|Blooming Collaboratively, 30x30in, Acrylic on Canvas|
Have you ever craved something, but didn’t know how to start? That’s painting for me. I’ve had the desire for two years now, to paint big, bold, bright paintings. Paintings that expressed something more than the reality around me. Something that would come from intuition and a place deep inside. I’ve dabbled in painting but on a small scale, and without getting to where I wanted to go.
I finally found a way to tap into that inner creative energy that’s been wanting to run free in Flora Bowley‘s Bloom True painting class last week at the Do What You Love retreat. A couple of days ago, I shared the process we learned over the three days to get to one finished painting. Today I’m sharing images of the three paintings I worked on in the class, in celebration of Paint Party Friday.
Painting #1 (above) I’ve titled “Blooming Collaboratively” because it is not wholly mine. Flora teaches a lot about non-attachment and using what “is.” She helped us work through our attachment issues by having us paint on each other’s canvases at the beginning of the first day. An even bigger lesson came mid-morning the second day, when we had to give one of the two paintings we were working on to the person on our left. Yep, a day and a half of painting on this canvas, and now it’s not ours. Big, big lesson in non-attachment.
This painting is partly done by Carissa, who was painting to my left. In the painting I received, I noticed the three bright orange and yellow dots. I had just been sketching flowers on the trees as part of our morning exercise, so the flowers just came, along with the circles. All of the painting you see in the middle of the flowers and circles is the original painting I received. I went from there with the background and details.
It’s interesting, I really like how this painting turned out, but I’m not attached to it. I don’t feel like I can really call it “mine.” It came so easily, it felt like cheating. Somewhere deep inside me there must be some self-inflicted rules I’m harboring that relate to this feeling, that need to get sorted out.
|Leafing Out, 30x30in, Acrylic on Canvas|
Painting #2: I wrote about the process to create this painting, start to finish, earlier this week. You can read that post here. I am more attached to this painting, because of the struggles I went through and what I learned on it, but I’m not sure I like it. I like the colors and the shapes, the brushstrokes, the individual elements. I struggled with the composition.
What I’ve realized is that composition in painting is very different than composition in photography. In my photography, composition comes naturally to me. My favorite type of photography is what I call “real life still life,” finding an existing scene and composing a photograph with the elements that are already there. Composition, in that case, is about eliminating what shouldn’t be in the frame so that my vision is clear. Painting is different. I’m creating the elements, adding them, subtracting them, combining them. There are just so many possibilities! I’ll have to work through this more, to find a compositional style in painting that comes intuitively.
|Unlocked (unfinished), 30x30in, Acrylic on Canvas|
Painting #3: This is the canvas we started from scratch on the third (and last) day. Using all of what we had learned so far, it was time to integrate and work independently. Boy, was it fun!! This one came very easily so far, but it’s not complete. Others have commented, “It looks complete to me!” I know in my heart that it is not. I see a few things that I want to do, when I next get my hands on it. The visual elements represent how I feel about painting after this class too, as if there is something that has been unlocked inside of me. Something I’ve been trying to get at, but didn’t know how.
It was great to get the opportunity to do this third canvas, start to (almost) finish. Flora’s classes are usually two days and so this third canvas is not part of the normal plan. It really helped me to integrate what I’ve learned and see what would come out in a work that was on my own. I find it so interesting, how some of the elements are the same in all three – the circles, organic curving shapes of flowers, leaves and vines, the colors of the last two – mostly cool with some warm popping through. Here I’ve hardly painted and a bit of style is emerging. I love it! Right up my alley as I’m passionate about everyone finding their unique vision of the world, regardless of the art form.
There you have it! Three paintings – bigger, bolder and quicker than I’ve ever painted. I’m filled with so much joy and excitement about painting, a whole new world has opened up. I am completely and totally smitten. Now, these canvases have been removed from the wood frames and are rolled up, ready to be shipped to Oregon in July when I move back home from Italy.
After writing this, I’m itching to paint again and am resolving to make the time to get to it before we move. Happy Paint Party Friday everyone!