It started out the way it always did: with a flash of inspiration that birthed visions of grand glory. After three years of nothingness, I was ready to try creating a watercolor painting again. Masterpieces sprang behind my mind, along with commissions and gifts. This day would be the start of a new era of my life.
I ran to my workroom and took out a Strathmore Watercolor Cold Press notebook, and two sets of watercolor pigment. Then, I found a plastic cup to hold water in, along with several handy watercolor tutorials on my tablet.
The vision of grand glory ground to a halt the way it always did: an obstacle, flung into my path, as if fate itself wanted me to stop. I was missing some essential items brushes and my palette.
I checked the room I was in first. Aha! I found a brush inside a pencil holder, mixed in with abandoned markers (one purple, one green), some pens (ballpoint with sticky ink), and old pencils (unsharpened and never used).
I picked up the brush and inspected it. It had brown bristles that flared out from the handle, and I doubted it could hold a point. The brush brought up vague memories of bristles falling out as I worked, leaving hair everywhere.
This might be a watercolor brush, but it wasn’t the one that I wanted. I set it on the table and continued searching the rest of the room.
I couldn’t find any more watercolor brushes in the room. In desperation, I thought back to the last time I’d used these brushes, more than three years ago. The brushes had been placed in a wooden drawer in my workroom, which had been my brother’s office at that point. Then, the drawer had been cleaned of its contents and placed in my brother’s room to hold his clothes.
I raced to my brother’s room and found the wooden drawer. I rifled through the drawers. I saw envelopes, a landline phone, socks, underwear, t-shirts, pants, jackets...and no watercolor brushes.
Where could they be? Normally, when searching for something, I could think of the places that the object normally would be in and ignore everywhere else. If I was searching for my calculator, I could concentrate on my backpack, the countertop, and the coffee table. But with my watercolor brushes, I had no idea where they were.
I paused my search. I could still pencil in what I wanted to paint, which didn’t require anything beyond a mechanical pencil and an eraser. Maybe I could search again afterwards and see something I’d missed earlier. Half an hour later, I had everything pencilled in, and still no brushes and palette.
I probably should wait, I thought. When my parents came home in a few hours, I could go with them to Michael’s to buy what I needed. I didn’t have to do things now, with half of my materials missing.
This time, I recognized the procrastination for what it was. This minor problem was not an act of fate that forbid me from ever trying watercolor paintings again. I had a brush, even if it was too big, and the tutorials I’d seen sometimes had ordinary plates for palettes.
I didn’t want to delay any longer. If I delayed until tomorrow, what would stop me from delaying again until the day after tomorrow, and the day after the day after tomorrow? I needed to do this now.
I went back to my workroom and grabbed the brown brush and a dinner plate. They weren’t the best, but they’d do.
As it turned out, the brown brush could hold a point, as long as it had enough water, and could make delicate enough strokes, as long as I was careful with the brush. The dinner plate held the pigments reasonably well.
My tools might not be professional quality, but I didn’t need professional quality tools for a beginner level drawing. I just needed some basic tools, and a little push to get going. Inspiration alone wasn’t enough to get me to those visions of grand glory. I had to work towards my glory, and even if I lacked a few tools, trying was always better than not trying. And maybe, maybe, one day I would be skilled enough to create masterpieces.