BAP Angela Fehr FIN
[00:00:00] Angela: Over the years, I've realized that what my heart really wanted to do was paint with freedom and expression and intuition.
[00:00:07] Marijanel: Being an artist is having eyes to see, to see the world and translate it through our medium.
[00:00:13] Angela: I think it's the nature loving thing where, uh, I see art patterns in nature and they look like art.
And so I love that when it appears in my painting where you almost think a hand wasn't involved.
[00:00:26] Marijanel: Welcome to the Bold Artist podcast. Today I am delighted to be here with Angela Fehr of Dawson Creek, BC who is a watercolorist and who says that her gift and calling is to notice. Angela, that is such a remarkable way to frame it, to put it, what do you mean by your gift and calling is to notice?
Um, I love that you pulled
[00:00:51] Angela: that out cuz uh, I think, uh, it's something I've really been thinking about a lot as, as you grow as an artist, I think you kind of refine your artist's statement over time and realize, um, oh, there's a little layer that's a little bit deeper.
And, um, I think back to when I was a little girl, uh, we lived here in Northern British Columbia and right on the edge of the forest. And we would, some of my best memories, some of my first memories were walking through the bush with my family. And I mean, you're looking at the ground, you're looking for berries, you know, you're trying to maybe spot an animal in the bush.
And, uh, so, you know, our lifestyle was based around that idea of presence and noticing. And I think looking back, uh, it makes real sense that that is still something that I connect with deeply and pursue today. Uh, and then it, it becomes something I don't just do when I'm out in the forest and our property backs onto, uh, miles of, of bushland.
So we can again, go out and, and wander. But I then come back into the studio and I kind of expand that practice and think about being more present in my life and in my moments. So, um, art has been an extension of that. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:02:04] Marijanel: That's beautiful. I love the framing of that because I always think of being an artist as having eyes to see. To see the world and translate it through our medium. And so tell us a little bit more about you. I just sort of dove right in with that intro of
[00:02:19] Angela: Yeah.
[00:02:19] Marijanel: Being, being called to notice, but tell us about you and your work as a watercolorist.
[00:02:25] Angela: Yeah. I, I really wouldn't have expected that I'm, I'm doing what I'm doing today.
Uh, when I first started painting in watercolor, my first vision was, I wanted to pursue art. I was fresh out of high school, and, uh, we had actually lived overseas. And so when, um, I was in high school, I was actually homeschooled. We lived in a tropical jungle in Papua New Guinea for five years. Very unique story. But I knew that, uh, when I came back to Canada, I, I was frustrated with my own growth as an artist.
I wanted to find someone to teach me. And when I came back to Dawson Creek, the first, uh, class that was available was watercolor. And so watercolor, kind of, I stumbled on it, um, at 18 and just never, never left. I, I realize now when I walk through a gallery, um, I'm mo most drawn to watercolor. And so I'm really, really thankful that I found it at that early stage.
But I did think that my goal would be to make a perfect painting and to master and have control of my medium. In fact, uh, to just behind me here, uh, I have a botanical painting, uh, that was very, very controlled. It was the first painting that I ever did that made me feel like maybe I could be a real artist.
And it was all about control and trying to get that depth of realism and, um, I, I just thought that was the right way to do it. And, uh, over the years I've realized that what my heart really wanted to do was, um, paint with freedom, and expression, and intuition. And it's been really, uh, exciting to let go of that need to be right and correct and have all the control and open up to the unexpected.
Just like I would if, you know, walking in the forest and trying to notice what might fall in front of me.
[00:04:10] Marijanel: Yes. Well, I do hope that all of our watchers and listeners check out the links below to see your work, but I would not, uh, if clicking and looking at your portfolio, Angela, I don't describe your work as looking controlled. It's loose and free.
[00:04:25] Angela: Yeah.
[00:04:25] Marijanel: And very exploratory, but yet there is a style and continuity to it that you, you know, it requires skill. It's not that you're just
[00:04:34] Angela: Right.
[00:04:34] Marijanel: Swirling around, paint on the paper. There is a skill, and it's, it's really mesmerizing. It captures me. Hmm. And I can see the years of building that skill into, well you call it being a heart led painter.
