Big Fat Art with Jane Davies

Meet Jane.

Jane is fun, quirky, straightforward, very creative and a whole lot spontaneous!

I had the pleasure of spending all last week with Jane Davies on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. Three days of Big Fat Art and another two of Monoprinting with the infamous Gelliplate. I was definitely in my happy place spending long days just creating with no means to an end, making unexpected marks, combining new colours and exploring lots of layers.

A little ukulele playing did not hurt the process….

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

We spent the week exploring fast, carefree mark-making with various mark making tools, charcoal, water-colour crayons, ink and pastel. We combined unexpected colours, playing with opaque and transparent colours. We added texture through the use of paint and handmade collage papers.We learned how to add lots of depth to our work. We even added a few drips here and there.

We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.

Most importantly though we silenced the inner critic within and created with no concern for what is right and what is wrong.

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

To be truthful, it wasn’t easy. It can be a little disconcerting to try new things and work against principles that have been ingrained in you by every art teacher and book out there.

What I loved about Jane was her constant encouragement to push past what we already know and try something different, and her love for the creative process versus the finished outcome.

For me that included No imagery – no flowers, birds or other whimsical things flying around and, gasp, maybe putting some purple in my work.

Ok, some things I just couldn’t manage to push myself past, BUT look how awesome it looks below with the reds and yellows!

Big Fat Art with Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

This, once again, reminds me of the importance of keeping an art journal. A safe place to try out new marks, colours and techniques. A place to make some really bad art with hopefully some unexpected surprises of greatness!

Learning from Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

Here are a few of my works in progress. A few things I learned about myself:

I love strong, bold colour. I love texture, but not necessarily patterned texture. I love depth.I love discovering little marks hiding underneath different layers.I love organic shapes. I love a wee bit of black in my work. I love contrast.

I am a wee bit scared of the abstract. I still don’t feel comfortable with the tension it often adds to work.

I also learned that I need to add more areas of rest and lightness to my work. I need to take a deep breath and work on the details of each smaller piece within the bigger whole, to be more mindful and to slow down and sit with a piece before I call it finished. I need to add more interestingness to my work either by contrast, line or layering.

Learning from Jane Davies - Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

What a great week! I could spend all day, everyday, creating.

For more info on Jane please visit her website. Do not miss out on her tutorials tab. Jane is very generous with her knowledge and discoveries and has dozens of great video tutorials to share. Small doses of creative inspiration!

She also offers online and real life workshops. Sign up for her newsletter for more info on upcoming courses.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an email.

Have a great week! I hope the sun is shining and the autumn leaves are in full color for you.

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Always inspired by Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I am at it again! Spaying, splashing and stamping paint and it feels oh, so good.

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted}

We are very fortunate to have the use of the Station house on Alta lake in Whistler to paint, sketch and just be creative. Beautiful views, the sound of the lake and wind through the trees, painting with like-minded souls. Pretty awesome!

Julie hamilton Designs~ bloom True with Flora Bowley

It felt so liberating to just play with all my mark making tools ~ exploring different brush strokes and paint combinations. I didn’t produce anything, or I should say, I didn’t finish a painting, but I learned so much in the process.  All lessons  I can apply to my sketching, surface pattern and digital skills.

Julie Hamilton Designs~ Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I love the intuitive approach to painting. No pressure to recreate a picture or get tight trying to represent something. The goal is to be messy. Create lots of layers. Surprise yourself with under layers peeking through.It adds so much depth to your painting.

Julie hamilton Designs - Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I find the most interesting paintings are those that have a little something just waiting to be discovered.I love a painting I can come back to again and again, each time discovering something new.

Julie Hamilton designs- Flora Bowley and Bloom True

Loose. Free. Big!

Time to get out your mark making tools!  Flora Bowley’s Bloom True class is coming to you!

Julie Hamilton Design, Bloom True with Flora Bowley

I have written many blog posts on Flora Bowley. My admiration runs deep for this woman! I love her story.She has put herself and her art out there and it was not an easy task for her. I think she best defines brave and bloom. She has taught me how to let go and discover my own personal painting style and helped me along on my own personal creative journey.

Flora Bowleys next Bloom True ~ the e-course starts Monday Sept. 30th! Five weeks  painting in your own private classroom. No one critiquing~ just you, your paints and inspiration. You will have the added bonus of professional video, audio interviews  and a private, online community to discuss your process with.

This little promotional video sums it up nicely!

BUT this is my all time favorite video of Flora painting from start to finish

I have been lucky enough to take both Flora’s e-course and live class. While I loved meeting her in person, I found the online setting to be more conducive to me letting go and playing. No distractions from other classmates or being influenced by what others were doing. Lots of time to review the videos at your own pace and do what she does. I also felt I received enough critique from Flora and my online community as both were quick to answer any questions I had.

Put the music on, move and explore your creative side…

If you paint at night I would even suggest a few glasses of wine because it just never hurts!

