Looking Ahead While Glancing Back.

What’s this? A blog post? Sure why not. For The Mind of Watercolor YouTube Channel, 2020 & 2021 have been interesting to say the least. Challenges continue in 2022 to just maintain my channel’s status quo, and not only because of the “Rona.” New family challenges arose that stressed my productivity bandwidth to the max. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say a “new normal” had to be adopted. Blog posts are the first thing on my list to suffer neglect and that’s by design. But I do love to write given the chance and that desire bats it’s beckoning eyes every now and then. Landmark events are good occasions to drop a word or two. So here goes.

Revisiting The Brain Child

Quite often beginners ask me where to begin with my videos, how to systematically approach and consume The Mind of Watercolor channel content. To me thats like giving you step by step instructions on how to consume your dinner in the correct order. Any way you want really. It’s up to you and you can’t really make a mistake. Want to eat your dessert first? Go right ahead! That said, it’s important to understand the brain child that was the start of this channel. I decided to write this section because it’s a frequently asked question.

The Mind of Watercolor channel was designed to fill a content niche I only rarely saw on YouTube at that time – sharing products, tips and techniques of interest to all experience levels in a fairly abbreviated but random way, sort of like an art enthusiast’s club or hang out where watercolor and related things are shared and discussed for fun. Instruction was a byproduct more or less. I originally conceived my videos as 5-7 minute quick clips. That proved to be insufficient and has since evolved to 15-20 minutes on average. Now, more creators are making this style of content, but back then, step by step, paint along tutorials, sometimes quite lengthy ones, were much more common on YouTube. Still are frankly. The other commonality was speed painting with absolutely zero instruction. I saw the need for a different type of channel, a less formal, “welcome to my studio, here’s what I’m up to” approach. From the many questions and comments I’ve received over the years, the overwhelming response has been, “please don’t change a thing.” I won’t and I’m grateful for that affirmation.

Regardless, beginners can still learn a quite lot through watching my content but the process is more like foraging and collecting gems where you find them. It’s also a call for artists to stretch, explore and discover. For watercolor, that can be a more effective, even if non-linear way to learn. I’ve long felt there is too much emphasis on watercolor rules, well-defined steps and, “am-I-doing-it-right?” approaches. Um, we’re not assembling furniture here. There are perhaps a dozen ways to paint any given scene or subject in watercolor. The medium has a distinct personality you must get to know intimately and a step by step tutorial just won’t do that for you. I instead love to steep viewers in the experience and possibilities of watercolor painting. It’s important and valuable to watch other artists paint and hear their rationale. However, actual skill can only be attained by playing and experimenting with the medium and observing what it does in given situations, regardless of the type instruction you consume. 90% of what I’ve learned was learned through experimentation and self discovery.

Gratefully Looking Back

Every year I continue to be delighted and a little amazed at the enthusiastic support I continue to receive from viewers. When I launched The Mind of Watercolor YouTube channel almost 8 years ago, I hoped, but did not predict with any certainty where my channel would take me. I’m now on the cusp of 300k subscribers and that blows my mind. It also steels my resolve to keep on making inspiring art content that I love, knowing that my viewers, for the most part, will also share in that love and excitement. That knowledge in and of itself is exciting! So to all my loyal as well as recent viewers who’ve made this journey with me and made it possible, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Looking back and behind the scenes, a person of constant support and one who gave me the initial push to launch my channel has been my wife, Rita. She’s been a loving, dependable wife, mother, grandmother and for my channel, a much needed cheerleader and brainstorming companion, all while maintaining a successful career as a permissions department manager for a publisher.

Excitedly Looking Ahead

Perhaps the biggest news is that the afore mentioned publisher my wife works for will soon lose a valuable manager but I’ll gain a much needed partner for The Mind of Watercolor. In a few days from this posting, my wife will officially retire and join me in running the channel and producing content. I look forward to the help and having you get to know her a little better.

