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Flora Bowley’s Class

Taking a class at the Makerie with Flora Bowley was amazing- especially since I am trying to reducing my “tightness” when arting.  She had so many ideas for how to overcome that.  Thought it was perfect that her new book, Brave Intuitive Painting,  came out just as I finished the class.  You bet I bought it.  You can read about my trip to them Makerire there in this post.

This is the painting that was my neighbors.  Flora had us give 1 of our 30″ x 30″ paintings  to the person on our left.  Wow, was that stressful.  I had never experienced this in a class before.  Even with all the shock I am glad she had us do this.  It really pushed me out of my comfort zone.




I started adding some of my marks to the canvas.  I had no idea of where this was going.  AT ALL.






Still more mark making.  Guess what, no idea where it was going.  Shocking, I know.







I’ve seen a bird like thing in it. Outlined it and decided to add some leaves.







Adding colors around the bird to make it stand out more, fiddled with the leaves, but realized, oops.  I don’t like the leaves too much.






Much happier with the bird with a neck injury now that I have blued in the body.  Still don’t like the leaves.






For some reason, I kept trying to save the leaves, redeem them in my eyes.  Not working….so obvious to me now but when I was painting it was not so clear…






Adding the white above the body I thought would help the bird be more defined.  I am starting to see the red blobs at the bottom as red tulips.  There were the most wonderful red tulips blooming all over Chautauqua.





At last I fave up on the ugly leaves and covered the entire bottom with red tulips- my favorite part of this painting.






The odd head has become the feathers on top of the head since that head was at a weird angle.  More paint and colors around the bird to define it more.  Not sure if this is a work in progress still or a finished piece.  I’ll step away from it for a while.




I left my comfort zone many many times during the 2 days with Flora- and I LOVED IT!  How have you been leaving your comfort zone lately?

If you have a moment stop by all the wonderful artists at Paint Party Friday!


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  • Lindsay Drya May 11, 2012, 8:35 am

    ahhhh yes, the book is on my to read list! Too bad I live to far or I would follow a real life workshop too… she sounds so inspiring! Also, I love your painting.. or, at least now it’s your painting, LOL. So nice to see the progress… thank you so much for sharing it with us. 🙂

  • NatashaMay May 11, 2012, 8:41 am

    This looks way cool! 🙂 I bought Flora’s book but hadn’t had the chance to properly read it.

  • Faye May 11, 2012, 9:22 am

    Carolyn, how freeing! I love the progress you made on the canvas. It is so educational to watch someone’s painting as it moves along. I think the finished one is indeed the best. You stopped at the right moment. Beautiful.

  • Debbie May 11, 2012, 10:05 am

    Great energy and colors! It’s really fun seeing the progression of this painting. I get stuck at the middle phase sometime, when the whole canvas is busy, busy, busy. I really enjoyed seeing you how you moved from that point to creating some definition and focal point in your composition.

  • yvonne May 11, 2012, 10:59 am

    How interesting. I love how your painting turned out. What a wonderful fun process. Happy PPF!

  • miriam May 11, 2012, 11:00 am

    her online class was great too-I love flora and her ability to get us out of our fears!
    have fun!!!

  • Annette G May 11, 2012, 11:03 am

    wow that must have been a wonderful experience attending one of Flora’s courses. Finishing off someone elses painting must be terrifying am not sure if I could do that, but loving your results. Happy PPF, Annette x

  • Rinda May 11, 2012, 12:39 pm

    I love your tulips.

  • gloria May 11, 2012, 12:41 pm

    Very nice work. Nice step by step process and loving the end results. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  • Carol May 11, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Delightful creation with color, design and texture ~ getting out of our comfort zone is scary ~ but look how you have blossomed! ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

  • Marji May 11, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Love to see what you are doing. Thanks for the book recommend. So interesting to give your painting away to the left… makes you realize that things aren’t so precious and you can let them go. Excellent. Happy PPF

  • minnemie May 11, 2012, 1:55 pm

    That’s just delightful to see how it all came together! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kat May 11, 2012, 4:04 pm

    Hello Carolyn, so great to follow through your different painting stages. You’ve had plenty of fun with this one and it shows, thanks so much for sharing with us, it’s a great piece and I love your red tulips at the bottom too, a gorgeous splash of red colour that brings the piece to life!

  • Cynthia May 11, 2012, 5:25 pm

    WOW. Amazing!!! Thank you so much (again!) for sharing the step-by-step photos. Love the tulips!!!

  • giggles May 11, 2012, 6:24 pm

    What an amazing post!!!I love seeing your process! Thanks for sharing! The green leaves
    gave the bird piles of depth. Such an interesting process!! Good job!!

