Tuesday, December 31, 2013

To My Students - Many Thanks for a Wonderful Year of Creating Together


This year was my first year of teaching again after a long hiatus, and it was so great for me to be able to share some of the techniques I have learned over the years, and see the amazing art my students created in my classes and workshops as well as the fun they had doing it. The creative process - taking a blank canvas or piece of paper and transforming it into something rich with colour, texture and imagery - is a marvelous process to witness. It is in our letting go and welcoming whatever comes onto the canvas or paper that the magic really begins!

Whether it was in the Tangerine Dream Gallery studio, at Shine Art Studio, or in the Women's Art Weekend Workshops that I taught in 2013, I thoroughly enjoyed my time making art with you, and I hope you did too.

To all of you -  I wish you many days of creativity in 2014!

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression on is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ~ Martha Graham

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Come To Our Studios And Make Stuff

I have a book by Fred Babb called Go To Your Studio and Make Stuff - in fact that is the cover of the book above. Fred was a pretty cool guy. I love his loose and playful style, and his take on art, which is that creativity is essential, and that everyone is creative. As a teacher I see a lot of students pass through my studio who don't think they are "creative." They say they "can't" draw or paint. I disagree. I think that not only can everyone create, everyone should create. When we get into the zone with creating we forget our stresses and petty grievances; we essentially forget ourselves. The process of creating takes us somewhere both outside of ourselves and yet deeply within at the same time, and usually when we return we feel a whole lot better.

 This is an excerpt from Fred Babb's website: 

"In high school, Fred met the teacher that changed his life as an artist. He challenged Fred to make art outside the boundaries of skill. He encouraged him to go places with his imagination and without the restriction of creating what he thought he should create, something he believed would be acceptable. Through this teacher's guidance Fred was given the gift of freedom to create outside the standards of "acceptable" art and within the limitless boundaries of his own imagination. This single experience began the foundation of all his future creation process. For years afterward, Fred would experiment with a variety of styles and techniques, all of them self-discovered. Fred did not pursue art education, but rather education through his art."

What jumps out for me in the paragraph above is "outside the boundaries of skill", and "without the restriction of creating what he thought he should create."

Making art just for the creative experience can be transformational. Not because you want something to hang above the sofa or look good on your walls, but because it feels so good when you do it.

Beginning in January we are hosting Drop In and Create evenings at both Shine Art Studio (Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:30) and Tangerine Dream Gallery and Studio (Thursdays 6:00 - 8:00.) The sessions are $35.00 each, which includes most materials, or you can buy a punch card with 3 sessions for $90.00. 

Come to our studios and make stuff with us!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nanaimo Weekend Passionate Intuitive Painting Party

This past weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a wonderful group of women on a beautiful, serene five acre rural property in Nanaimo.

The women had no qualms about embracing the techniques and each soon had canvases that were lively and vibrant.

One of my favorite things to demonstrate to my students is just how gorgeous little "glimpses" of their individual paintings are, by zooming in on certain areas of their canvases with my camera.

 Zoe enjoying a break in the action too!

As always I am amazed at the unique styles of each and every student. Even while employing the same techniques and using the same paints, every canvas is striking in its originality. Just like the women who painted them!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Blooming True with Flora Bowley

The wait is over! Registration for Bloom True - the e-course (Feb 2014 class) is now open! The last class sold out, so be sure to book your spot now if you want to join this five week painting and life adventure. You can register by clicking the button above. The class will run February 10th - March 15th, 2014.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Some of My Student's Work in Passionate Intuitive Painting Workshops

One of my greatest joys is in encouraging students to try this style of painting, which is much more forgiving than many specific painting styles (such as realism, abstract, still life, etc.) To let go and open yourself up to the possibilities of what may unfold without you specifically trying to move the painting in a certain direction can be a challenge, but I feel that the process of accepting that you don't know what lies ahead, in art as in life, can be hugely rewarding. Here are some of the paintings that my students have created when painting intuitively. Each painting is as individual as the painter, and the finished piece a complete surprise!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Are you interested in unleashing your inner creativity and changing your life?

Are you ready 
 to change your life?
The September - October 2013 session of Bloom True is SOLD OUT! Registration for the next Bloom True e-course will open on October 30, 2013. You can register by clicking the button above.
The class will run February 10 - March 15 2014.

