Familiar Thingsfeatured

watercolor palette

Since Tracy’s death I find myself on a sifting, organizing and purging spree. Recipes haphazardly shoved into binders are being properly placed in plastic sleeves, clothing long forgotten in the depths of my closet has been properly hung or designated to a donation bin ready for a new owner. Junk drawers are, well, currently still drawers filled with junk but I am aware that they’re there and I have plans for them too. I think part of this is trying to keep my mind occupied so not to slip into depression or grief but also because I am feeling nostalgic. It was somewhat healing for me to thumb through boxes and boxes of old photographs a few weeks ago looking for photos to share at Tracy’s service. So many memories dusted off. Another big part of it is also honoring Tracy and her incredible organization skills. She had bins and boxes for things that I didn’t even know there were bins and boxes for. Spending a few days in her house would inspire even the biggest pack rat hoarder to want to organize themselves at least a little bit.

watercolor study - Raindrops

Last week I unearthed something in my basement studio that I haven’t given any thought to in about 21 years—my watercolor palette from college. When I opened it up it looked as vibrant as I’m sure it did when I last used it in watercolor class. Amazing. So much has happened in those 21 years but yet here is an artifact that is unchanged, untouched and perfectly preserved. It felt familiar and comforting and I was grateful to discover it. I wonder what the last painting was that I used those beautiful colors on? I have no idea.

watercolor study - bunting

I currently have about five projects going in my basement studio right now. One is particularly involved and emotional and it might not be ready to share for a few weeks or possibly even months. Others are quick experiments like these three little sketches. I appreciate having the ability to jump from project to project in order to keep things fresh, refocus or just let things marinate. So I’ve been playing with my old watercolor palette and re-familiarizing myself with how the paint and the water interact. 21 years is long time and I’m sure it’ll take more than these little sketches for me to gain any sort of confidence back with watercolor painting (I think the palette is far more interesting and beautiful) but it felt like I was spending time with an old friend. I wonder what other treasures I have hidden around here?

watercolor study - color swatches

About the author

Jennifer Stefanek

Hello, I'm Jen. I am a forty-something closeted artist and designer. This blog is a place for me to chronicle creative projects big and small in an effort to re-ignite and rediscover my creative self. I am The Picadilly Project.

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