[00:04:48] Angela: Yeah.
[00:04:49] Marijanel: I love that, uh, way that you describe that. Can you tell me about both what skill it takes to create this free, this this free paintings. Like these, these freestyle.
[00:05:01] Angela: Yeah.
[00:05:02] Marijanel: But also it is heart led and, and there is an element of control in it.
[00:05:08] Angela: Yeah, it's, um, it's really interesting because I think there is a process that happens where, uh, I used to think that maybe every artist needs to learn to paint with control and kind of some rigidity at first.
Um, I've revised that opinion. I think if you wanna paint loosely and intuitively you can make that your goal from the very beginning. But, uh, early on I felt like, you know, I needed to learn technique. I needed to be really controlled about that. But after a certain, at a certain point, technique stops being fulfilling, uh, you know, you start to be able to, you, you crave wanting to make something that's more than just masterful.
You want to kind of show who you are, what you're excited about, something that reflects you as an artist. And I think artists talk about discovering their style, and that's what they're talking about, that drive to somehow show who you are as an artist in your work. And, um, and we don't usually know how to do that.
And what I'm learning is that style comes from the things that you do consistently. Uh, so, you know, there are decisions you like, so you make them over and over and over again. And so they show up repeatedly in your work. The colors you love, um, the ways you mix color, uh, the marks you make, and the way you hold your brush.
All of that is your style. So the best way to develop your style then is to feel free to make choices that make you happy. And for me, that was a really hard thing to transition to. I, I'm a, I love um, winning people over meeting people's approval. Um, I look for safety in, in approval really. And so as a person, um, it's very easy for my identity to kind of get lost, uh, in, in that desire to, uh, please an audience.
And, um, I notice my teenagers, they bring friends home, and I want them to know I'm the fun mom, so I start making jokes as soon as I have a new person to be my audience. It's terrible. And it's just...
[00:07:04] Marijanel: I can relate. I have, I have adult kids. I've been through the teen years. Yeah, you're like, and it's, how do I be the fun mom?
[00:07:10] Angela: Yeah. And it's like their, their friends don't need to, it doesn't need to matter to me what my, their friend's opinion of me is, but somehow I still have that drive to kind of win someone over. Um, but in my art, um, I, how much more rewarding is it to just be able to be yourself and show up and, um, you know, maybe then you get to, uh, win someone by just being who you are and finding connection there. And those are the most meaningful relationships.
[00:07:40] Marijanel: Hmm. Yeah. So you, you've touched here on developing style. And, and what that means. Can you tell us a little bit about that process of developing yours? You, you mentioned breaking out of just the people pleasing part.
[00:07:57] Angela: Yeah.
[00:07:57] Marijanel: But skill-wise, did you find that you had to study a certain way, or practice a certain amount, or like just how determined?
[00:08:06] Angela: Yeah.
[00:08:06] Marijanel: Does one have to be in the repetition in order to start to see their style emerge? Skill wise?
[00:08:15] Angela: Uh, when I teach, and I love teaching, um, because I try to encourage my students to find the same freedom that I've found, but, um, I felt there was many, many years where I felt, um, like there was just no chance of being able to do anything with my art beyond just make it for myself. And even at, um, as a new painter, I already knew I wanted this to be my, my job, my business. Um, but living in northern British Columbia, I didn't feel like I had the resources. I was learning to paint before the internet.
And so I didn't have even, you know, the, the idea that there could be an audience out there. And I didn't know anybody who was making a living as an artist. Everyone I knew who painted was a hobby painter. And, um, and yet I pursued it as I wanted it to be my business. So I, and, and I had absolutely no hope that that would ever happen.
Uh, and so in a sense that's freeing because you can look for your style without wanting to please others. And there did come a point where I, I didn't, I stopped, um, worrying about whether or not I was gonna win an award or have art that was good enough for whatever standard. Um, I just realized that if people didn't seem to care about my art the way I did, then I could paint for me.
And, and outcomes came out of that, which is what's a really amazing, um, is when that authenticity starts to show up.
[00:09:42] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:09:42] Angela: That's where the reward is.
[00:09:44] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:09:44] Angela: And yet there's no guarantee of that. Uh, I think, you know, people always say, well, do what you love and the money will follow. And I don't, I don't think we can ever offer anybody a guarantee. But do what you love and you'll find reward in that.
