Friday, November 7, 2014

Brave Intuitive Painting

 September 2013, not long after I found out I was pregnant with our second son, I purchased Flora Bowley's book Brave Intuitive Painting. I stumbled upon her work on Pinterest and had been in love with her work and intrigued with her process.  

So, one free afternoon while my 16 month old was at his grandma's, I decided to try Flora's approach on for size. 

Downloaded some new music to fill the empty spare bedroom, plopped a variety of colors on an old Rubbermaid lid and just painted, with no direction, forethought, or goal in site. And it was a joy!! 

Here was my first couple marks: 

And it evolved to this: 

And eventually grew to this: 

The next afternoon I felt up to painting, someone else decided he was up to painting as well and refused to nap, so he joined in the fun. 

I let the painting sit for a few days and walked past it everyday looking at spots that I loved and seeing if imagery jumped out at me. After flipping it a few times I realized that my tree that I had first made had morphed into a bird.

Honestly, the painting could have found an end pretty easily on this path but I wasn't feeling like it was me. So on I went with the mark making, off and on for months during my pregnancy.

Until one day in February, she emerged while I was 7 months pregnant with a lively 20 month old boy!!!

She was finally finished a few months after I popped. 

Needless to say I NEVER thought I'd paint a bare breasted woman reaching for the sky, but after sitting back and listening to my heart I realized this is exactly something from me. I painted this the entire length of my pregnancy and that whole time I was working on releasing the fear of childbirth because my first experience had been horrid. I see this beauty now as embracing birth, knowing there is a precious life on the other side of the madness. And he is.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First exhibit...EVER!

After a fan-flippin-tastic summer, I knew I had to figure out how to let my community see these amazing kids' work. Because not only had there been about 250 pieces made over the course of two summers and holidays in between, but also, no one can fully appreciate it on their tiny iPhone screen in my opinion.

I set a date and reserved the Civic Center (more like lower case civic center since it's only a town of 10,000)

Got ahold of all 50 of my previous students. Heard back who'd like to participate and that there would be around 85 pieces showcased. 

I also knew I wanted to involve everyone in a big collaborative piece. I came up with the title Cultivate Community because I wanted to inspire people to invest some time & love in their community so it will bloom and grow closer (ahem, like hold a free art exhibit). 

I also happen to have a mom with the spiritual gift of hospitality and hostessing (neither of which I inherited) who took charge of punch and eatables. 

Well, the big day came and it seriously could not have gone better.
1. Nothing fell off the wall! whew! 

2. Well over 100 people came! One lady even asked a parent if the prices were listed anywhere because she saw a few she wanted to purchase!

3. The newspaper took pictures and wrote a great article about the exhibit! Which you can read here

4. That collaborative piece was so fun! 

5. It was SO awesome to see the look of pride on the kids' faces as they lead their families through!

6. The kids got to connect with my other students. I have taught kids from all over the county so not all of them have been in the same classes.

7. I got asked to do a ladies paint party with a local church group! Which I need prayers for because adults intimidate me 😁

8. This will DEFINITELY be a repeat event!!! So much work but so worth the effort! Loved bringing a little culture to my small town! 

Here is how the collaborative piece turned out!

A rare picture of the elusive art teacher in her natural habitat. Hey, when you are the one behind the camera all the time, few pictures ever get taken of yourself!

Photo credits to the amazing, talented Haley Earls, who I have the pleasure of calling my good friend.