During this last month of my creativity coaching course we explored painting. Although I have been painting for a while it was great to explore a different way to approach it.
The first step of Painting Made Easy is to create backgrounds and layers. You can have fun with this mixing colours or making new colours. Using complementary colours on the colour wheel or just playing with colours that you feel drawn to. One way to do this is just to pick a few paint colours and go with those colours adding others if you feel you want to.
Here is a sample of a background or first and second layer. You can incorporate so much into this layer: words., stamps, stencils, and even create a few layers, as long as you allow each layer to dry inbetween. For this process I was focused on following the steps in the Painting Made Easy portion of my course so I kept it simple as I really wanted to be able to feel the experience as a newbie painter might be going through.
Here I chose a few colours and played with adding them in different ways, using brushes, my fingers. I did wait for some colours to dry so as not to create mud with mixing different colours on the colour wheel. As you can see I am drawn to bright colours and neon colours at the moment and I seem to be using them everywhere.
The next step was to chose an image that spoke to me. This is always the place where I stall because I actually love abstract backgrounds and would be happy to leave the painting as it is. I was almost to scared to ruin it.
This is where it gets interesting because often where we have resistance on the canvas we have resistance in real life. I had a long conversation with Whitney my mentor about feeling stuck at this point and why I often don't want to mess up something that I feel looks good. It is almost a fear of thinking I can't recreate this (limitation) or I don't want to ruin it (make a mistake) There could be lots of subsconscious conditioning going on behind the scenes here even that I am not aware of as well. However we don't need to wallow in the past to find out why or what caused this just move forward and work through it now. This is another block in itself and can keep us in procrastination mode for years not living our purpose. After a few days of procrastinating I chose my symbol which was the lotus and decided to go for it.
At this stage you outline your image in black or white paint and I forgot to take a photo of this step.
But here is the next step and you can see the outline and a bit of new layers of paint inside the petals.
So you can guess what happened I totally did stuff it up. Even though I did a rough petal sketch on paper when I went to do the rough sketch on the canvas the proportions were wrong and it looked weird and well there was nothing else to do but keep going.
At this stage I played around with the shape of the petals and highlighted paint here and there but it still didn't look right. Needless to say I had released my attachment to the background at this point. I even contempated painting over it all and starting again. However I decided that I just needed to play around with the petals more and remove a couple of the lower ones.
Another important thing Whitney mentions is to get your painting to a place where you are happy with it. If something is bugging you change it. This was a huge aha moment for me because there are so many things in life that I just put up with for the sake of keeping the peace and moving forward and realising that before too long my boundries have become blurred and I am putting up with way more than I should have to the point where I don't know what it was I wanted in the first place. So another discovery and lets move forward with the painting. It needs to be changed but how.
I could have left it at the picture you see above but I chose to rework it. I changed the shape of some petals and removed some. I also layered a teal background around the lotus. It is not the most perfect or realistic Lotus and there maybe things I would change or add however at this point I am happy with it. I could hang it on my wall and say I love it, imperfections and all. The top image not so much in fact not at all.
As you can see the original background does peak through here and there and it creates texture and depth. However most of it is painted over and that's okay because it is still there and provided a great learning curve in the process.
In finishing off I chose the Lotus because it represents a beautiful blossoming flower which has bloomed from the muck or muddy waters beneath it. A wonderful metaphor for life I think and I resonate with it.
I stumbled upon these words about the symbolism of the Lotus quoted from this website "A person’s path in life is said to be similar to that of the Lotus.
Starting at the seed stage, early in the karmic cycle, through to the
bud emerging from the dirty water, representing a person following the
path of spirituality and leaving attachment behind, and finally
blossoming, this is when a person has become fully awakened and has
I hope you have enjoyed my story here and be sure to sign up for my newsletter as I will be offering these painting classes soon both in person and online. You can sign up on the home page here
Have an inspired day