Art and Positive Thinking

Welcome to my Renee Loves Art blog!

My focus is exploring, creating and reflecting upon the positives of life and connecting them to my art whether it be photography, pen and ink drawings, watercolour paintings, mixed media, digital media or any other possible media I dive into!

I hope you join me on my art adventure!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Positively Fun

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.


  1. I wanted this book too but some of the reviews weren't that good! So thank you for giving us your take on it!! What you have here is beautiful so far!! I think it's great that you're braving through this process!! You go girl!

    Hugs Giggles

  2. I love your painting, and all the bold colours and folk-art morives. I just try to always do my own thing, regardless of what it looks like, and as long as it does me good, then it's good! Have fun, Valerie

  3. Oh yes, Flora Bowley really changed my way of painting. I love the process of just starting and not knowing what you'll end up with. It's very liberating. I agree with you that it's not always easy to find where to go with a painting. I think you did a great job on this. To me it looks like the bird is flying over a city at night, with all the sparkling lights underneath...

  4. That sounds like just the book for me. I too get to a stage where I am afraid to spoil what I have done so far and can sit staring at it for ages. I love the colours and the patterns in this and the bird too.

  5. this is a beautiful piece of artwork!

  6. Wonderful book and a very wonderful painting.

  7. This is so beautiful & inspiring Renee!
    Happy PPF!
    Alison x

  8. Terrific description of the process, and I think this painting is very pretty! I think the extra feathers on the wings as suggested by your husband made a great difference.

  9. i've heard so many good things about Flora and this book. I will have to check it out!! great painting you have posted here.

  10. I think it is wonderful that you are enjoying this book and finding inspiration and joy trying new things.
    I also love that you honored your husbands thoughts, so many people ask their husbands and children for advice and then do what they would have done already, which is fine too, but i often see the other persons spirit sink at that point. Your painting is gorgeous!!

  11. Love your finished project!

  12. This book you are talking about sounds very inspiring! I love it how you have described the process of how you created this wonderful artwork!

  13. Oh wonderful and inspirational! I really love the cool color of the bird and contrasts with the red. I feel the bird is flying free in the sky looking down at a city. The book sounds really wonderful! Fantastic!

  14. Hello, found you after you dropped by and left a sweet comment, I love your piece and flora too! A friend of mine went on a retreat of hers a few years ago and still talks of the magic! Following!!!! :)

  15. I love the finished piece of art! It's gorgeous. :)

    I took Flora's online class a couple summers ago and really enjoyed it. I had a hard time "letting go" and never actually finished any of my pieces. I still have them and hope to get back and finish them one day. I have a gift card to a book store and may just need to purchase the book to kick start me into finishing my paintings!


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