Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bloom True ~ week 3

In the interest of life-learning as an ongoing journey, I've been sharing my experience with an online art course that I'm taking. The third week of the Bloom True e-course was a bit of a struggle for me. The exciting newness of expressing myself in colorful, intuitive painting strokes was wearing off and the self-doubt of "not good enough", "not really an artist", and "wasting my time/paint" crept in. My inner critic wanted to judge each layer as if I had something to prove, even though I'm a total novice and I'm still in the experimental stages of these paintings.  When I could get out of my own way, it was still quite an exciting process that I enjoyed. It took some gentle bravery to keep showing up at the canvas on week three, though. It would have been easy to be too discouraged, and therefore too busy, bringing the girls to gymnastics and band, reading to them and helping them with their learning endeavors, cooking, prepping for Halloween, etc., etc. We all (especially parents) can always be too busy to pursue our interests. My kids happen to be old enough that I can (without too much difficulty) make time to do this, but I'm not practiced at it yet.

canvas one: adding black/white contrast and translucent washes

photo prompt: light

leek seed-head used as a painting tool

Camille's progress and contrast layers (I)


My girls are an inspiration for me. They pursue their interests un-apologetically.

living-room dancing lessons from Sylvia

Camille and I are also collaborating on a painting. Without discussing where it's going, we take turns spontaneously adding a layer of paint, just playing with the colors and textures. I have no idea where my own paintings are headed either, at this point. As a bonus, it's easier to withhold self-judgement and the desire to pin it down when we collaborate.

During one of Camille's band classes, I found a quiet spot to sit by water and sketch.

canvas three: added-contrast layer

This wild painting made me almost physically uncomfortable. It felt so out of control. The course teacher, Flora Bowley, often mentioned that we will all experience an 'awkward teenage' phase where we don't like our paintings. Taking risks and moving out of our comfort zones is inevitably going to be messy sometimes. 

If I don't like what is on the canvas, it gives me a place of total freedom to move forward. Nothing to lose, right? I kept thinking of this one as an ugly duckling.
canvas three: translucent layer

When Halloween rolled around, we celebrated by driving into the city to trick-or-treat with friends and attend an (adult) party with a literary/comic-book costume theme. My husband and his old bandmates got together to rock the house for an evening. It was great fun. We also went to a friends' birthday party at the zoo, with train rides and an animal scavenger hunt.

a fancy witch, a prairie girl, and a huntress . . . all with sparkly faces

After Halloween festivities ended, Sylvia joined us in painting. She chose a small canvas with a butterfly printed on it.

canvas two: contrast and translucent layers

canvas two: adding imagery

...and, ooooh, one of my paintings is starting to evolve.

Thus ended week three: creating art, spending time in nature, finding inspiration in my life, celebrating Halloween, and standing up to the inner critic.


  1. ah! i'm enjoying the whole process, but i LOVE where your painting is going! the imagery layered on top of the that is awesome. and the huntress in the moon (my interpretation!) is wonderful.

  2. Thanks, Slim. I'm so glad that huntress agreed to show up on my canvas. She makes me happy!

  3. way to take time for yourself :)


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