    Hugs Giggles

  • Andrea May 11, 2012, 7:16 pm

    I am so jealous, i would love to take a class with her, your painting is wonderful!

  • Renee May 11, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Oh my goodness…! I took her class and remember exactly how it felt… you did great!
    Keep up the good work!
    Happy PPF…

  • Marjie Kemper May 11, 2012, 8:06 pm

    So much gorgeous color! Love all these layers… thanks for sharing so many pics and the process. Sounds like you had a really wonderful and inspirational getaway.

  • Denise May 11, 2012, 9:21 pm

    This is so interesting, I love doing this style of painting. It’s very much what I’m doing a lot of right now. I’ve stepped away from oil painting still life’s etc., to doing more abstract. The letting go and being free to do just what comes up is so fun and exciting. Now I think that I’ll have to take a class with her, she sounds amazing. Thank you for this! Have fun creating!

  • Lorinda @ Everyday Endeavours May 11, 2012, 11:51 pm

    Oooh, I would LOVE to go to the Makerie!!!!!! Now that I’ve seen the wonderful work you’ve produced there I want to go even more….gotta check out my airmiles…. Thanks so much for sharing your process. Have a great weekend!

  • Tracey Fletcher King May 11, 2012, 11:59 pm

    that looks spectacular…. the whole intuitive thing freaks me out completely but I love what you have created so maybe I am coming around to it slowly… I love it…xx

  • Hybrid J May 12, 2012, 1:05 am

    The texture and free up energy are so obvious. Great work!

  • Valerie-Jael May 12, 2012, 3:32 am

    So much energy and movement hidden here! Valerie

  • Lynn May 12, 2012, 4:10 am

    I love seeing your painting process and the transformation as you go along. love where it’s at right now. Congrats

  • Harriet May 12, 2012, 9:15 am

    beautiful work and what a great idea she had…….. everything I do right now seems out of comfort zone…….

  • viola May 12, 2012, 9:27 am

    This is outstanding! The more I watch it the more lovly, and it gives a lot of colors, smiles and joy! 🙂
    I like you show how you do it step by step! 🙂

  • EVA May 12, 2012, 11:58 am

    What fun! Sounds like a great course and how fascinating to see your progress. Lovely!

  • Julie May 12, 2012, 1:05 pm

    OO I love this, so wild and free!

  • Mary in IL May 12, 2012, 2:38 pm

    wow, congrats on stepping way out of your comfort zone …I have a HUGE problem doing that. And, sharing with us??? Thank you so much!

  • Nicole Campanella/Beadwright May 12, 2012, 3:14 pm

    This is my kind of art!!! Lovely

  • Harriet May 12, 2012, 4:24 pm
  • Stephanie Corder May 13, 2012, 9:56 am

    WOW, I love it when other artists share the steps of their process- thank you for doing this! I like the choices you made and the tulips are one of my favorite parts of this too!

  • carlarey May 13, 2012, 11:12 am

    She really did push you outside your comfort zone. Looks like a great class. It will be interesting to see how it affects your panting now.

  • FranT May 13, 2012, 8:33 pm

    This is Awesome!!! I love how you show the different steps! just a great post:))

  • Gwen May 14, 2012, 6:08 am

    Wow! What freedom and what a result…wow again!

  • Nordljus May 14, 2012, 10:39 am

    This looks so cool! So great to see all the steps, and how you developed it. I was thinking taking her online class, but had too many other things on at the time, and I wasn’t sure about the yoga thing (not a yoga person at all). But I was curious, and so I bought the book.

  • Terrie -Creative Explorer May 14, 2012, 12:21 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing the good/bad/ugly of your process. I’ve read others who’ve taken Flora’s class and had that switch with your neighbor process. It always seems to be a bit traumatic, yet totally freeing! I like how you were able to let go, move on and ultimately find a part of the painting that spoke to you. What an inspirational post.

  • Daniele Valois May 15, 2012, 12:49 am

    Holy Moly you are blowing me away this year! I wish I could take her class. Hopefully one day!

  • Corrine May 15, 2012, 7:25 am

    Ooh yeah, this is light shining straight from your soul. xox

  • Kristin May 15, 2012, 5:39 pm

    OMG! That turned out so well! I love the bird! It’s amazing what you can do when you go out of your comfort zone. I haven’t done that yet. scary. Did I read that right?…the painting wasn’t yours to begin with. If so, that would be stressful! Thanks for sharing your process. Turned out fabulous!

  • Maria May 15, 2012, 11:05 pm

    Just beautiful Carolyn! How frightening to have to switch 🙂 The bird just pops off the canvas at me!

  • Itaya May 28, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Very lovely painting! I love how you helped the bird to emerge and come to life. What I would love to see is the painting that YOU started and what the other person did with that. 🙂