atelier 29 - transformation

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bloom True e-course - 2 paintings - 1 square 24" x 24", 1 rectangle 40" x 30",  1 cat critic/studio mate .... much transformation

Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, 
but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap 
and stands confident in the storms of spring
without fear that after them may come no summer.
Rainer M. Rilke

This is such a process, this wild intuitive painting course is, that I'm currently taking online with hundreds of other wild, intuitive women (and maybe a few men) from all over the world. Or at least we're all trying to be wild & free & trusting our inner most selves ... trusting that we know already most everything we need to know.

I'd be lying if I said the process is not a little frustrating at times, working away without a plan - painting, dabbing, rubbing, dripping, dotting & turning my canvas often and at least 90 degrees each time. Working without a plan is a relatively new concept for me, setting out without a destination (a map, kit, provisions, itinerary etc) not something I've ever really tried to embrace. Planning has always been a treat for me. A plan is like a big square of milk chocolate, something I crave ... need even . Or so I thought.

My attachment to a plan is the reason I signed up for Flora Bowley's course - I knew I needed some Brave & Intuitive added to my Creative Empire building mix. I wanted to learn to be more spontaneous, in my creative life especially. My square painting (the first in this post) took a big, & premeditated perhaps, leap between photo 7 and photo 8. At this 3rd or 4th layer we're beginning to add in drawing, representational elements if we like (also many are choosing to keep their paintings more abstract). As you can see by the very first photos I actually started adding leaves & flowers too early and ended up covering them again because they were dominating my thoughts - I could be brave and intuitive because I already had flowers & vines growing at the very early stage of this painting. Not good. My favourites are the 8th and last photos because these are the 2 layers that are the most liberated ;-)

Since I am most inspired by nature I gathered a large bouquet of dried branches, leaves, seed pods & flowers that I could look at while I painted (& before Gus & Oliver chewed them to bits and dragged them throughout the house - another story). Flora suggested if possible to draw from nature not from your mind and avoiding more premeditated, decorative or stylized  imagery - which is my natural go-to type of drawing. My square painting (top 8 photos) I see now, in hindsight, is much more planned than I would like my rectangle painting to eventually be. The square painting being further along in the process by one layer. Turns out I actually love the muddy drab high contrast colours  of photo 7 much more than it's current blue/green/aqua more decorated floral-ish state in photo 8. these are the things that you uncover through experimentation & play.

The very last photo is the rectangle painting awaiting it's 4th layer - oh boy ! I must say that the process is completely addictive and I would like nothing better than to have a big airy and bright atelier with many, many canvases on the go so I could just flit from painting to painting adding new layers, dabs, dots & bits as I go ... then on to another canvas ... and another.

If you have any questions at all about the course or process please leave them in the comments ;-)
Pouring rain & tres sloppy here today - perfect weather for a Sunday


  1. I know you are looking at these pieces from the artist perspective, but from a fan perspective, I have to say that I love them all. I love all the stages, everything. I will bring chocolate to your atelier and sit in a corner quietly while you flit, just to see you work! Heehee

  2. They're all great! There are spots in each which make me catch my breath... a sure sign that something "resonates" with me! but I am puzzled about one thing:

    Oliver. made. a. mess??????
    how could that be?


  3. Actually Kathie I Shouldn't lump poor Oliver in with the bouquet tipper, the tulip shredder, the dried flower cruncher & dragger from room to room - for that domain really belongs almost entirely to our feral wild cat, the rarely seen (& he's an inside cat), stunningly handsome, tabbiest of tabby's -Virgil (also responds to Gussie Gus, Lil Man or Fussy Bastard ;-)

    xoxo to you too !

  4. They look all wild and exciting :)

  5. Susan, your artwork and each layer is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it in a blog. I'm dropping by from Flora's group/eCourse. :)

  6. They all look so wonderful, at every stage, I think I would have stopped after the first two photos, they were perfect as they were.
    Cats cannot stay away from dried flower arrangements, they just love to sniff them and rub against them.
    xoxoxo ♡

  7. I meant to say stages 1 through to 5, as I like the coolness of the colours but the end result is still beautiful.
    xoxoxo ♡

  8. you are inspiring I love the paintings, getting free, letting go....thank you for sharing, mary

  9. I think these paintings are so very many layers and depth. I would love to take this course, but I don't know if I have enough courage yet!

  10. There's so much to look at in each paimting. Weighing in to say "me too", as in I love them all at all the stages. Wowzers - yes I'm saying it, wowzers!


Hey ! We LOVE comments here at 29 Black Street.
Thanks for stopping by.