Painting from the Wild Heart

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Date: April 2003.

(Closeups are below, accompanied by discussion of each painting.)

These paintings were done in a "creative painting" class called Painting from the Wild Heart. I was intrigued by the description:

Experience the joy of painting with passion and intensity by learning to trust your intuition. Be supported in using the process of painting as a tool for self-discovery, healing, and renewal, rather than painting for outcome. Painting in this natural way gently allows you to let go of the inner critic that keeps you from experiencing your full aliveness and creativity. Regardless of what you think about your talent, skill or experience, you can paint like you never have before. All you need is the desire to paint and the courage to express yourself.

The class was on Saturday, April 19. I signed up on April 16 and was very excited! I wanted to do something abstract, colorful, with line and form and shadow and balance. Something that wasn't realistic, that didn't look like a photograph. I wanted to break free from my box.

I discovered that I'm not in my box as far as I thought. Which is good. But, I also discovered that I don't have many demons or dreams or whatever that want to be expressed - at least not through painting. (They seem to come out more freely when writing in a paper journal!)

It was freeing just to put color on the paper and not be concerned about making a mistake or making something not look right. After all, in the abstract world, what is a mistake? what doesn't look right? It is all a least to me. A balanced, colorful jumble.

We used a water-based paint the woman leading the workshop called tempura on thick, smooth white paper. We could use as much paint and as much paper as we wanted. There were no assignments.

It was a 4-hour workshop. The first 30 minutes or so was spent introducing ourselves and discussing how the workshop would flow. No one was to comment on anyone's work, not even a compliment. We were told to ignore our inner critic - the one that tells us we aren't good enough, the one that prevents us from following our desires.

Then, we put on smocks and setup our painting space. I got 2 large cups of water (to rinse the brushes with), several brushes from large and puffy to small and narrow, some great sponge brushes in different sizes, and placed dabs of whatever colors grabbed my attention onto a tray the size and shape of a cafeteria food tray.

The workshop was held in the woman's living room. There is a tall table in the middle of the room and an old couch placed in front of the large window from which a lot of light shined. The 3 walls of the room (not the window wall) were covered with floor-to-ceiling boards that had paint splattered all over them (from top to bottom). Each of us used push-pins to tack the 4 corners of our first sheet of the thick white paper onto the board in front of us and then...we painted. For just over 3 hours. The last 20 minutes was spent cleaning up and talking about how the workshop went for each of us.

I enjoyed watching the paint slide off the end of the paint brush onto the white paper, making streaks of color across the page - especially, the first stroke onto a clean sheet. It reminded me of riding a jet ski at Hogan's Lake in the early morning when the water is still...the wake created by the jet ski, the ripples forming and spreading across the water, the freedom, the peace, the feeling of making my mark.

I especially liked working with the dry sponge brushes. They left a rough, textured appearance of paint on the paper. The second and fourth paintings exclusively used the sponge brushes, except of course for the hand-prints on the second one.

I'm not sure I'll take another class like that, since I prefer some direction, but I'm glad I took the class - I would have wondered and wondered about it if I hadn't.

I think I'm going to take another Bob Ross "Joy of Painting" class in May. I really liked working with the oil paints.

My first attempt. The first stroke was the red line at the top which was later filled with brown. That is, of course, the part of the image I don't like. I was trying to not make boxes or other straight-lined objects. I used each of the paint brushes, used a variety of colors, dotted and stroked, and overall just got the feel of the brushes and the paint on the paper.

This painting was an experimentation with one of the sponge brushes - dry, damp and wet. I started out with the horizontal lines and then drew the downward blue line to break the monotony of horizontal strokes. I felt it needed something besides lines so I added the curves at the top. The large blue area at the bottom anchors the image. The black edges were added after the rows of colors. I had gotten some paint on my hands earlier so I painted the palms of my hands with black paint and applied them to the paper.

I cannot remember ever finger painting before this. I ran out of time in the workshop to do a painting using only my fingers.

I had a vision of what I wanted to create before starting the third painting. A tall, slim vase holding a single, tall flower. Of course, what ended up on the paper wasn't what was in my head. I liked the blue flower, but overall, I did not like this painting and was just wanting to get it over with. The workshop leader noticed I was struggling with it and asked me how I felt. I said I had an urge to paint a large black X over the image to destroy it. She asked me to think about how I could "creatively" destroy it. That's when the idea of burning it up came to mind so I painted a fire with fingers of flame reaching toward the flowers. I liked the painting better after adding the flames.

This painting reminds me of sunset on a hot day. I like this one the best. Bright and alive and hot.

I was trying to do something like one of Mark Rothko's paintings. Something with color and balance and feeling. I used several sponge brushes. The painting is all horizontal strokes of color, starting with a base of red. Then, in layers of color from the top is orange, then yellow, then hot pink, then brick red. The rough texture is caused by the sponge brushes when they are dry or a little damp.

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Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Cheryl published on April 29, 2003 7:00 PM.

Basketweave Lap Blanket - Aran was the previous entry in this blog.

Stained Glass Afghan Lap Blanket - Scraps is the next entry in this blog.

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