That's, you know, that's something you can pursue, I think. Uh, I did, but I felt really guilty that I wasn't as disciplined as I would like to be. I have three children and they were born very close in age, so I was very busy. I would paint about three paintings that I was satisfied with per year at that stage of my life and, um, and feel like, you know, any momentum I would've started out with is just gone.
So there was a lot of guilt, uh, in feeling like you know, I could be a better artist if I was just more focused, if I was just more disciplined. And at that time I didn't realize that everything you do is drawing you toward the artist that the person, the artist that you're meant to be. And so even when I wasn't actively painting, there were things I was choosing in my life that were developing skill that I could use later in my business. Uh, there were, uh, ways of seeing the world that I was refining just as a person and maybe becoming more independent in communicating with my voice. Uh, if I had had immediate success at 18 or 20, I didn't know who I was. Uh, I don't know that I could have had some continuity there. I might have gotten locked into a style that wasn't really me and felt like, you know, my business is successful. I can't grow and, and become different. And so, uh, I think having this beautiful trust that I'm right where I need to be right now, and whatever is, you know, meant to happen in the future, I can trust that that will, that I'll get closer to that.
And, uh, that's, I'm still doing that because I still have goals and dreams and, and you know, wanna make things happen.
[00:11:46] Marijanel: Yes.
[00:11:46] Angela: And wanna have that patience to just trust that what I'm doing right now is contributing to my work. So I haven't always been disciplined about building technique, and yet my technique was still growing and that's been really, that is encouraging to see that happen.
[00:12:03] Marijanel: Yes. That is so encouraging, particularly to the ones, the artists that are listening out there who are in that stage of life that you described that you were in raising young kids or in a busy lifestyle that just doesn't allow the daily practice.
[00:12:17] Angela: Yeah.
[00:12:18] Marijanel: Or the discipline that one wants to. I love that you mentioned the guilt that you felt and kind of how you've come out of that by reflecting and seeing that even though you weren't able to necessarily put that paintbrush to paper at that time, you were still building the heart of an artist.
[00:12:37] Angela: Yeah.
[00:12:37] Marijanel: The wholeheartedness that it takes to be who you are today. And it reminds me of a podcast that Charla and I did quite early on in the Bold Artist podcast, where she talked about a season of her life where she was in a quiet season and she, she framed it that she was in that season with intention. And she said, even though I wasn't able to do what was in my heart to do, I was still very intentional about the books I read or the, what I listened to. And, and I think back to that, often we, we will, We will encourage artists to use their times with their quiet times with intention.
You, you know, you might feel like sales are slow or, you know, you're not who you wanna be right now, but you can still be very intentional about growing forward. So, I love it that you brought, you resurfaced all that conversation for us today.
[00:13:29] Angela: Yeah.
[00:13:29] Marijanel: And um, so, so you have really described quite the journey of coming out of people pleasing and even some guilt or
[00:13:37] Angela: Yeah.
[00:13:37] Marijanel: Was, was that connected to perfectionism? Have you also had to kind of deal with that?
[00:13:42] Angela: Yeah, yeah, I think so.
[00:13:44] Marijanel: And water. Watercolor, I'm sure really challenges perfectionism, especially when you let go of that control.
[00:13:51] Angela: Yeah, yeah. With, um, with an intuitive style and a loose style, so often students will come to me and say, I'm trying to be looser.
And it's like, yeah, just hold that brush tighter and strive harder for looseness. Well, of course, you know, we think of the visual of that, and it's like, how could you paint loosely? When that's your, you're fighting for it. You kind of have to figure out how to relax and loosen your grip, and find that place of trust and, um, and that is, that does mean letting go of perfectionism. And I've been thinking a lot about perfectionism because whenever people see my o often when people see my style of art, uh, and they might be making art themselves, they'll say, oh, I'm so much more controlled than that, and I'm too much of a, of a perfectionist to paint loosely.
And I think. I think we use the word perfectionist. Um, it's a little bit of a security blanket because if you're a perfectionist, you have certainty. There's a right or a wrong way to do things. Um, there's security in, I'm judging your work based on the how many mistakes you've made or not made. Um, and perfectionism really is a way of not extending any grace to yourself.
