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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Being Brave

First finished painting

For the past four weeks, and for two weeks to come, I have spent every morning with the artist Flora Bowley. I feed the dog, wait for my first k-cup to drip into my coffee cup, grab a handful of vitamins, and then wander over to the couch and turn on my computer.  And every day, Flora has given a little of herself to those taking her class -- advice on how to act courageous even when you aren't feeling that way, how to center yourself with breathing and yoga techniques, how to set an intention for your day or your week, and yes - techniques to paint in an abstract manner.  She doesn't give you steps to paint like her.  She teaches you how to bring what you have, fearlessly and confidently, to what you want to put on your canvas, or what you want to do in your life.  And she shares some of her favorite music, too.

I love Flora's teaching technique. She knows when to give you short bits of technique video (about 3-5 minutes) and when you might need more time to watch her process.  I never felt overwhelmed, but I always felt challenged right to the edge of my ability. Which is where we all need to be, isn't it?

I worked hard. It's difficult to push away your conscious, image-making mind and just work intuitively, and to trust that your instincts will take you somewhere other than a big brown blot on your canvas.    I woke up every morning excited about the next class and went to bed thinking about it.



I think this one is finished...

I prepared for this class by taking a one-week workshop with Carla Sonheim, called Imaginary Creatures.  I wanted to practice visualizing images that are in a mixed background, because I know I have had trouble with this in the past and it's exactly what Carla teaches.  I think it really helped me, and it was lots of fun. Carla's an excellent teacher. She's clear and direct and gives you little steps each day so you don't become overwhelmed.

Maybe I'll post images of the silly, charming creatures that visited me during that class. But not today.  Today is all about this way of thinking, of knowing, of painting -- and about getting the courage to step into the darkness and be confident that a path would appear.

And now I'm ready for the next painting, because I just can't stop doing this...
Getting ready for my next canvas

18 comments:

Monica said...

That sounds so interesting and exciting. Obviously have a feline helper is super stimulating. Do like what you have produced and they do seem to fill what my imagination tells me is you.

The Journal Junkie said...

I am crazy in love and can't wait to see more. Thanks for the insight to the teacher/class too. Very nice review.

The Journal Junkie said...

I am crazy in love and can't wait to see more. Thanks for the insight to the teacher/class too. Very nice review.

Elena said...

I am so impressed Teri!' Souda like this is a class I should take!

Patzee said...

Teri! How wonderful to be so involved with a class that you go to bed thinking about it and waking in the morning in anticipation of a wonderful experience. Congrats!

thepinkrachael said...

these paintings are GORGEOUS Teri, I really love them! Wow! And sounds like the class is going great, so glad you're enjoying it!

Elizabeth Golden said...

Sounds like a great class. I will have to look into it. Love your "First" it is gorgeous.

lori vliegen said...

oh my goodness, teri.....when you go to bed dreaming of painting, and wake up excited to do more, you've definitely found what speaks to your heart.....now keep on followin' it, keep being brave, don't look back, and stop only for chocolate breaks!! :))

thanks so much for sharing your journey, sweet art girl....you've inspired me! sending you choco-hugs! xo

Sue Young said...

Ooohhhing over this!!!
Tell us more at K4A ok???
Sounds like a class that I'd love !

Purrplekatt said...

Love them Teri! I'll be looking into this class at some point this year.

De said...

Great work Teri....love them

Eileen Bellomo said...

You make it sound so tempting! I have enough on my plate right now, but when that plate clears a bit, who knows????
Your paintings are proof enough that the class is wonderful. They are fantastic!

Janet Ghio said...

First of all, I love that you are using the shower as your studio--such a great idea!! Your paintings look great! I find it really difficult after making a background to paint out parts of it--I keep practicing, but it is hard to save some lovely spots and paint over others. Well done

Liz Deck said...

Wow!
Nice work.
So amazing what a good teacher can help pull out of us!!!

Lisa said...

Sounds (and looks) like you're having a blast with this!

Caatje said...

So happy you are having a great time with this class! I love her paintings. And yours turned out beautiful!

Holli said...

I really loved this post Teri. This is SOOO cool and what you are creating is gorgeous! Good for you!

Connie said...

Your blog makes me smile and I like smiling. Your art is so impressive, cute helper, too. I love your journal pages and I enjoy following other people than enjoy the pleasures of journaling. I do like to get my hands messy in all sorts of artful projects, but every evening I'm in my chair watch TV with my husband. One eye on the screen and one on my journal. I hope that you don't mind me tagging along and following your blog. Please accept my warm invitation to follow me back. Your newest blogging sister, Connie :)