I promised I would post photos showing how one of my paintings emerged over the Bloom True Art course I did in June.
‘Emerged’ is the perfect word. Flora Bowley teaches you to add layer upon layer of paint. Averaging two layers of paint a week, the painting s-l-o-w-l-y transforms before your eyes over 5 weeks.
Quite often it looks nothing like you expected. Frequently, it looks a hell of a lot worse!
But you have to trust… be patient… and let the painting do what it wants.
This is what happened:
1. We started by dripping water onto the canvas and smearing it with warm colours…
2. Next we added some cool colours, experimenting with making different marks and shapes…
3. We kept flipping the canvas by 90 degrees…
4. And added a layer of black and white. (That was a bit scary – I wasn’t keen on how it looked)…
5. Layer 5 was one of favourites: we smeared translucent paint onto the canvas with our fingers and sprayed it with water to help the paint spread…
6. Using sketches we had done in our gardens for inspiration, we added some outlines…
7. Then started to fill in the background (at this point, it felt like the painting would never end)…
8. Just when I felt like giving up, something started to emerge…
9. We add more detail to the background. (Oh God, I quite liked it and now I’ve just ruined it!)…
10. Then simplified things again. (I’m still trying to decide which way up it goes)…
11. Admission: There’s no photo for this layer as at this point, I had a meltdown. I tried to ‘finish’ the painting and HATED it. In a strop, I went out for a walk. When I came back (still fuming) an hour later, I couldn’t bear to leave the painting as it was, so I started furiously chucking paint at the canvas. After a while, I realised I quite liked what was happening. So I carried on.
12. I finally finished my canvas!…
Here it is hanging in my lounge…
It’s not at all what I expected. And it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But I like how bold and colourful it is. It adds a quirkiness to the room, which I like.
So for now, it’s staying. (Even though I kind of half wish I had stopped at layer 8, dammit).
18 thoughts on “A painting in 12 stages”
What a great post. Painting looks really cool I think :)
Hey thanks Gretal, good to have you here!
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It’s a fabulous painting Katherine. Just the right amount of layers in my humble opinion. I love it. Would be proud to have that painting hanging on my wall. You should be feeling very proud of yourself. You deserve to be. X
So good to know you like it, thanks Phil x
Personally, I like the way it turned out! But I really like some of the in-between stages too (6, 8 and 10). Because the painting looks so different at each stage, it’s nice that you took stage by stage photos: that way you still have the earlier layers preserved in a way.
Hey Roja, 6 and 8 were my favourite in-between stages too! Thank you for commenting :-)
It’s great to see how the process unfolds and your dialogue is funny and heartfelt. What a brilliant piece of art to hang on the wall!
Thank you Mr Pickering. I can’t quite believe I’ve finished my first painting more than 20 years since my last one during my O’Levels! (God, that makes me feel old.)
Congratulations : ) Ah, the life cycle of a painting. I can relate, especially to the “oh God, I quite liked it and now I’ve just ruined it…” stage. I’ve learnt to look forward to that stage (yes, really) because what follows is the “now I don’t care what happens coz I can’t make it any worse…” stage — and so often, that’s where the magic is hiding. Great post.
Wise words. It’s so true that the “now I don’t care what happens cos I can’t make it any worse” stage is where the magic is. It’s a good (but really scary) lesson to learn. Thanks Anna!
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I think it’s brilliant! I would love to hang all of it’s gorgeousness on my wall. Well done girl. And how fantastic that you’ve got a record of all of it’s metamorphosis. Beautiful. xx
Thanks Amanda, that’s such a lovely thing to say! Most chuffed that you like it xx
Love that painting! I just came across your blog and really enjoyed reading it. I love the way you write x
Hey, thank you so much, that means a lot to me :-) x
Absolutely gorgeous work!
Thanks for dropping by and commenting Cindy, I really appreciate it!
I’m curious if you have continued to paint after taking Flora’s course. I would be on a roll by now if I had created something so lovely.
Hey Marge, thanks for asking! I would love to continue painting but I live in a tiny rented house and the only place I can paint is the kitchen, which is… tiny! So my painting has been put on hold for a while whilst I doodle and write instead. In the summer I’ll be able to paint outside of course, so watch this space :-)