Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Painting Immersion

I've had two intense painting experiences lately. First, Flora Bowley's online class which I thoroughly enjoyed. She's fabulous about getting underneath all the stuff in our heads and helping with the loosening up process. I loved her spiritual approach to painting--that it is about letting go, not being attached, being in the moment. Many valuable lessons there, and things that I will continue to try to practice.

I followed that with another 5 day Bill Park's workshop. I had taken one several years ago and it was a real turning point in painting for me. His approach is very similar to Flora's in that he is totally focused on the process and letting go. He will paint for years on one painting just for the sheer joy of changing it and said he always feels sad to finish one, like finishing a good book.
Taking the two back-to-back helped me clarify what does and doesn't work for me. I found that I could not really use Flora's methods without ending up with imitations of her work. For some reason, it was very hard to find myself in that technique. Maybe more time would have brought me there, but I struggled with her use of pure color from the tubes and postponement of composition. I love what she does, but unless I copied it, it just wasn't working for me.

After Bill's class I came back and finished this painting I started in Flora's class:

Up close:
This is the one I posted several posts ago. You can still see some of the early bits, but most are gone.

I wrote about Bill's process last time I took the class, and you can read about it here, here and here if interested.

His building:
and the front door to his studio:

So now I have a bunch of canvases in process and will probably be changing them for years. But having lots of fun!


Suzanne Reynolds said...

Oh. My. GOODNESS! That is an amazing painting, Robin. I can see that it is really you there. The two classes have had a nice influence on your work. Can't wait to see more canvases!

stephanie brockway said...

Loved hearing about your painting classes. I am getting in touch with my painting again, I have a Bill Parks class coming up, his philosophy and style captured me on OPB, I didnt know that he would paint on the same canvas for 2 years! But I'm suddenly inspired to do that. Thanks for sharing

Jan said...

I appreciate your honesty in relating your experiences with these two teachers/classes. Your painting is wonderful, since I am not familiar with these two artists your work looks fresh and unique to me. Thanks for sharing.

Jo Reimer said...

This piece is so wonderful, Robin. I think your timing for the two workshops was just right, first Flora and then Bill. That happened to me a few years ago when I took a workshop from Bob Burridge and then from Cathy Woo. The combination of influence was just right.

Denise Riches said...

From a fellow bloomer, I have to say I think this painting is AMAZING. I truly LOVE it! It is uniquely yours.