An Endless Pursuit to Describe the World in Watercolor

An abstract series of peach, green, and blue brushstrokes on a white background.
Alexa Grambush, Fruit in your Oaxacan Bowl, 2022. 12 in x 16 inches. Acrylic on cold-pressed paper. Courtesy of the artist.

I am sometimes asked, “When did you decide to become an artist?” 

I don’t know that I ever did.

I know that I am moved by subtlety and season and the smell of jasmine. I know that it is important to me to be honest about myself to myself, to bear difficulty with humility and patience, and to draw ever-nearer to love and grace and truth. 

I know that I love sitting in the sun and reading fiction, or nonfiction. I know that I want to try to be a good daughter, a good friend, and a good sister. I know that I am oftentimes not. 

I know that I like to journal and remember and pray. I know that I am humbled by the people who have trusted me. I know that I love to laugh! I know what it feels like to be really listened to, and I know that I want to really listen.

I know that I am not as generous as I want to be. I know that, in so many ways, my heart is broken and, in so many ways, it has experienced healing. I know that I will die, and I know that makes so much about living very precious and important.

I know that I have had experiences so profoundly moving, so breath-catchingly painful, so quietly wonderful, and so sincerely miraculous that I felt compelled to carefully, reverently record them. I know that painting gave me a language to honor that they happened at all.

I know that I can’t distill the richness, the ache, or the longing into one earnest moment. I am gently reminded of the profound abundance of it all, altogether. I don’t know that I ever did decide to become an artist, but I know that as I try to fit it together as faithfully as I can, it looks, most times, like watercolor.

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Author: Alexa Grambush

Alexa Grambush is an observer, creator and painter. Her innate sensitivity to space and dynamics, both interpersonal and aesthetic, informs her creative interactions which have included watercolor, weaving, acrylic, floral design, environment design, and event production. Her artistic expressions are guided by her deeply held values of truth and sincerity, and her desire to see the sacred in the everyday. She calls California home, but returns with the sun every year to Traverse City, Michigan.