I don't let myself, you know, relax enough to make a mistake or to, um, to let a mistake appear on the paper and just let it live there. Um, and what I've found is as a loose painter, as an intuitive painter, I have had to, um, one of my favorite ways to deal with mistakes is that I, I actually make it look like it was intentional, or I try to do more of it.
So I made a big, you know, I, I moved the brush across the paper and it dripped on my sky, and suddenly I have this big blob there. Um, and instead of trying to blot it immediately I'll hit the brush so I splatter on, you know, more of that color across the page. Uh, or I make a mark that seems really chunky and raw and it's, it seems uncomfortable and a little bit too bold, but if there's more of them on the paper, suddenly it's, it's gotta flow to it. So, um, there is an idea of trust that I'm gonna allow this thing that was out of my control, that could be considered a mistake because it didn't align with my intention, but I'm gonna shift my intention now to to work with what's what's in front of me. And that's a life. That's a life principle.
[00:16:13] Marijanel: Yeah. Work with what's in front of me.
[00:16:14] Angela: Cuz life throws curves all the time.
[00:16:15] Marijanel: Yeah.
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Now, back to the show.
You really have a depth of, a depth of heart, and a depth of maturity in not only in your art style and in how you approach your painting, but just in, in life and in character. And do you feel that art has helped to cultivate this, or do you think that your character has, has just found art, like which, which way have these two worked and then been interchangeable with each?
[00:17:23] Angela: Um, yeah, great question. Uh, one. I, I think one of my skills, one of my gifts, is that I do, um, I look for the deeper principle that underlies whatever's going on. Um, so if I'm, if I'm dealing with something in my life, I'll often think, okay, how does this relate to my art and vice versa. Uh, if I'm noticing, um, what's true in, in art is true in life. And, so I am someone who's, who's always diving into principle. Uh, which makes me a good student because I can, you know, watch an artist teaching and, and I would encourage your students to this, to do this and, and try to glean, you know, what, how can I apply this to my art practice? Uh, how do, uh, and, and, and that means I can take an artist whose style is very different than mine, and often if I'm taking a class or a workshop, I will look for artists who paint very differently, um, than me so that I can, um, dive in and think, okay, what are the principles they're, they're working with? And how do I then bring that home and make it look like Angela? And that's been really kind of a ga, it's, it's almost a game to explore it in that way and, um, to broaden your palette. Even, you can do that at an art gallery and look at different styles of art and, uh, always be digging for those, what's the underlying principle here, and how does this, how does this apply to me?
[00:18:44] Marijanel: Yeah. I love it that you just said, how do I make it look like Angela?
[00:18:48] Angela: Yeah.
[00:18:48] Marijanel: And that you would know your work enough and your heart enough to, to know what is Angela.
And I think that would be one of my hopes for students and newcomers into art, that they would be able to fill in that blank with their own personal name. That they'd be able to say, like in my case, that I would know what work is Marijanel's.
[00:19:07] Angela: Yeah.
[00:19:07] Marijanel: And, and what that really means that we would know ourselves that well. And so I love it that you can bring that to the Bold Artist podcast conversation today.
[00:19:17] Angela: Yeah.
[00:19:17] Marijanel: And so, um, in, circling back.
[00:19:20] Angela: Yeah. Yeah. I was just gonna say, you don't know it until you see it. So that is the one thing is I think we think that we'll have a fully formed idea and then we put it on the paper, but it's more like you're painting actively and then it's like, oh, okay, I see me in this and that's where I pull it out, so... .
[00:19:35] Marijanel: And isn't it true? Isn't it true that you have to do enough of it to start seeing yourself in it?
[00:19:41] Angela: Yeah.
[00:19:42] Marijanel: And I think that, yeah, there are seasons, we mentioned the seasons that we don't have the time or the space to have daily practice. But once we do have that time and space to be practicing and putting ourselves out there every day in practice and discipline, we start to see the glimmers of who we are, come through. And do you think, do you ever find that, that one of the hurdles to really developing style would be that. Maybe we're scared of what we see, or we don't really want to embrace what we see?
