Creatively Quarantining

By Reyna Bergstrom
Guest Author

People often ask me, “how did you start painting?”

Well, it’s actually quite the story. In 4th grade I asked my mom to drive me to Michael’s so I could buy myself a small kit of acrylic paints, a few brushes, and a pad of watercolor paper. That’s pretty much it — the rest is history. From the get-go, I was hooked.

 

I must say that I’ve always been drawn to the visual arts. Although I attribute my visit to Michael’s in elementary school as being the start of my obsession with painting, I don’t actually remember the first time I picked up a paint brush; creating has always been something that I’ve just done. Although I would love to someday enroll in a formal painting class, I’m self-taught in acrylic and watercolor painting and have learned by immersing myself in the art form (as well as watching a few YouTube tutorials and gaining inspiration from the iconic Bob Ross.) There’s something to be said about jumping unabashedly into a new hobby or project and experimenting with it until you have a handle on whatever that thing is. I believe that painting is something that anyone can pick up and do — the secret to getting good at it (like anything) is time. And, lucky for you, this season of social distancing is certainly allowing many of us more time than we typically would have in our “normal” every-day-jam-packed lives.

You don’t need to buy expensive supplies to create beautiful works of art; there are excellent and affordable products available online that will ship directly to your doorstep. You can also of course support local arts and crafts businesses which may be currently providing curbside pickup services.

However, for the sake of convenience, I’m going to share links to Amazon. (*These are also available at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.) Here are a few of my recommendations:

Watercolor Paint 

Acrylic Paint

Paper

  • Option one: ($) Canson Series Watercolor Pad (This stuff is great! I’ve been buying Canson’s paper for years in multiple sizes — beginner paper, good for practicing.)

  • Option two: ($$) Arches Watercolor Paper Pad (This paper is beautiful; you can add multiple layers onto the paper and it won’t break or leak through — high quality paper, I use it for my “important” pieces.)

Brushes

Extra Tools you might appreciate

I encourage you to be intentional with this unique season. Use this time to your advantage and invest in yourself by learning a new skill and flexing your creative muscles. If you would like some painting inspiration other than Bob Ross, a few individuals I enjoy following on social media are @jennaalexanderstudio and @oszvaldann on Instagram and Emily Mackey Art and Shayda Campbell on YouTube; although, there are thousands of creative accounts that exist which you can easily find if you do a simple search.

Spend time honing your craft and “perfecting” your chosen artistic medium. Happy creating, Ladybosses!

Reyna

 

About Reyna Bergstrom

Reyna Bergstrom graduated from Concordia College in May 2018 with degrees in communication and religion. After interning for Senator John Hoeven in Washington D.C. her final semester of college, she returned to Minnesota for graduation and soon moved to Flathead Lake in Montana to work at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. As the Art Coordinator, she spent her summer days getting her hands dirty teaching pottery, running around with kids, and spending nearly every weekend hiking in Glacier National Park. Following a whirlwind of a summer, Reyna returned to her hometown of Fargo, North Dakota without any plans. After some traveling and working a few part time jobs, she accepted her first “big girl” job on Concordia’s Communication and Marketing Team as a Content Specialist in November of 2018. Reyna now spends her days running Concordia’s social media and loves engaging with current students, faculty, and alumni and sharing their stories. In June 2019, Reyna competed in Miss North Dakota where she placed first runner-up, and spent the rest of her summer (outside of work) continuing to travel and spend time with loved ones. In her free time she enjoys painting, planning trips, and eating arguably too many avocados. She currently lives in Horace, North Dakota where she is learning to embrace time at home with her family during the COVID-19 pandemic.