Monday, November 4, 2013

Blooming At Last

"In a world that just keeps getting faster, increasingly more complex and loaded with never-ending expectations, I continually need to remind myself to be gentle, both with myself and with the people around me. For me, being gentle is about softening and allowing. It's about letting go of my grip on how I want things to be and allowing things to just be the way that they are. In this way, being gentle is also about acceptance." Flora Bowley

This weekend I completed a five week online class on intuitive painting with Flora Bowley. I've taken classes from Flora before both online and twice in Mexico, and this is the first time I feel as though I have overcome myself, been gentle and patient enough to soothe the inner angsty voices and paint on anyhow.

This process involves putting down layer after layer of acrylic paint until the painting works its way from a mess, from the unknown, from stuck, to something that begins to speak to me, to something that seems to want to be born on this canvas. I have no painting background and no particular skill I bring to this process except determination, except knowing I want so much to let go, and when I do, I will stand on the other side of what I know now.

Lots of potential in this one. I love the colors. It's maybe the fifth layer I've put on.

Several days later it looks like this. You can still see bits of the painting above and now it's kind of an underwater scene. I like it a lot. I fuss with it a few days, and I am stuck. I don't know where to go next. Time for radical change.

Tuesdays and Fridays Flora demonstrated the daily lesson on two paintings she began the first day. They were about as big a mess or full of possibilities, whichever you might want to call it, as the rest of us were making. We compared notes and shared our paintings and emotional journey on a private Facebook page. This day she added a flower or maybe it was a fireworks burst, and I ran with that idea. I wanted to see how she did it.

I love this painting, because it feels as finished as I can make it and because it is the first time I painted effortlessly and with abandon. Even though what you see are blooms, each of the many layers I added is still there and adds to the whole. I've named the painting Blooming at Last.  It's on my studio wall as an acknowledgement that I can let go, I can move through many layers of paint and emotional uncertainty, and I can do it while being gentle with myself.

Baruch ata adonai...I've struggled with this process for years and something in me wouldn't let go. I know this painting is the beginning of a breakthrough in all parts of me. Thank you. Amen


  1. I absolutely LOVE your underwater result/scene! Painting with abandonment is definitely your niche. SL

  2. Absolutely beautifully written and painted!

  3. I love your Blooming at Last piece. Very beautiful. I like really like how you do flowers.

    Perseverance is a beautiful thing. :)

    ~ Cassandra from Renaissance Women

  4. It would appear you have entered a completely new energy and paradigm in your work. It just oozes spirit and love and color. Bravo!

  5. Beautiful work, Barbara! I love the layers and how it came together in the end.

  6. What beautiful evolution and transition. I dream of taking one of Flora's class. One day soon perhaps.