Because I've known that with my own style, that there's times I'm like, okay, I see what Marijanel's creating, but Marijanel doesn't wanna create that. Marijanel wants to be more like Angela. Or I'm just, I'm making things up right now. But you know how we sometimes, we don't embrace what the, the hints and glimmers of our true art form.
We don't really dig into it. And how do we dig into it more?
[00:20:39] Angela: Yeah. Yeah. I, for me, it's been a real process of kind of letting go of ego, um, and because I, I, like I said, I, I'm a people pleaser. I want people to look at my work and think, oh, there's someone who really knows what they're doing, who's been doing this for almost 30 years.
But at the same time, um, what really makes me come alive is a, a bit of, I, I've really been falling in love with this minimalistic style where, um, I'm doing less and I'm letting my marks... I think it's the nature loving thing where uh, I see art patterns in nature and they look like art. And so I love that when it appears on my painting, where you almost think a hand wasn't involved.
While me not having a hand involved means it's gonna look a little raw and unstudied, and people might misunderstand it and think I have less skill than I do. And I need to be okay with that. So that for me is very humbling. Um, because. Uh, I can't, uh, the, the work that makes me become most alive, um, doesn't necessarily, um, it's not necessarily a billboard for, for Angela's, you know, talent and skill.
Um, and I also think people have to develop a taste for it, as well. Uh, one thing I've been trying to do is, is, uh, enter my art in more national shows and, and, um, that means facing a lot of rejection at this point. And, uh, I'm stepping into a, a public space where people haven't seen what I do before. I need to be okay with it, taking time, um, for people to recognize what I'm doing and, and care about it the way I do.
Um, and that's been, it's very, it's very challenging. It's very humbling, uh, takes a lot of patience and, uh, it would be very easy to feel like maybe I should just, you know, maybe I'm on the wrong path, but how can I, how can I be on the wrong path when it's something that matters to my heart so much?
[00:22:29] Marijanel: Yeah. Very, very well said. So, Angela, in the past, we've had conversations here on the podcast about how we often judge our own art as good or bad. And we have this sort of, I mean, this could relate to what we've talked about today in perfectionism or people pleasing, but we have these sort of standards where we look at art over here and say, this is good art.
And then we look at what we're doing, and we think this is bad art, or we judge. Have you gone through the process with yourself or any of the painters that you work with that you have had to just like release judgment of what is good art, what is bad art, and what does that mean?
[00:23:12] Angela: Yeah. Um, actually, I've, I don't even use, I try not to use the words good or bad anymore.
Uh, I've really, I, I'm really not comfortable with them because, uh, and I've, because, because I, the way I look at my own work and it, this is hard because I do, I can evaluate other people's work and think, okay, this, this work to me is accomplishing what it set out to accomplish. Um, and I, I look for that more than anything else. Because if you're, that means that if you are a realist painter, um, and you're not accomplishing that goal, then yeah, your painting could be better.
Um, there is a measurable.
[00:23:48] Marijanel: Yes, that's a good way to put it.
[00:23:50] Angela: But, um, you know, for me to, to accomplish a goal means I might be breaking some rules along the way. Um, it might not, my composition might not be good, but somehow I, I communicated an emotion I wanted to communicate so that, um, so, but for me, I'm realizing, uh, as a watercolor artist, and this has been really critical for me, is realizing that I don't have to make a great painting in one version.
Uh, with watercolor, we don't tend to work in a lot of layers. Uh, you know, the, the common saying is you can't fix mistakes in watercolor and, and I reframe mistakes, so I don't have to worry about that. But, um, if my painting, but when I choose a subject for a painting, uh, I know that it might take me 5, 10, 20 versions before I really find the one that resonates.
Um, it loosen intuitive painting for me involves a lot of editing out the excess. And so, you know, each version that I do, I let go a little more of things that weren't necessary. And so my, my one finished painting that I feel like this is the one I wanna frame and, and exhibit, um, it, it sits, uh, on a foundation of a multitude of paintings that came before it. And that was really, those were really necessary. So how can I say that the one that's finished is better? Um, because it owes so much to the others. And I feel like there's this ongoing conversation where I have this body of work and a lifetime of, um, development that all contributes to what I'm making today.
