Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Wanderlust Week12: Intuitive painting with Flora Bowley

I first came across Flora Bowley's name last year on LifeBook and I was so impressed I immediately bought her book about the intuitive painting process. I was really happy to see her again as one of the teachers on Wanderlust this year.

Flora's process looks deceptively easy - on the surface of it, she appears to be putting down random paint marks, however, in the end she always manages to build up the layers into something visually striking. Even though she makes it look so easy, I am convinced that this sort of painting method is the most difficult to master.

I have tried making intuitive paintings several times before and I always end up falling into the same old practice, which produces tight, calculated and uniform pictures, not at all similar to a genuinely intuitive, loose, diverse painting. Even though there's no right or wrong way of doing this, I find it really hard to let go and come up with something remotely similar to an intuitive painting.

I'll share two of my efforts here, one in my journal and one on canvas. While I don't actually dislike these, I feel I have failed yet again to find my intuitive voice. I think it will be a long process before I can learn to unfold, but hopefully I have now taken the initial steps in the right direction.

Here's effort No.1 in my 12X12 inch spiral journal:

Effort No.2 on a 12X9 inch canvas with a similar colour palette. Even though both of my projects started out with a very different-looking first layer, I gravitated towards the same teal/violet combo in the end. I just seem to favour cool colours to warm ones - at the moment, anyway.

Both these project have several layers of paint underneath the final layer. You won't believe if I show how I started out because they are so different from the end result. I can't help thinking that I wasted a lot of paint before I arrived at my destination, but Flora did warn us that sometimes it might take up to 20-30, even 40! layers to complete a painting. Some paintings, however, might fall together a lot quicker than that.

Here are my first layers for each project. You can just about recognize the placement of some of the elements but the original colours have been obliterated.

 Thanks for visiting! 
I encourage you to have a go at painting intuitively.
It is quite fun but can also be frustrating if you don't like what you end up with.
The lesson here is not to have any expectations before hand!

I'm linking this post to Carolyn Dube's Let's Play party this week.
Carolyn is also teaching on Wanderlust later this year!

Let's Play!

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