I hope this helps to give you an idea of what to expect during Flora’s course. I have many a blog post discussing my trials and tribulations with the whole intuitive way of painting. Just “search”  intuitive painting, Flora Bowley, Bloom true ,Brave Intuitive you or mark making in my “search” box (in the side column to the right) I think everything is there to answer any questions you may have. If you are still curious, please feel free to ask away, either below in comments or, directly at jules@bollah.com.

P.s. I have affiliated with Flora and Do what you love to help promote Flora’s Bloom True classes! This is as close as I could get to buying the company:) If you are interested in taking her class please mention me or click through my site here to register. Help me save up to take more Do what you love courses! I am a little addicted and need  help to pay for my art habit!

Flora Bowley {artistically afflicted blog}

Inspired by.. a better, brave, intuitive me!

So sad. My time with Flora Bowley is over…but only for the time being…

Flora Bowley, Bloom True, intuitive acrylic painting,

I am 8 canvas into this brave, intuitive way of creating.. Some almost finished, some on their way to completion, one..or maybe two,  waiting to be totally transformed.

I am in awe at how much my painting technique, and  dare I say.. style, has transformed over the past 4 months since my first meeting with her.

I can honestly say that I believe this has become my way of creating. Simply…its a process that I love. It has offered me a whole new shiny perspective on how and why to create.

I was in amazement after my first weekend course with her last November at the Annex. Now 3 months later, having just completed her Bloom True ecourse,  I am even more grateful and still very awe-struck. I believe our paths will cross yet again. My time with her is not finished… there is still so much to be learned.

To date..

I have learned to be open to suggestion. To let loose. To have patience and let my painting develop. It takes time to build to build a village…

intuitive painting,Bloom true

I have learned to embrace color  and use it with wild abandon. The option to tone it down later is always there. Acrylic paint is flexible! I have learned volumes about color mixing by just playing with no worry about the outcome.

Brave intuitive you, Flora Bowley, intuitive painting, mark making

I have learned a multitude of new marks and brush strokes.  I have become quite ingenious at coming up with  new devices for mark making…oh, the things that are now covered in paint. I have also been very open to using lots of different medium from alcohol ink to paper to thread to achieve different marks.

Brave intuitive you, Flora Bowley, intuitive painting, mark making

I have learned the importance of depth, transparency, value and contrast. Now I am learning how to put them into play.

There has been a lot of learning go on around here for the past 4 months!

Trust me when I say there have also been many moments of  tears and  frustration. What would a creative journey be without a mixture of tears and triumph!?

I have been hesitant to blog too much about Flora’s process. Mainly because I believe it is so much more than just painting. It is a way of thinking. A way of approaching your blank canvas with loads of possibility. It is a way of  discovery and most important self-awareness.

I still have a little chuckle when I look at all of my work. All I really want to do is produce just one piece of “Floresque” style painting. Just one… But, try as I might I have been unable to pull it off. Flora has so much skill, intuition and, most importantly, love for what she creates. It comes very naturally to her.( I can’t tell you how many underpaintings I would have happily purchased…just to watch her paint over them in a completely new direction..)

An aside here…I am not for “copying”, but I do believe there is alot to be learned by trying to copy.

I have studied how she combines color~how she makes her imagery pop ~how she creates so much depth.These are all lessons to be learned by observing and trying. Unfortunately..or fortunately, the beauty of this style of painting is that you kind of get lost in the process. So while I am still striving to create at least one piece in her style I am willing to bet I will never be able to achieve it. I don’t have that much focus!!

I have, therefore, asked my husband to just please , pretty please, buy me just one of her paintings. Fingers crossed!

In closing all I have to say is ~  Flora, you have rocked my creative world. Your work, your teachings and your words of wisdom have all made me a better artist . Thank you!

A special thank you also goes out to Beth Nicholls of Do What You Love. Floras partner in the creation of this online course. Another special woman who is rocking the creative world. You have to check out her About page. I love it!

If anyone has any questions about either Floras on-line or in-person painting courses please do not hesitate to email me. I have lots to say and love to talk about it!

Or you can just click here for all information..Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}

Until we meet again….

Inspired by….some more intuitive painting with Flora

I am three weeks in to Flora Bowleys ecourse….Bloom True.

Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride….but one that I am loving! I laughed out loud when I heard Flora use that exact term to describe the process. At least now I know I am on the right path!

The typical painting goes something like this…

Oh, so much fun. Spreading paint with wild abandon.I could do this forever…this is what I love.Spray, splatter,swipe. Loving the cool colors and textures I am creating. Oh and I never knew how to make that color!! Wow, looking good..

Oh oh, now that’s just plain ugly. How did it just go from great to bad? Shouldnt have done that. Paint over. Damn, just painted over a part  I really like. You want me to add black and white..oh ok..well now its just really ugly. Wheres the gesso. No, dont touch it…let it grow,trust your instincts….

Its madness. I have caught myself talking out loud.. more than once. Sorry, I mean talking to the dog.

I love it…I hate it..