Reaching 300k subscribers also calls for a time of celebration. I’m getting to the point where, for me at least, counting the number of subscribers is not as important as it once was, but I never want to lose the desire to appreciate those actual viewers who continue to watch and have propelled me to this point, regardless of count. I’m planning a big, fun giveaway that will in some small way further express my gratitude. That video will be added to this post when it’s finally added to YouTube.

As I look ahead. I’m excited by sharing three passions mainly. Watercolor of course, mixed media (involving watercolor usually), and drawing (something you may see more of going forward).

So… on to the next 100k!

22 thoughts on “Looking Ahead While Glancing Back.

  1. This is a wonderful blog. At first I was worried that you were retiring from YouTube! And thank goodness you aren’t. Your authenticity and warmth on your Channel makes me feel like I’m visiting a friend. Thank you for the guidance you offer AND the encouragement! I have been a bit absent lately too, so I have some catching up to do. I’m always happy to paint alongside you. I don’t have any favorite topics! I love them all! Keep up the great work and I am looking forward to meeting Rita.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on the 300K and on Rita’s retirement! I’m sure you will both enjoy working together on The Mind of Watercolor. I’m eager to keep watching and learning from you and see how things progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you will continue to educate us novices. We all appreciate what you do. Your mannerisms and abilities make you one of a kind. Thank You

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for all you do, and don’t change anything! You have been a great inspiration to me for many years and have helped me develop my skills by giving me new ideas to explore!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Steve! You’re one of my very favorite artists on YouTube! Love your straight–forward style and how you tell us everything we need to know, in clear steps.You cover the difficult things, but also the most simple things, like ‘how to splatter!’ i didn’t know how, and too embarrassed to ask anybody . Glad your wife’s retiring, be super patient with one another, and keep an eye on Reese! Best wishes, Candace Bennett

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So lovely to receive your post today. I am a huge fan and follower and am glad to hear that you will be continuing to share your passion with us! Congratulations to your wife on her retirement – I’m sure you will both have fun working on your future projects together.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Steve, thank you for all that you have brought to the watercolor community on You Tube. I have been a follower of your channel from the beginning, and have celebrated the milestones as the number of followers has grown. You bring a warmth and authenticity that is always encouraging and your skill is always inspiring! We are looking forward to getting to know Rita 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Been watching for five or more years now, and have learned a great deal from you, particularly that if you stick with the project something interesting will likely develop.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I saw your email, I feared the worst. So glad that your news is just the opposite! I look forward to meeting Rita and to seeing what the two of you will cook up together! Congratulations on your retirement, Rita!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, welcome aboard to your bride! And congrats on you first retirement. I will look forward to seeing the new set of eyes in the future. However, for one who asked that very question more than a few years back I remember it being difficult to get started. But I wouldn’t change very much. Part of the fun each week or so is to see which way the rabbit will run. Blessings and best of luck in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Okay, you scared the spit right out of me! Whew! So glad that you are not going anywhere! I am learning so much from you, and admire your generous heart. May God keep you and your family safe from any and all evil and harm.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Steve! I’ve been with you for almost seven years now and always look forward to the next week’s episode. I believe your talent is unique among your competitors on Utube…you’re the best. Each piece is my new favorite! I look forward to many more years learning from the master. Tell Rita congratulations on her retirement and remind her that every day will be Saturday! She shares a name with our RV…an acronym that stands for “Retirement is totally awesome”! Best wishes for you both and your extended family!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so glad your wife is joining you!!! We’ll finally get to see great content! Hahahahahahaha. I’m looking forward to sharing this new chapter with you both. I can barely wait to see what Rita brings to the channel! Congrats on the retirement! Congrats on the 300 K subbies! Thank you, a million and one times, for bringing joy to others, through watercolor and laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I did not get any information in this except, Thanks for flying with WordPress.com. This does not make sense to me.

    Linda Jones

    Like

  15. Steve and Rita: Art Partners-It’s Official Now. As Bowie sang, “Ch-ch-changes….” I too, am newly retired and enjoying the time to think about and work on art. Your talent and your enthusiasm will fuel me to use more of my time to be creative. Thank you both for all that you do to inspire others, as it is surely a gift to share.

    Liked by 1 person

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