My name is Joshua Elek. I created this website to track my progress as I attempt to improve at watercolor painting. I post every painting I make, good and bad, and write up lessons that I learned from the painting. On rare occasion, I write about something else entirely. I have two big goals with this website:
IMPROVE: Forcing myself to write something about each painting helps me learn. This turns every one of my paintings into a valuable personal learning experience, which I hope will help expedite my learning process.
ENCOURAGE: I regularly create terrible paintings. Instead of hiding these, I post them so beginners like me will see them, and be encouraged to know that we all have to push through failure to discover successes.
Frequently (though not as often as I might like) I have a lightbulb go off while I’m painting. I like to think of these moments as something becoming “unlocked.” They aren’t always succesful paintings. In fact, they are often pretty terrible, but these are the ultra valuable ones to me, because these are the paintings where I really learned something.
I can often feel like I am not progressing, or like all of my paintings are failures. These are some of the paintings I have made that I think were successful.
It may seem odd to highlight my failures so prominently. But I find that the failed paintings are often the most expeditious teachers. And, I sincerely want others who are starting out to be encouraged by the fact that improvement is only possible by way of repeated failures.