This is what I have been doing...in between . In the little moments. The tiny hours where a baby
might sleep for a moment, the hour where a child might play, a teen might be at school, when I am between jobs, between needs, slipping between the marching daily hours to feed myself...more nourishing than food...
Twenty five years ago, I was told not to pursue art at school because, 'only thick kids do art'. Really. My dear physics teacher, thanks Mr. W, uttered these fateful words, backed up by....well everyone apart from my Art teacher and me actually. We were both pretty keen. But my keenness, my love, the light which sparked in my belly every time I stood in front of a row of pencils, pastels, paints in an art supply shop; the way in which everything else faded away when I was immersed in drawing or creating, well it wasn't tough enough to fight. I wasn't tough.
I let myself be pulled away 'don't waste your brains you could do anything...languages, sciences...that's what you need'
'Keep a little sketch book if you like......you have to be really up there to do anything in art...'.
|'Birds..' nearly finished!!|
And so I was 'good' sailing (academically) through the rest of school with an ache every time I stood at the door of the Art room and saw my friends printing painting, sculpting and sketching...
Since then, I've drawn..a little bit, painted, a little bit...made birthday cards, and then......
Well I discovered, via the inspiring Lucy Pearce at Dreaming Aloud , someone who could help. Someone who could help release the good girl syndrome which held me back, stifled my creativity, made me think I couldn't, shouldn't, perhaps just wasn't meant to. Someone inspiring, joyful and life affirming and full of joyous colour and soulfu,l beautiful art.
I enrolled on a Bloom True course with Flora Bowley. A brave move for someone with a two month old baby...but a blessed move, an inspired move, the right move.
I hesitated before enrolling...should I spend the money, could I commit the time.....Flora posts six in depth posts every week for five weeks....
The answer was YES!!
|Flora Bowley 2011|
For the first time in my life I felt free when I painted, free from self doubt, self criticism, free from 'shoulds' and free to paint from a place of intuition and playfulness.
Sneaking up to my bedroom with Finch every moment I could, to my makeshift studio by the window I layered glorious colour upon colour, inspired by Flora's daily lessons which encouraged me to let go, be brave and let my intuition be my guide.
|Flora Bowley 2012|
Through professionally shot videos we were led through the progression of two large paintings from start to finish, interspersed with studio exercises, instagram prompts, and daily encouragement and tips on painting and life.
For me the course was worth every penny....the magic happened on the canvas as I built up layer upon layer of paint, not planning, or thinking too much just doing what felt right in the moment and trusting that was right.
There is a Facebook group to share work and thoughts, and now, months after the course has finished, many of us are still posting and supporting each other in the group. It has become a very special forum for sharing artwork and advice about not only painting but how our lives have been affected by this adventure in colour.
We all have our journeys...our damaged, joyous, painful and beautiful lives. A vibrant, loving and graceful spirit sings and paints among us; and healing and magic is happening even now as we continue to paint and create and share in our group. Art helps me heal. It helps me grow in confidence when people actually talk of buying my work.
When I started the course, one of the first exercises was to do some journaling and set intentions for the five week program. My first instinctive thought was to create something of what Lily has left me. Her love and joy and the feeling that I must not waste my life. It seems wrong to shy away from my longings, it seems wrong to be fearful of trying things which I burn to do...not wrong but somehow a waste. We are all designed to shine, we were not created to hide and apologise.
Lily's seven short beautiful years mean so much, and I have learnt so much since her death that I realise that I must start shining, with her light and with mine.
Being brave was the theme for the fourth week of painting with Flora and probably the hardest for me. Always the 'good' girl, doing what I think is expected...it felt so liberating to do what I wanted and to find ways to know what it is I want.
Flora Bowley's e course has changed the way I paint and helped me take a giant step forward on my path in life, and I wholeheartedly recommend Bloom True course, the next one starts on Feb 10th....sign up you won't regret it!
This post contains affiliate links as I support Flora's work and want to share it with you.....