This January I signed up for a five week painting course with Flora Bowley. The course, Bloom True, teaches participants the art of intuitive painting, what I like to think of as painting from the heart. Flora's course introduced me to not only the basics of color theory and composition but also to the importance of letting go of all preconceived ideas of what art is and isn't. By reading the daily lessons, viewing the videos, and participating in the daily prompts I have been learning how to release any fears I have about putting brush to canvas. In addition, I am learning about patience and trust; patience in the process and trust that all the elements will eventually come together. I am becoming kinder to my self, less critical of my skills.
It has been a wonderful adventure.
I thought it would be fun to share the process with you, starting with my first painting, which I have titled "Muse":
Flora suggests we start with a layer of warm or cool colors. For this painting I began with warm, and quickly layered it with cool, obscuring most of the first layer.
During the third layer I became frustrated, as evidenced by the domination of red and purple...although I did have fun etching a mandala. I wasn't sure where I was going but I kept trusting the process.
Flora encourages us to try different markings as we paint, using different objects to stamp on colors. It was with this fourth layer that I began to understand how rich a painting can become when you add layer after layer. I have always loved trees and at this point I was drawn to adding one to the painting.
I neglected to photograph a few interim layers, but eventually my muse appeared. When I first put brush to canvas it was with no preconceived notion of what I would create!
My second painting was a lesson in learning how to let go:
The first layer was so much fun! I fingerprinted the colors on. It brought back memories of how much I liked the smell and texture of finger paints. :)
Unfortunately, I once again missed photographing a few layers, but this bird presented herself early on in the process.
I loved the bird, mainly because of the way she just seemed to magically appear on the canvas, but I was unhappy with the direction the rest of the painting was taking. I felt as if I was manipulating the remainder of the canvas to suit the bird. I knew I needed to let go, but it was so hard!
Eventually the bird, tree, everything was replaced by a field of gold. I was surprised by the transformation.
The final product.
Bloom True helped me rediscover my love for painting. I am so happy when I have a paintbrush in my hand and a blank canvas in front of me. It is a joyful experience.
If you enjoy painting you should really check out Flora's course. It is life-changing.
"I dream of painting and then I paint my dream." ~ Vincent Van Gogh