The first water, uh, water waterfall painting that I painted, I owe so much to that because 25 waterfalls down the road, you know, I, I created one that was like really powerful, but I couldn't have done that if I hadn't started with the first one. So I try to be proud of my, my old work, um, and not define.
[00:25:39] Marijanel: I love that and in a way. Yeah. No, and in a way you do paint in layers. But the layers are just those previous versions.
[00:25:47] Angela: Exactly.
[00:25:47] Marijanel: That is so, so neat. I love that. And, you know, using, asking you the question, good versus bad is only because it's come up so many, many times amongst artists.
[00:25:58] Angela: We do that. Yeah.
[00:25:59] Marijanel: And yeah. And so I, I love how you've put it to us today. And that, you know, we don't even need to use that language really.
[00:26:07] Angela: Yeah.
[00:26:07] Marijanel: We don't even need to use that, that way of thinking, but just know that everything we're doing is a stepping stone to the next greater piece.
[00:26:15] Angela: Yeah.
[00:26:15] Marijanel: And to knowing ourselves better, and so, as we sort of wrap up here at the end of the show, is there anything that would be on your heart and mind to encourage the listeners of the Bold Artist podcast in, um, whether it be in finding their style or knowing their medium better, or even life in business as an artist?
Do you just have anything you've been wanting to share?
[00:26:42] Angela: Um, oh, there's so much. I'm sad that we're already coming to the, to the wrap up here because it's such
[00:26:48] Marijanel: and No, I'm not saying that Not to rush you. I'm not saying meant to rush. You can.
[00:26:52] Angela: Yeah. No, my heart is at this, in this place of, um, you get to be the artist you were meant to be. And, and it needs to, but it's a very open-ended, it's a very open-ended thing.
It's a very open-ended process. And you need to give yourself permission for it to not, um, fit any metrics, any goals? Um, I need to give myself permission to do whatever it is on my heart to do today, um, and not worry about whatever deadline is looming or whatever people might be buying right now. Um, or even measuring up to a level of skill that I've achieved.
And when I do that, if, if I can make,. I, I believe that making art can be counter-cultural because we live in an environment where we are about productivity, and about achieving, and earning, and justifying everything we do as being productive and, um, measuring up and meeting someone's approval. And, um, in my art space, uh, I, I, I need to be able to be myself, and I need to be able to be safe, to be myself. And that's what I'm teaching myself when I come to paint. And that's really important to me because I, you can just lose who you are, uh, you know, in, in the busyness of life, in the expectations of other people. In the roles that you take on, especially as women.
Um, We, we really, uh, can be defined by our, by our roles, by our titles. You know, everyone wa all these mamas walking around with the mama bear, um, sweatshirts and stuff, and I'm like, I don't wanna just be mama bear. I, I need to know who I am in my heart and let that live, and I get to do that in my painting space.
And if you can do that, yes. Uh, I think that's where this, this idea for me, this idea of bold art comes from that. Um, owning who I am and having this be the one place where I can be safe to do that, and I don't have to dial myself back or up for anybody else. And, uh, that has, to me, that is counter-cultural.
Um, it's a little bit of a rebellion to be like that, to make that choice. And. And I think it's, it's going to, it changes the world. And, um, it, it, it changes how I relate to other people and how I show up in the world and I need that. So, uh, how could I not pursue that? Yeah.
[00:29:15] Marijanel: So do you hear that all you bold artists? What Angela just said, that bold art is knowing yourself, knowing who you are and bringing that out in your work. That that is a wonderful definition. And you know, I alluded to concluding, we're starting to wrap up the show. Cuz we're almost at the 30 minute mark. But now I've thought of a couple more questions.
[00:29:37] Angela: Oh good. Yeah. I'm here for it.
[00:29:39] Marijanel: As you were. Okay. As you were talking about that, uh, aspect of the artist's life, where you need a safe place to create and you need that, I almost imagine it like a chrysalis where you go in the chrysalis, and you just create in that safety and that secret place. But yet there's this whole other side of being an artist in business that we need to be productive and we need to have the checklist and we need to get things done.
