This book is the perfect antidote for blank-canvas-paralysis! For painters and artists, or anyone that wants to paint or create for that matter, wanting to free themselves up, and let go of fear. Ever watched the pure enjoyment of a child painting? Tap back into that feeling...
I have to thank Flora Bowley for writing this book. From the bottom of my heart. The copy I have here is from the library, but it is at the very top of my wish list. (A close contender with Doctor Yourself, but that is a different subject entirely!)
I have been flicking through this book for the last month or so. It's on my reading side table. I am a messy person; there are many books and magazines there, but this one keeps gravitating to the top of the pile. I tend not to read non-fiction books from start to finish, and this book was no exception. You can open it up and read from anywhere in the book and it makes sense. So many great tips in there for finding your own way as an artist & painter.
I have been illustrating, painting and creating (in the past under the name Julie Knoblock) professionally now for over ten years. And there is always room to grow. To learn new things. To challenge yourself. Even though I feel comfortable with where I am now as an artist I felt this book really advanced me along in my process of learning new things about my chosen craft.
Flora really has a unique way of looking at the world and she certainly knows that art is not separate from living. Hence she has activities to try in the book that are seemingly disconnected from painting, but a closer look at these prompts reveals they can help to promote artistic growth and enhance the creative journey. There's suggestions to meditate, do yoga, and to dance, for example.
The painting challenges is what I picked out to have a bit of fun with. There are challenges such as work on multiple pieces at once, turning your work around at set intervals, and covering up a lot of your previous layers. I found a new way of applying myself to my paintings which in turn made my works have a different visual outcome. I have taken some of these lessons I have learnt and find I am still applying them to subsequent works. One thing that I will continue to employ is to use many layers, which builds up awesome texture and an 'aged' look in my paintings.
I feel like this is a book that will keep giving. No matter where you are in your painting journey you could pick it up and gain something from it. I think that you could read something at one point in time and skim over it, but at a different stage it may pop out and resonate with you. It has helped resolve a bit of that fear I have as an artist. That pressure I put upon myself complete something that looks good, which is a little scary and can leave me feeling cautious about applying paint to a surface. And procrastinate! This book helps to negate this fear. There's a big emphasis on play in this book which I really opened up to.
I'll leave you with a visual display of the works I have completed since applying some of the methods in this book. If you are an artist and have read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with it. I hope these photos show how much fun I had! Thanks again Flora...