I have found myself suffering from a bit of "painter's block" for quite some time now. It's not that I don't paint. On the contrary. I totally enjoy filling the pages in my art journals, trying out new stuff, playing with colours and different techniques. But the stretched canvasses on my easel remain blank, or rather never get anywhere beyond a first layer of background colour. I have so many ideas in my head, but seem totally unable to get beyond that layer, to get down on canvas. It's soooo frustrating, and it's getting worse every time I look at my bare canvasses. I mean just think of it. A painter without paintings. Something needed to be done. So a few weeks ago, I decided to sign up for Flora Bowley's Bloom True e-course, which started a bit over two weeks ago. I had thought about it already back in January, but there was just too much going on. I still don't really have the time now, but I decided to do it anyway. It seemed just what I needed.
|Canvas #2 - progress|
Last weekend, I finally started with the painting exercises. I've never done this kind of intiuitive painting before (quite deliberately avoided it, to be honest). I like to plan my paintings, to have an idea about what I want to do. Up to a certain point, anyway. You'll always change and adapt things as you go, don't you, and the result is often not at all what you had imagined and planned. But it usually starts with an idea, some kind of plan. So this new approach is definitely a challenge.
|Layer 2 - a very ugly stage|
I'm working on two canvasses, #1 (the one shown here) is 80x80cm, #2 is 60x60cm. It's a new experience. It's feels good to not think about what you're doing, and just exploring your paints, stop thinking about what's going on on the canvas, where it is leading to. Just adding one layer after the other. But while I don't have a problem with messing around, I still do want it to be pretty, and in this process, there will be stages when it just isn't pretty at all. And I must admit that this is giving me a hard time. It's definitely way out of my comfort zone at times. Layer 1 (left side on top) was fun, and I liked the energy of the colours. With layer 2 (middle on top) I enjoyed trying out all kinds of techniques, but it looked oh so ugly. Too much going on, too many colours. With layer 3 (on the right on top) things calmed down a bit, and it doesn't make me cringe anymore everytime I look at it. Canvas #2 is still in layer 2 phase and making my eyes water at the moment.
|Layer 3 (detail) - looking a bit better, but still a long way to go to make it really pretty|
I have no idea where these paintings are going to, what they are going to look like at the end., but I'm really enjoying the process. I guess something organic will be there, as I love oganic shapes, especially leaves. But it doesn't really matter. I'll just go on working on them, and see what happens. And I really hope it will help me to overcome my "blank canvas phobia" that I've sort of developed. Even if I will probably not adopt this kind of painting style entirely. I still like to do a bit of planning ;)