Do What You Love Retreat – Part 4 – Flora Bowley Painting Workshop

Flora's finished painting

Flora's finished painting

The third day we got a fresh canvas to work on. Apparently most of Flora’s workshops are over one or two days so it was a luxury to have the third day. With this one we could put into practise what we had learnt and work with a little more purpose.  I did have some idea about what I wanted to do – but that was mainly in terms of the colours I wanted to  use – I tried to let the actual marks appear more intuitively. As I was having a bit of a “photo break” I didn’t take my “big” cameras with me, nor was I really thinking about writing blog posts afterwards -so I didn’t take many pictures of the progression of the first two paintings. The final one I did photograph a bit more as it evolved.

Third canvas early on

Third canvas early on

Each day there were little sessions in between the painting, making sketches , thinking about what insprires us and also what our negative voice was telling us. We had to write a little note turning this thought upside down. Mine was quite simple ” I am a Painter” – as my voice was regularly muttering – “This is all very well, and you might be  a photographer , but you’re not a painter”. I gave myself the same advice as I give to people who hesitate to call themselves a photographer – “You’re a photographer if you decide you are”.  Very simple but it did seem to just wave away the voices.

Detail later on

Detail later on

I’ve rambled on a lot here – it’s actually very hard to capture the whole mood in words. But in short – we painted for three days. It was amazing, blissful, inspiring, encouraging and feels like the start of so much more. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. I don’t know which way my painting will evolve but I know I have definitely crossed an important barrier.

Around coffee time....

Around coffee time....

The class was made up about 50 /50 of people who already painted versus those who hadn’t – but again, the whole format made it so unintimidating for us newbies. If you have always wanted to paint but didn’t know where or how to start then this is the course for you.  You will get paint on your fingers and the biggest dose of encouragement and enthusiasm that you can imagine.

Finished painting

Finished painting

(It does feel a tiny bit out of my comfort zone again to post these online, because there are a lot of things I don’t like, or would like to try differently next time. But in the interests of showing what I completed during the workshop I have posted it. I read somewhere ( maybe the Artist’s Way ? ) – that in order to do a good painting you need to give yourself permission to do 100 “bad” ones !


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6 thoughts on “Do What You Love Retreat – Part 4 – Flora Bowley Painting Workshop

  1. I love this series of posts! I’m so glad you pushed past your comfort zone and posted the pics. The story is not complete without them. I love your saying – “You’re a photographer if you decide you are.” Now you can just expand what you say to, “I’m an artist.” You photograph, you paint. You’re an artist!

  2. Great post, Rhiannon! And great painting too! I’m so glad you had such a good time at Flora’s workshop…I’m having a class with her too, at the end of the year, but I bet the scenery is not gonna be so beautiful… 😉

  3. Wow this is just gorgeous and I love how it evolved. I find it so inspiring to see how everybody’s “Flora” style is completely different and as she said to us and probably you “I don’t want to teach you to go away doing what I do, you have to develop your own style and flow”. I have had a bit of difficulty finding my style with her style (if you know what I mean) as it’s so out of my comfort zone but I’m loving it is so Freeing and Blooming! Lovely to stop by your blog. I’ll be back. x

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