At the end of March, I FINALLY attended Flora Bowley’s Bloom True long weekend painting workshop. I’ve been wanting to attend this workshop for a few years. The workshops often fill the day the email announcement comes which is hard to plan around family demands. This year, I resolved myself to go NO MATTER WHAT.
I’ve had this secret wishing about this workshop, an intuition that I needed to be there though I wasn’t quite sure why. Now I know why.
The workshop was beyond expectations. From a fabulous eco-friendly backyard studio, luscious and healthy catering, live music, excellent instruction and not to mention people, there isn’t an easy thing to critique. Flora is an excellent teacher who shares her process for tapping your intuition and creative knowledge freely. The work and projects were designed to open us up. We painted with our eyes closed, we traded canvas, we painted around the room, we experimented with mark making, we danced, we learned a little about color, luminosity, mixing colors and some simple techniques for managing acrylic paints. We watched Flora transform a canvas through her process. We let go and trust ourselves. We worked with what’s working. We learned gratitude when nothing was because that is an opportunity to play more. It was potent magic.
The workshop gave me brand new clarity.
The reason I paint is because I want to feel a specific way. That feeling permeates the outcome and ripples of a painting. I hesitate to name this feeling. Words are limiting. It’s like falling in love, it’s often called bliss or flow. It’s ease, timelessness and focus. Some say I’m passionate about it. When I paint, I am completely present. It is a moving meditation practice. When I’m not painting, I’m thinking about it like an excited kid waiting for Christmas. It’s the only thing I want to do.
Ultimately, the most important lesson I learned was the importance of pursuing the feeling. Outcomes, measures of success and will-you-like-it-worries aside, they really don’t matter. That feeling is a compelling goal no matter what you do. It can lift anyone because it gives back meaning, energy, love and focus. I suspect if we were all focused on that feeling as the goal, it would change the world.
What gives you that feeling?
C) Marika Reinke – Adventures in Art with Heart, Humor and Spirit.