For Christmas, I asked for a book written by Flora Bowley called, Brave Intuitive Painting, Let Go. Be Bold, Unfold. The idea is to try different techniques to find your "own unique style". Flora states that we often have fear because we don't know what to do or we are worried about doing something wrong,and this fear prevents us from starting and/or finishing our art. Isn't this so true? I know I often struggle to come up with ideas and once I mull them over for a while, sometimes a long while, I dive in, but then just before finishing, I freeze up and need to mull over how to finish again. I know that if I had more time in a day for art, I could get on a roll, stay up all night and complete a painting, but with the realities of life, going to bed at a reasonable hour is a must, and once I stop painting, it is often hard to get going another day.
Flora encourages artists to believe there are no such things as mistakes. I decided to accept her challenge and just have fun painting and not worry about what to paint. This painting is actually over top of a mixed media collage I did of a tree. I loved the tree, but it ended up being smack dab in the middle of the canvas and I had no idea how I wanted to finish it, so after fussing over it for a VERY VERY long time, I decided the best solution was to be bold, and brave, and paint over the entire thing.
The greatest thing was learning to use my fingers to paint. The smooth cool acrylic paint felt as refreshing as a spring day on my my fingertips. I also used the mouth of a glass jar, sequin waste, straws, foam dabbers, brushes, a fork, a kistka used for pysanka (decorating of Ukrainian egg) and a water mister to apply/remove the paint.
After applying several layers, and turning the painting every 15 minutes, I began to see images in the background and picked an orientation. I naturally envisioned a bird and a fish. I painted over the fish yesterday, as I couldn't figure out what the fish had to do with the bird. Now that I look at the painting, it looks like the bird is flying over irrigated crops and the tops of buildings.
I have to say this is a very enjoyable process, but I still struggled with completing the painting. Last night I asked my husband for advice as to how to finish it. He said at first that he had to be honest, that he didn't like this style of "abstract" painting and that he didn't know what I was "going for". I tried to explain to him that the idea behind the painting was to explore and have fun and not really worry about what it is trying to say or portray. Once he got passed that, he gave me an excellent idea to make the tail overlap some of the background more and make it more flowy to make it look air is moving through the feathers like I did on the wings. He also encouraged me to add more colour to the blue from the background to give the bird more life and definition. He used my paint brush to add a few strokes to the bird. Hmmm, I think he should paint too. He is a good artist and has a natural and keen eye for perspective and accuracy of proportion, something that I have to work on.
I am grateful that Flora Bowley is bold and brave and willing to share her ideas with all.
I will definitely try this technique again. It was positively fun!
I have decided to link this to Paint Party Friday.