Hello world! I've just returned from a painting workshop in Portland with the fabulous Flora Bowley! It was my birthday treat to myself and I made the most of it.
So many of you know that I've been painting in the style for about 6 years now. I've taken previous classes with Flora and also began my painting journey with Jesse Reno. So why would I go take another class if I already know how to do it?
Easy, because I wanted to. Flora is a very gentle and inspiring teacher. Her yoga experience (as a teacher) shines through as she encourages her students in positive ways. I had not yet seen her new studio, so right there, is a new reason to experience.
I'm so glad I went. I've been on the road to new horizons of late and it was good to get out side of my life for a bit. It gives me a chance to be ME. Not a wife, not a mom, just ME. It gives me a chance to also to meet and bond with new people who are getting to meet ME.
And I did learn new things. I make the same mistake over and over again and it was fun to tackle that during the weekend. I tried new colors, new shapes, worked in darker colors and just explored. The last day and a half I was pretty tired, so I bought another canvas and went back into my comfort zone of creating my little characters and then practicing some of Floras exercises within those shapes.
This post is to tell you that if you've always DREAMED about taking a workshop with an admired artist, then it's high time you put that dream into motion. Make a list. Make goals. What do you do to make it happen? do you need 2 years to save up? then start saving! stop making excuses and figure out how to make it happen! and we are all guilty of making excuses , so that's not said as a judgement - it's said to encourage.
Follow along with my photo essay. It's my hope that you can feel connected in some way . Cheers.
Life through my eyes
this is VERY important. Learn to listen to what's happening inside. Process those feelings and figure out how to express them in a positive and rewarding way.
Lose yourself in the moment. Experiment. Embrace the ugly. Explore new colors. Get out of your comfort zone, but also now when you need time to be in your comfort zone.
Treat and indulge yourself. This time I rented a place (Flora's airbnb loft) all by myself and glorified in all the space I had to myself. Lots of breathing room is important to me; otherwise I find myself feeling trapped.
Connect with animals. They are good for the soul. Delight in how others are affected by such caring and unconditionally loved creatures.
Go have dinner with strangers. I guarantee you'll leave feeling more rewarded for meeting new and interesting people. We all have our own stories and I think you'll find that we are all doing the best we can.
look around you and be inspired by what is happening to those also there to experience something new.
I don't care who you are, we all need clarity. Clarity opens the door for change. I needed clarity this year after my bff died. It took a toll on me. I needed to process the situation and understand the impact it had on my life and those who loved her. But at the same time, I also knew by allowing that time, I would find myself on a new path. One she would approve of.
Find new authors. underline things they say that you can relate too. Put those words in your paintings. I think you'll find that they correlate to how you are feeling at this juncture in your life.
Try to see yourself as others see you. It's fun to hear what a fabulous, interesting person you are!
Connect and make new friends!
Find beauty in the smallest of things. The snacks we were served, were not only SCRUMPTIOUS and HEALTY, but beautiful.
Notice the magic in the air, whether its the building excitement, the decor or new smells. Take time to appreciate all the work that went into making your journey happen. Flora's assistants were absolutely amazing in creating a low stress environment for everyone. They were on hand to help out in any way. This is truly a gift for both student and teacher.
Try new foods. Break out of that same old same old BORING routine! This whole week for me was all about trying new things!
Observe things that catch your eye. This is simple decor made out of cardboard and I loved it and want to create my own. Make a conscious effort to follow through on such ideas.
Take plenty of pictures. I was obsessed with this window and altar. I must have taken the same shot over and over, but during various times of the day. The blue hues from outside to the green inside. The statue with "flourish" was written just for me, not really, but I made it mine inside.
More magic! I've seen this umbrella before and fell in love with it. And here it is again for me to love all weekend. Again, appreciation in things that make you happy.
Become best friends with Pearl. This should be #1 on your list.
Listen, take notes and observe. Make mental decisions on how to proceed with no judgement on yourself. You are here to learn. Keep your expectations low and remember this is brand new.
Be gentle with yourself and keep yourself in the front of the line mentally (behind Pearl though) on how important you are. Loving your fabulous self is what makes an experience turn remarkable.
Be GLEEFUL! This photo from an exercise just says it all. Soak in the environment, the new processes and ENJOY. Don't be shy, don't be timid, don't be embarrassed. You be that all at home. Now is the time to SHINE.
Ask someone to take some working photos of you. I delight in taking them and I delight in seeing them of me. It documents that precious process and is a reminder that, "Hey, I am pretty cool".
More appreciation of my surrounds = magic
Beautiful rocks dropped under water following an exercise on intention. Capturing the essence helps me relive the moment and thus embracing my intention once again.
Yeah, it's Pearl and me again. Bff goal with Pearl going well!
Create your own photo scenes with things you like. This coral shaped heart was in one spot and I loved the fabric doily, so I united them for a beautiful photo.
Very cliche, but I love pictures involving my feet and what is happening in front of me. I was thinking of all the other women who have stood right there being brave and vulnerable. From the paint drips on the wall, I felt their spirit.
Make a crazy mess and disregard the outcome. Practice the here and now, not tomorrow or the next day. Right now only.
Don't be afraid to get messy! I had paint on my clothes, hands, face, mouth, ears, purse, shoes - you name it. It was even on my new skirt. I don't care! It's not ruined, it's only enhanced. I embrace imperfection - it makes me happy and feel happy.
Listen to a wonderful story. Feel amazing that someone is reading you a book. That hasn't happened since I was a child. Made me feel very special. Practice gratitude when wonderful things like this happen.
Draw your mood; understand your feelings. Negative or Positive, they all count. I felt sad after our yoga class, so it was good to put it on paper and also share with my neighbor who listened and understood.
More appreciation for what is going on outside my own bubble. It's not always about us. The world is a BIG place! You can learn alot from walking away from yourself for a bit.
Little pods like this make me happy. Listening in on the chitter chatter makes me happy. Observing, makes me happy.
Candles and flowers, always a favorite.
Surprise someone with photos you took of them. I know they were grateful to be noticed.
Ask questions. Your voice is important. Make sense of your confusion.
Be so excited to hear a handsome shy young man play the cora. Go buy his CD and ask him to autograph it . Smile with happiness that he is surprised at how much we adored him.
Observe the shy (or just quiet) and sneak in pics. Remember to tell her how beautiful that purple is!
Remember to refuel- learning a new method is exhausting.
Explore an idea that catches in your mind!
Mingle, socialize! It's important - appreciate the very rare opportunity for fellowship!
More beautiful flowers while others work hard. Such combinations around the room invite color and shapes into the dialogue. I like Katie, an assistant, up top, right corner, doing her thing.
Marvel at how different all the paintings look
Marvel at the extensive out pouring of work as we all bought more and more canvases! Our enjoyment got the best of us!
A new friend and I worked on each other's paintings when we needed a push in a new direction. The end result was FUN and exciting. It also encouraged others to be brave and do the same thing.
need i say more about this?
Pomegranates and roses - the color scheme alone is perfect for a palette
and if anything else: