Phew! I have been cranking it out! As you know I have been working on several ongoing projects. Tomorrow I have my second quilting class and it just occurred to me that my quilt top is going to need a quilt "back". I haven't even begun to look at that, so that is what I have left to do today. Therefore this post will be a quickie.
I have always wanted to learn how to paint and you have been gracious to put up with reading my posts that deal with my attempts at painting. Thanks for looking at them, by the way. In looking back at my paintings I noticed that most of them have been done in watercolor. Why is that so? My studio is chock-a-block full of supplies and there are plenty of other kinds of paint kicking around that I don't use.
I think I am afraid of waisting paint.
You know - that much expensive paint should be "reserved" for really good paintings ... like, for when I REALLY know how to paint.
Enter Flora Bowley.
I don't want to BE Flora Bowley. I don't even want to PAINT like her. I don't want my paintings to LOOK like her paintings. I must add, here, that I would not mind owning one, or several, of her paintings. What I DO want is to be able to let go, really let go, like she does.
This is her book:
I am taking her e-course, it is all about letting go with paint. Let me rewrite that. It is all about LETTING GO. I need to let go if I am going to get over my fear of waisting paint. It needs to not matter if my painting looks like "anything". It needs to not matter if my painting is "pretty". It needs to not matter if my painting is liked by anyone, including myself. I am working my way through her book and her course. When I found out about her method, I thought it was "a little out there", but I don't think her concept of "letting go" is out there at all. This concept of letting go, with paint, is what I am working on.
What matters is letting go. Gulp. Below you will see the progression of my letting go on a very large 4'x5' canvas. That is a very big canvas for me, but I knew that on that big of a surface I could not paint tightly for long before having to face the music and just paint. Prepare yourself. There are a lot of ugly stages that I am going to show you. Gulp. I am nervous about showing you any of this.
At this point I was CONVINCED that I am a total idiot - the wasting-money-type-housewife-that-needs-to-get-a-life type of idiot.
Still convinced of my idiot status. Added more color ... thought that might lighten the mood, if nothing else.
Fell in love with parts of it. Just small parts of it. Thoughts of "should I cut the canvas up?" circled their way through my brain. Still felt like the rest of it was waisting paint. I did love the colors though.
I had to let go. Way more difficult said than done.
Double OUCH!! Had to keep going despite the fact that there wasn't any whif of "zen" going on.
I swear there was steam coming out of the studio. I worked for several days straight. I only came up for air when the family needed a feeding. Many, many unphotographed attempts later, this is what I have:
This painting is me. It is not a painting of my trying to paint like Flora Bowley. It is a painting in which I pushed myself to use her method of letting go. Obviously, it is not my typical style of painting, but I did put aside the fear of waisting paint ... and for that, it is a success.
Now there is ONLY ONE THING that I could do at this point that would be very, very wrong. It is the very worst thing one can do when learning how to paint. I could stop.
Even taking a break is a bad idea. The slightest crack and the little brain demons will take over like a cancer. I must not waist time looking at the painting on my mantel. I must keep going and paint another one. The subject matter is inconsequential. The style does not matter. Even the type of paint is irrelevant. I must tattoo "Let Go" directly on my brain, on every cell of my being. I must let go and keep going.
I must hurry ... run, if I must, to the next painting. Any lollygagging around could be fatal.
PS. BTW, I have aptly named this painting, "Drop In The Bucket."