If you are a long standing reader of this blog ( thank you so much ! ) you will remember that I did a retreat last year, which was one of the highlights of the year for me. Lots of magical things came about as a result. For me, one of the best things was that I finally got down to doing some painting.
Despite answering ” I want to paint” to all those exercises in The Artist’s Way, where you are prompted to write down things that you would like to do -but never get round to doing , no painting happened. Some other things did, but no painting.
After the retreat I was on a bit of a roll and kept painting. One canvas from the course still wasn’t done and I came back to that, layer after layer, trying to wrestle it into a pleasing image. I also started a couple of smaller canvases but then after a while I started to slow down. Painting slipped down the list of priorities. Other things took over. I didn’t quite stop painting , but the momentum had gone.
Then the announcement of an online course with Flora – well – I didn’t hesitate. I knew it would be perfect as a refresher course. To remind me of all her wise words “work with what is working” and “there are no mistakes” for example. So much of what she shares is as relevant to life itself as it is to painting.
It was a little complicated as I was going to be in Scotland for half of the five weeks and in Holland for the other half. But I got myself organised with canvas and paints in each location. And for five weeks started my day with the course – reading, or watching videos of Flora demonstrating her techniques.
There were a lot of other people doing the course too, all around the world. And the shared experience of seeing their work and hearing their thoughts helped add to the course. Many of us seemed to love the “gay abandon” part of the early layers and then find it a bit harder as we tried to pull our images into some kind of shape.
The picture at the top of this post is the first one that “came together” from the online course. I didn’t set out to paint flowers. In fact, as flowers have been my default subject matter for ever, I was trying not to paint flowers. But anyway, they are what turned up. The other two are “work in progress”. It is still quite a long way outside my comfort zone to show my paintings to the world. I’m trying to enjoy the process and not really concern myself with the result. ( Apparently it takes 100 “bad” paintings, or maybe even 1000 before you can hope for a good one, so I just thought I may as well get going ! )
Anyway, if you too have had a yearning to do some painting and not quite known where to start here are a couple of suggestions for you. Flora has a book which is about to come out – and there will be another session of the painting course in June.