Layered Inspiration

June’s Artist Date was another special experience for me. I decided a couple of months ago that I would take Flora Bowley’s Bloom True course on the process she calls intuitive painting. It complimented The Artist’s Way theory quite perfectly. Each week the course followed a theme like play or bravery and each day you were given a task to complete. 2 days per week you were to paint. The bigger the canvases, the better as far as she was concerned. I went through so many emotions over the past 5 weeks, and today my Artist Date brought my painting to a conclusion.

Funny enough, this month’s chapter focused on abundance and treating yourself with luxury intentionally. What this means is that you pay attention all month how you are spending your money (no judgement), and then seeing how you are stingy with yourself in areas that would actually matter more. I found this to be true. I found myself being reluctant to buy the canvases, but in the end found coupons and my unspent birthday gift which helped me purchase my first 36 x 48 inch canvas for only $12. It’s original price of $79 felt like a lot of pressure to make something spectacular. I also had several 12 x 12s laying around and decided to do a grouping of 6 for my living room.

Each week I added new layers of paint to my canvases and started feeling a little more performance anxiety with the last 4 layers. In her course, she teaches a style that is very free flowing and without pre contemplation for the final outcome. You put on music and paint layers in warm colors, then cool colors, then blacks and whites etc. In the end, you start seeing images emerge and go out seeking inspiration on walks or in books.

This month, in The Artist Way, you were to go for a walk and collect leaves and rocks. This was also an exercise in Flora’s course. Yesterday after working on my painting I felt that the colors were just not coming together and I began feeling stuck. So this morning, I took my final Artist’s Date by going to the park with my camera, a big plastic baggie, a sketch book, my Artist’s Way journal and a pencil.

I wandered up the riverbed and calmed myself with the water’s flow and began taking pictures and sketched a rock. I then walked back up toward the trail when a big orange butterfly almost flew into me. I watched as other butterflies danced through the clearing. I wished I could have gotten a picture before a crow upset the magic. I walked up the trail and found a clearing on the path with huge trees and hundreds of ferns and realized those were the final elements missing in my painting. I collected my leaves, moss, bark, and pine cones before making my own little forest offering (another assignment for the class). As I arranged the wildflowers, moss, twigs, and leaves a woman stopped to watch. I had to wonder what she thought I must be doing.

I went home and worked on my painting with my new pieces of inspiration surrounding it, AND I finished it and loved how it turned out. I felt the most excited that it really reflected my family. Every bit of the painting was symbolic of what inspires us and our spirit. Next up, I will be working on the last few layers of my huge canvas, but as for today, I celebrate. I felt like a real painter. Something that I hadn’t quite owned yet.

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8 responses to “Layered Inspiration

  1. Thanks for sharing your process. I love that you used seperately canvases and that it gave you options. I noticed you switched the order of the canvases between layers 5 and 6 and it is nice to have that freedom. I’ve read many revies on The Artists Way and have been tempted to try reading/experiencing it. Do you recommend? Why? I love your finished piece!

    • I am happy to share and thank you! I definitely recommend completing The Artist’s Way. For me, the book was life changing. I think there is something for everyone in her process. ❤

      • Oh, and it was really interesting to have the different canvases to work with on this. I switched them so many times. It made the intuitive process all the more interesting for me. I would move the order and turn the canvases until I could see the images emerging. I finally settled on the order around 6. 🙂

  2. so The Artist’s Way is a book or a class? I love everything you wrote. I will have to now go Google it. I did watch an interview with the author, so duh! I guess it’s a book.

    • The Artist’s Way is a book by Julia Cameron. I believe she does run classes for it though. I just run through it on my own most of the time, but this year, I have been lucky enough to find a group of other artists who are also going through a chapter a month. I have learned a lot slowing it down so much. The author has it set up to do a chapter a week The process is very intensive that way.

  3. I am realii into arts n all n by lookin at this way of creativity am totally impressd . Awsum thought.. Love to b part of it

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