How do you see that and how do you organize your days or your lifestyle, Angela? Do you have separate days in the studio and separate days for admin or, and, and do you find that they cloud each other? Because I've been the type that I'm like, okay, this is my special day in a studio, but yet niggling in the back of my mind it's like you have emails waiting. Yeah. How do you balance that?
[00:30:30] Angela: Yeah, I've done it different ways. Um, right now I'm working on kind of a two week on, two week off kind of model where I'm minimally present in my business for a couple of weeks, and then I kind of pour into the hustle for a couple of weeks. And then the times when I'm minimally doing the business, uh, I'm able to think about my personal development.
Um, and that's, and that's as an artist and with my mental health and, and relationships. When you have an online business, and for most of us as artists, we do get to design our own careers. Um, most artists do. We are entrepreneurs, and we have multiple income streams, and there's a lot of things to juggle and I've really.
When I first started teaching online, that was really when my business became financially viable. And, um, and I found a, an audience for not just what I was teaching, uh, in watercolor, but actually communicating about, um, the artist's life. And, um, so those two things go hand in hand. I write and I paint. And, um, I've done it where I've been working, uh, kind of the hustle where it's the, the business never really goes away.
I have set office hours, and I wouldn't check my email on weekends, but I also, you know, it was always kind of there. And over time, I, I realized I wanna have a more sustainable practice than that. And I've gotten to a place where I can kind of slow down and, um, and find this balance and pursue, um, a little bit more of my own, um, fine art practice in addition to the teaching.
So it has been a process, and I'm still trying to figure out, um, the, the two week on, two week off model for me, but it is... and, and I paint in spurts because I do watercolor. So when I come to the studio to paint, I might paint hard for 30 minutes, and then go check the email. So I, I, I bounce back and forth and it's a way of keeping focus, um, because I feel like with loose painting, you do kind of tense up over, uh, if you, the longer I paint, the more I start to lose that fresh, um, and that relaxed and the flow, um, it's hard to sustain long-term.
So take a break, walk away, come back. Dance around between the two.
[00:32:41] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:32:42] Angela: So, yeah.
[00:32:43] Marijanel: Yeah, that's just great input for anyone out there who's just like looking to juggle their productivity versus their sacred painting time, which is something that we talk about a lot on the show is just being productive artists, but also wholehearted and really real.
[00:32:58] Angela: Yeah.
[00:32:58] Marijanel: And, intentional with our time.
[00:33:00] Angela: Yeah.
[00:33:00] Marijanel: And so thank you so much for that input. And now just one little bonus question that I'm so curious about, and it's a bit disjointed from the rest of the conversation, but I wanna know what the biggest question that people ask you about watercolor is. Like the thing that holds them back from trying it, that they'll, they'll say some remark of like, watercolor is or is watercolor.
So, like, what do they say? What do they ask and say about watercolor, Angela?
[00:33:28] Angela: Um, that's a good question. Uh, watercolor, well, it's very, it's very well known that people will say that watercolor is the hardest medium. So, maybe we should dive into that. Um, the most difficult medium to learn is watercolor and it holds people back from trying it.
And I think that's really sad because, well, people can say that about anything. Um, the most difficult race to run is a marathon. Well, yeah, but people run marathons all the time. They're not content with the a hundred year dash because what you pour into, you know, it becomes valuable when you do a difficult thing. Um, with watercolor too, it, it's so rewarding. Uh, when you start to, and when you've showed up enough with watercolor to be able to start anticipating a little bit what it's going to do there becomes something that's very relational and it's, it's so beautiful. So, uh, it's worth it. You know, the hard things are the ones that are worth it.
They say marriage is hard, and yet people are still getting married, raising kids. Um, you know, whatever we do, um, we value the most, the things that are difficult. And so it's, it's okay for it to be difficult. Um, it is achievable, yeah.
[00:34:37] Marijanel: The hard things are worth it. Yeah. Angela Fehr, thank you so much for being on the Bold Artist Podcast.
Thank you all you watchers and listeners for tuning into the show. Make sure to hop on our newsletterlist at the our website boldschool.com, and you know where to find us on Instagram @boldschoolinc and right on the YouTube channel, the Bold School Channel. We're so happy to have you here on this journey as we're giving artists voices. Tune in next week for our show, and in the meantime, keep creating.