Last summer I did something that changed my life. I signed up for an online painting class with Flora Bowley called Bloom True, and over the course of 5 weeks I learned how to let go, embrace mystery, reconnect with my playful and brave inner artist, and shine my own light. It was truly a transformational experience, and has lead to many magnificent changes in my life, including opening an art gallery and working studio and resuming teaching workshops myself, which I had taken a 15 year hiatus from.

I first heard about Bloom True from a friend who was mid-way through the e-course. At the time we were attending a wonderful 4 day art retreat together, called Artfest, in Port Townsend, WA. She said "You would love Flora Bowley's work!" When we got home from the blissful creative immersion of Artfest I immediately googled Flora and Bloom True. Flora's gentle, supportive and encouraging manner shone out, in interviews, the class description, and most visibly in her paintings. Luscious, colourful, and full of imagery and words that I have long gravitated to in my work, it was immediately apparent to me that I must take this course.

When I say that taking the course changed my life I am being honest. The freedom, self-acceptance, and exhilaration I felt as I painted was like nothing I have ever experienced creatively. Always my own harshest critic, and with a lifelong history of internal "not good enoughs" to put to rest, I was completely captivated by the process of letting go that is the hallmark of painting intuitively. No more sketching and planning, no end result to work towards; instead splashing and dashing paint, usually with my fingers, and losing myself in the colours and textures. It was like therapy! All of the "shoulds" fell away, and I was left embracing "maybe" over and over again. No mistakes. No rules. Always an opportunity to try something new.

Of course this way of embracing creativity spills over into the rest of your life. I became more comfortable with unknowns, fear and risk, and more comfortable just going with what is. My entire approach to the way I view life and live it began to change as a result of the class, and as a result, amazing, serendipitous events have transpired.

One of the best things to come out of the class was the community of intuitive painters that were my classmates and have become my friends. The safety and security of our online group, provided in every Bloom True e-course, created a wonderful atmosphere for sharing and supporting each other in our creative journeys. 

Exhilarated, and full of new creative techniques to share, I began teaching workshops myself again. I love to see my students discover new ways to express themselves creatively, let go of their inner critic, and embrace the process of letting their "planning and thinking" mind have a much needed break - letting their intuition and the bushes take over and reveal what is to come.

I am set to begin my second session of Bloom True on Monday, September 30th, and I can't wait. Several of my classmates from last year's session are joining me, and it will be wonderful to see what barriers we push through this time, and what we take away from this session, with many new videos and techniques that Flora has in store for us. If you want to give yourself or someone you love the gift of transformational creative liberation, sign up for Bloom True. Truly a gift that keeps giving!

To watch Flora create a painting start to finish:

To see Flora speaking about Bloom True:

To register for the next Bloom True e-course click the button below:

I will be documenting my thoughts and paintings on this blog for you 
as the course unfolds, so watch this space!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bowen Island Weekend Art Retreat

This past weekend I had the great pleasure to facilitate a private art workshop for a group of seven female dynamos on Bowen Island - a place I last visited as a teenager many moons ago. Bowen Island is a short, scenic ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, BC.  I arrived on the island on Friday afternoon with my car loaded - 7 easels, drop cloths, and a suitcase full of paints, ready to create!

So great to see these mountains of my childhood from a slightly different viewpoint!

 The birthday girl and her posse were ready and willing to embrace a creative endeavour together!

 Over the bridge and through the woods...

 To this lovely Sanctuary on the hill.

 Saturday morning, after a relaxing yoga session and breakfast, we are all assembled in the Sanctuary, an incredible building of wood and glass, ready to get in touch with our intuitive selves and get creative.

 The end of day 1, and the blank canvases are now explosions of colour and texture. Some folk headed for the hot tub, I took a scenic walk around the neighbourhood and along the beach, and we all met back at the house for a fabulous dinner - thank you Sunny!

 Day 2, and we are starting to refine and reshape with colour and form. Cathy's painting looks like a magical undersea garden to me.


 Intuitive painting often yields surprises - just when you are wondering where the heck this painting is going, a cow with a flower on its nose materializes!

Corrie's vibrant painting has a great balance of dark and light.

 The wonderful thing about intuitive painting is that there is no right or wrong way to express your creativity (obviously) and there are NO mistakes. JoAnn created this luscious abstract full of colour and movement.

This close-up shot shows the depth and layering in JoAnn's painting.

 I love this shot of the afternoon sun shining down on Trish's creation. So full of colour and movement, much like her!

 It was an absolute delight to paint with these women. What a wonderful weekend of fun and creativity. I have the best job ever!

Waiting for the ferry to take me home to my island.