I've taken up water coloring.
All my previous experience with water coloring had come from those little plastic trays you use in second grade with eight ovals of paint. The previous 24 kids who used them had blended all the colors together, so that rather than a tray with red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, black and white, you had eight little ovals of gray-black, in which could be seen a faint and sad memory of the color they once displayed. It was like looking at a hardened criminal and trying to picture the adorable little baby he once was.
I always put way too much water into each of the little ovals, so that when I first touched brush to page, the gray-black (that was usually supposed to be either green grass or blue sky) was so diluted that you could barely see it. To deal with this problem, I did what any logical 7-year-old would do: I dipped the brush back into the oval for more of the liquid gray-black to smear on and make it darker. Of course, this did little to darken the paint, but it did get the page really wet, until it was soaked through and started to buckle and curl.
By the time the project finished, the page was badly contorted in several directions and covered with a few different shades of nasty. Trying to find any recognizable picture within the mess was like looking for images in clouds. Or mud.
So, a few months ago I got this incredible strong desire to create something with my hands. I really, really needed to try some kind of art. Too long had passed without me making crude markings on a page that were supposed to represent something else. I have never been particularly gifted with visual art, so the urge surprised me. It felt like the time I walked into the grocery store produce aisle several months after first moving out to go to college (where I subsisting almost entirely on 99-cent frozen pizzas) and was suddenly blindsided by an urgent, aching need for those vegetables.
So I bought the paints (which came in little tubes, rather than little tray-ovals) for $10 and got to work trying to figure out how to make them go.
So far, nearly everything I've painted has been Nintendo-related. In fact, it's all been related to the game Megaman 2.
Here are a few:
And here they are posing with some friends.
The part that makes me laugh at myself the most is the crappy way I painted their names and tried to make it look cool, but instead it's tilted and the letter sizes are all screwy. All-in-all, though, I'm pleased with how it turned out.
My unfinished opus is the final scene from the game, after you beat it and there's this very moving scene (yeah, I'm moved by an 8-bit Nintendo game, you want to fight about it?) in which Megaman is walking through blackness, while to his right a village is shown as it changes through the seasons. As it arrives at a lush springtime, Megaman is gone, and his helmet sits discarded on a hillside.
Don't deny it, you're fighting back the tears.
I believe that if Picasso, Rembrandt and Michelangelo hadn't been dead by the time the game was invented, they would have chosen the same subject.