I  have had moments of feeling like a superstar…the next Rothko. I have had moments when I have questioned this style of working.I have had to leave the house more than once to just walk and clear my head.  My husband is very thankful he is away traveling.

Well here you have my process….plus a possible finished product.

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

Stop shaking your head….I know…poppies again… ahh…my comfort zone. I saw more than one parrot lurking around in there.

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

flora bowley, Bloom true, ecourse,acrylic, intuitive painting

Not signed yet…so there is still lots of time for changes!

I have to be honest,  this style of intuitive painting is right up my alley. I have comittment issues  at the best of times and the beauty of this style is that it can go any new direction at any time. Makes me feel so free…

I do shake my head a bit at another poppy painting. But, there is a rhyme and reason to it all. I am trying to explore themes and different ways of presenting the same thing. Things that I love…things that inspire me. I have never painted just pods so that’s a little different.

I would be curious as to which stage of the painting you liked best. I know I was in love around Layer 4-5 and when I first started adding the images. I am finding that with most of my paintings I am loving the middle section of the process vs the final product. I believe there is a lesson to be learned here. I need to stop then…maybe go a little abstract and keep it loose. I find I am loosing all of the wonderful marks in my journey back into my comfort zone…texture.

Constantly learning…. It feels good and while I do get a wee bit frustrated, it is nice to know I am making progress!

Thank you for all of your comments as I stumble through this process. At times I still cannot believe I am putting it out there, but I really do love and appreciate the community that I have become a part of….so much fun!

Have a great weekend!

Do you want to be part of this crazy, creative process with Flora Bowley? It is really quite fun! For more info on her course click here.Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}

Inspired by…exhausted by…intuitive painting

Oh my goodness I am exhausted. This whole new brave, intuitive way of painting is slowly killing me. ..It is also cluttering up my home.

I am surrounded by canvas all begging for attention. All waiting for me to find something, some imagery in them. I must have at least 5 canvas on the go right now. Some intuitive style, some not. I think I am going to start turning their faces to the wall.

Pick me…don’t you see the huge orange poppy? your favorite poppy pods?..No, pick me I am so a birch tree….oh..and I have some birds in me too..What about me? Pick me, why dont you love me? I have been sitting here for over three months.. waiting…  I have potential, you’ll see..love me…..

There we go…silence.

My favorite is now, in desperation, asking my children to find images for me. I asked my teenage daughter what she saw in one of my paintings. All I got was a “seriously?” you expect me to find something in that mess. My younger son, on the other hand, was able to find an entire, very complicated NYC skyline.

If I see one more bird , tree or flower emerge from all of my mark making I may scream. Really now…why cant I find a lovely figure or maybe a sailboat?

It must all  boil down to the subconscious. What do I do when not painting and living life? I doodle.

I doodle big bold flowers, leaves and fields of dreams. I guess it is only natural that I then keep seeing these images emerge in my paintings.

doodle,art,big flowers, pen and ink,

I think it may be time to sit down and scan some magazines and books. I need to build up a repertoire of  new images in my art journal.

So, just because, I have posted a few progression pieces..work in progress, mind you. (There is no such thing as a finished painting around here..you are not safe from gesso until you leave the house:)

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

making marks

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

sorry…white balance a little off..but you can start to see images..

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

outlining images..choosing colors..

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

still working color…

Close to being finished, but not quite. Definitely inspired by Flora, but trying to make it my own. Adding lots of texture. I am not one for transparency. Still need to add all the icing…more outlining and images to draw all the colors together. Also need a smoother transition from light to dark.

Any other suggestions? Please……

Hold onto your hats for this one. This one is full of flowers and birds of all kinds.

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

mark making..warm and cool colors..

Amongst it all I was thrilled to have found this…

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

I see a barn!..seriously? do you see it?

In a 24″ by 24″ painting covered in marks, I found this little 3 inch section of what looked like an old barn and some rolling hills and now, all of a sudden, I have a game plan!!

intuitive painting, workshop, flora bowley

I see a village coming on…

Sigh of relief…I can only take so much braveness…I am actually still not that brave as I am still finding images “precious”..I have to be willing to turn this canvas upside down and re-work it…that still makes me quiver in my boots..

This has hours of attention coming its way…

In a nutshell,I love intuitive painting. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is such a fun, free wheelin’ process. Everytime I work a painting this way I learn oodles of information~ be it a mark, a texture, a color combination or an image. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to just paint and see what happens. I am constantly surprising myself…and this, my friends, keeps the love for painting alive and well in me.

Only three more weeks until Flora Bowleys online course Brave Intuitive You. I can’t wait. I have worked with her in person and written about her here..and here..oh, and here too.

All of a sudden I feel like a bit of  stalker…

My weekend with her was all I hoped for and more, but I feel like I only scraped the surface of this whole intuitive painting style and my potential. I am so excited to explore this concept more.

I am open, willing…. and brave.

Join me!

For more info on Flora and her wonderful courses, take a peek here! Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}