetime, and I'm just about 41).

So anyway, I decided a couple of years ago that with every paycheck I get, I'd allocate a few funds to go towards exploring the capabilities of a new art supply. I LOVE exploring by playing around with the possibilities of a tool I've never before touched. Which brings in the delight of happy accidents resulting from asking and acting on questions like, "What will happen IF... I drip this, smush that, scribble over here, just add water..."

My beloved Schmincke 48-pan watercolor set - I saved up for MONTHS for this baby!

My beloved Schmincke 48-pan watercolor set - I saved up for MONTHS for this baby!

You see, it's the experience of exploring a new tool, a new texture, a new gorgeous palette of carefully curated colors that fuels me -  not just creatively, but to fully LIVE. Because fully living, to me, means choosing to be closer to freedom and delight and immersing myself in exploration of what's possible.

So guess which tool I just realized gets me there consistently? Without fail?

Watercolor.

This came to my attention because I just purchased ANOTHER travel palette, even though I've already got plenty! My latest splurge using my art-supply-indulgence fund is a divine set of HANDMADE watercolors (!) by a guy in Philly called JazperStardust. I mean, the name ALONE is enough to light me up! And the colors, the craftsmanship... I can't wait to hold them in my hands! Plus, I lived just outside Philly for a year in the borough of Conshohocken while working for Pet360 (before they were bought by PetSmart), so it feels nostalgic!

Anyway, I've somehow literally surrounded myself with watercolor. And I've just connected the dots as to why!

Watercolor automatically cultivates my desired states of freedom and delight and exploration!

In. fact, it literally delights me just to GAZE at all of this portable color!

Two more handmade palettes on the left, using empty Altoids tins and Sculpey bakeable clay - Golden Qor tube watercolors on top, and mostly Daniel Smith tube watercolors on the bottom. On the right is a Schmincke palette filled with D.S. colors.

Two more handmade palettes on the left, using empty Altoids tins and Sculpey bakeable clay - Golden Qor tube watercolors on top, and mostly Daniel Smith tube watercolors on the bottom. On the right is a Schmincke palette filled with D.S. colors.

Prima Marketing Tropicals palette (SUPER AFFORDABLE for the rich color) on the left, Prang Professional watercolors on the right.

Prima Marketing Tropicals palette (SUPER AFFORDABLE for the rich color) on the left, Prang Professional watercolors on the right.

My own homemade palette (left) filled with Schmincke and Daniel Smith tube colors - I made it using Sculpey bakeable clay in an iPhone screen protector package (with slideable cover)! And the Jane Davenport Brights petite palette.

My own homemade palette (left) filled with Schmincke and Daniel Smith tube colors - I made it using Sculpey bakeable clay in an iPhone screen protector package (with slideable cover)! And the Jane Davenport Brights petite palette.

Lots of color for a relatively small investment: my Gansai Tambi watercolors!

Lots of color for a relatively small investment: my Gansai Tambi watercolors!

While I do love playing with pretty much ANY art supply, here's what I've realized about watercolor:

  • The pans of color are dry and fit in an easy-to-carry-anywhere palette (although the Schmincke 48-pan set is bulkier - the price you pay for more colors in your hand!). So I have the FREEDOM to make art anytime, anywhere (my playful Mellie's Car Art video series was born out of this feeling of freedom).
  • Having accumulated multiple palettes, I can feel into which palette most delights me on any given day, increasing my own SURPRISE and DELIGHT factor as I get to watch how the creations which unfold inevitably match my mood and the energy.
  • I get to EXPLORE the different textures of different brands. How they interact with water, how they splash and splatter, how they layer over each other to create depth - or sometimes just get muddy. Staying in a place of curiosity and willing exploration means more possible outcomes are available to us!
  • The colors themselves are delightful and put me in a state of vibrant joy. Color holds frequency, and the vibrance of watercolor can't be beat. Layer upon layer of intentional (or unintentional) glazing feels so GOOD.

So, how can you surround yourself with more of what amplifies your experience of YOUR core desired state?

How can you make it easier for the possibility of that chosen reality to find you?

Ask yourself, and then act.

I now understand why watercolors do it for me!