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 case of artistic affliction

I feel a bit of artistic affliction coming on. My blood pressure is up, glue and paper everywhere,ideas are overflowing, I cant sleep… truth be told, I am dreaming in patterns. I have experienced this feeling many times before. First with Flora Bowley and her brave, intuitive way of painting and now with Rachael Taylor and her surface pattern design course.

I know you have heard it all before…. and probably seen it too. But, I am seriously awestruck everytime it all falls apart. It blindsides me! I get caught up in the creative process and BAM..my everyday life starts to fall apart around me. I get lost in my “other” world.

I am stitching, sticking ,stamping, sketching…and now scanning myself into another world. It It is wreaking havoc with my “real” life. Worse still ~ it is destroying my house.

There is sewing happening on the dining room table. There is some stamping and sticking going on in my studio. A bit of  sketching in the living room, Some scanning by the computer. It is mayhem…and I love it 😉

art studio, painting, mixed media

I spared you a shot of the floor because it is even worse.

art studio, painting, mixed media

Tonight it all finally fell apart. The dog came in soaking wet and plopped himself down in the middle of it all.

I lost it….

Something must be done.

I poured myself a big glass of wine, sat myself down amongst it all and observed the situation at hand.  The only way I could see to control the (beautiful) mess was to move up. I need to get things off the floor, off the desk and away, yet I still need to have my work  accessible and front and center. Strategic patience has taught me to leave my work alone and let it slowly develop, but, it must be seen by me. Moments of creativity happen fast around here and I have to be able to react…efficiently and effectively.

My crafty solution…

art studio, painting, mixed media, airplane wire

A bit of airplane wire, some aluminum sleeves, a wire cutter,clothespegs, a couple of nails and a hammer and things are ,literally, looking up…

art studio, painting, mixed media

Stretch the wire, insert and wrap around the aluminum sleeve. Make a loop and  pinch it shut. Hang wire in a reltively straight line on wall, secure with nail on either end.

art studio, painting, mixed media

Clothespeg your art to the wire and there you have it. A”whateveryouwouldliketocallit” wall art display system. The wire is able to withstand quite a bit of weight and keeps everything up off the desk and floor, but easily accessible and within sight.

I then decided to really work the wall and added some “inspiration” clipboards.Anything goes…

art studio, painting, mixed media, inspiration board

Got a little carried away and also made a wire hanger for extra paper I have lying around…

art studio, painting, mixed media, paper control

It is probably obvious by now, but I grew up with Ikea.

Ahh…feeling a wee bit better. I have everything off the floor. I have spent a moment and organized my paints back to their shelf.Exacto knife away. I have even taken the paintbrushes out of the water container. Poor things must be water logged by now.

I feel I can breate a bit easier ,my head’s a bit clearer and its definitely safer around here. However, It is by no means finished ….

sketching, surface pattern design, scanning

This pile is growing rapidly. Sketch upon sketch upon sketch.

This is going to need a system…and soon!

As always, any and all organizational suggestions/links are welcome. We need to conquer our scattered ways!

See you again soon!

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….Bloom True (the e-course)

I am at it again. Stalking poor Flora. Read about her here….over here and here… I really should become her PR gal. Hmmmm…

This time I am taking her newly released e-course Bloom True. As I expected it is everything I imagined and more.She is true to her word.

I am OPEN to it all!

So bear with me for the next 6 weeks as you help me intuitively paint myself to greatness.I will try to limit my ” Help ..What do you see?” questions.

I have really been enjoying our classroom community. I love reading everyone’s comments and thinking “Yes, I get what you are saying, I see that…I know where you are coming from… ” But it is our own process and each and everyone of us will find our own way.Its just so nice to know you are not alone in your process. Everyone is finding and sharing.It is a great learning environment.

The key is trust.Not an easy value to uphold when painting. Especially when you have an inner critic sitting right next to you, critiquing every move…..

Currently we are working on our mark making. I have been searching the house high and low for tools. Just recently I received a lovely bottle of wine as a gift…wrapped in some fabulous cardboard.

What am I thinking you ask? I am eyeing the cardboard with great enthusiasm thinking the ridges on it will be a fine mark making tool. My children and husband no longer speak, they just glance sideways at each other and hope and pray that they did not inherit this gene….

So here you go. What I have found helpful in my mark making process. Fun times and lots of play….
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True
My very own homemade cut outs. These are made from sturdy paint chips, a couple of different hole punches and an exacto knife. Anything goes…
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True Fruit and veggie mesh. Great for spraying paint or inks on.
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True Scrapbook paper cutouts, ridged cardboard,raised paper…
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True Anything to scratch, etch and move paint around.

mark making, acrylic, painting, scrapbook Scrap cuts outs. Love these. Once again great for spraying through or painting on top.
And last but not least. My favorite…
acrylic, painting, mark making, Flora Bowley, Bloom True
Spray bottles, fluid paint and ink. I am loving these. My walls and floors are not!
Great for spraying through cutouts, or into wet paint. Great for drips!

So there you have it. Add a paint brush or two, fingers and rags and you have an arsenal of great mark making tools!
I would love to hear what you are using. Please share and feel free to add a link!

Thanks for dropping by…and remember…..

practice, patience and perseverance

For more information on Flora Bowleys workshops click here!
Flora Bowley  {artistically afflicted blog}

Trust me, it will change the way you paint.If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at jules@bollah.com

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}