Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Update From the Studio

I've been spending a lot of time in the studio painting away. I am enjoying Flora Bowley's class. I have to admit, it can be scary to paint like this. I know it sounds ridiculous but I completely shut down for about a week and couldn't muster up the courage to continue. I mean, if you look at the painting above you might be able to understand...what a mess! It makes me cringe just looking at it.

There is something about this process that makes my head swim. It is so chaotic and can be hard for my brain to handle. In my mind I know that every painting I've ever done has gone through an ugly stage but there is something about the chaotic nature of this style that throws me for a loop.

After  week of avoiding them like the plague I decided to suck it up and just get in there and do something. The good thing is they couldn't get any worse! :o)

This is how the painting has evolved. There was actually a step in between here where I just decided to pick my favorite color and splash it all over the canvas. I ended up with a beautiful wash of luscious reds. I felt so much better.

Then I went in and started adding some greens and yellows. While its not quite there yet, It makes me happy to look at it instead of crazy.

Here is a close up of one of my favorite little spots in the upper left hand corner.

My second painting is a little farther along. I liked the colors and the circles. It feels good. You might notice in the upper middle there are some words sprawled across the canvas. The day I splashed red all over the first canvas I decided to write myself some encouraging words and I just did it...all over the canvas. There was a moment when I thought, "Oh crap, what the hell am I doing? I'm going to ruin this!" Ha ha, I laughed. That's impossible and I let it go and kept writing.

It got me started and got me starting to flow. I had to do something to move on and it worked perfectly.

When I stepped back I saw a bird. My conscious mind thought, "Oh no, it's right in the middle of the canvas. That's not good composition." "Um, shut up and do it!" I said back to myself. And I did.

So that is where I am right now. There is still a lot of work to do but I'm happy.

In the week I was shut down with fear I decided to start a few other smaller canvases that I had lying around. This one started by simply dripping paint down the canvas. After it dried I was going to add some more to it and I put it up on the wall and knew there was a face there so I started painting it.

As I was fleshing it out I had this feeling of strength from her so I added it to the bottom of the canvas. I kept looking at her, talking to her, asking her what kind of hair she wants. Nothing was coming.

She finally told me she wants a big flower in her hair which I find interesting. That represents a softness and female energy that balances the hard strength I've been feeling from her. Of course I am going to give her a flower.

I have no idea how this is going to progress but I'm excited to watch it emerge.


  1. Michelle,

    It's fascinating to see your progression and I can't wait to see more. Stunningly beautiful art even in its raw form.

  2. These are all so beautiful!!! I can easily understand your fear but I love that you are pushing thru it creating wonderful things!! I especially am struck by the intense feeling of energy in the last one!! Keep it up!!

  3. Oh Michelle!
    I love ALL of these!
    I love the colors, and there's so much energy and excitement going on.

    Miss you Girl!
    Wish you were joining the Tribe in Athens the end of this month

    Keep on painting Fearless! <3

  4. Michelle! I love these paintings and seeing the progression. I've had some moments in this ecourse myself that I need to move beyond with layers and shapes and more of what feels right. glad to see your story here.
    Love Jeanie