I've had two intense painting experiences lately. First, Flora Bowley'sonline 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:
I wrote about Bill's process last time I took the class, and you can read about it here, here and here if interested.
So now I have a bunch of canvases in process and will probably be changing them for years. But having lots of fun!