Care to dance?


“The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.” – Barbara De Algelis

I’m re-reading Flora Bowley’s book, Brave Intuitive Painting and have decided to try and follow the guidelines she offers to (hopefully) alleviate some of my acrylic painting phobias – i.e. color mixing.

One of the things she suggests is working with either warm or cool colors separately on each layer/canvas to avoid making mud.  It makes perfect sense of course and I’m not sure why I haven’t done this before but at least I’m finally doing it now.

The other thing…she encourages working large.  REALLY LARGE.  The above photo is kind of deceiving (since it is a ‘Polaroid-esque’ image) – because the canvas in the photo is 36″x36″ – the largest I’ve worked on to-date – mainly because I’m working in a limited space and also because putting more than a couple of these in my car would be problematic!

However, that said, working large is great!  I can totally understand the thought process on this.  I’d often thought that large canvases were only for those who REALLY knew what they were doing – and not for people like me – who tend to make mud on a regular basis.  But it is very freeing and a great tool for experimentation.  And since there is so much more real estate – one little ‘mistake’ (even though there is no such thing in art, really) is hardly noticed and, my favorite part, working large is a very tactile experience – it’s a relationship. So far, there are about 5 layers on this canvas already and I’m not even close to being done with it yet!

I find that working large tends to slow the whole artistic process down (for me anyway) whereas when I worked on smaller canvases, it seemed I was rushing through, hurrying to completion for some reason.  I seem to pause more to reflect on what I’m doing but that could be simply because there is so much more going on.  On the other hand…I also find I’m reacting in a much more spontaneous manner…

kind of like you would with a dance partner when the music changes.

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