It’s been a veeeeeeeeery long time (17+ years) since I picked up a paint brush to do anything other than paint the interior walls of a house or building. So, it was with more than a little trepidation (in fact I was SO nervous I hardly slept the night before) that LJ and I embarked on a lovely road trip down towards the South East of Melbourne, headed for our destination: Mornington Peninsula. Here we took part in the *Serendipity Intuitive Painting Workshop* lead by the talented artist, Susan Farrell.
In preparation, LJ and I made our way to a local art shop and purchased a couple of comically large canvases (think they were 40 x 40 or 42 x 42) which we managed to wrestle into the boot of the car (quite amusing to behold I’d imagine as we are both 5ft nothing lol).
Later, we discovered, much to LJ’s chagrin, that we were the only one’s with HUGE canvases (we were supposed to have 30 x 30 size oops) because, uncharacteristically, I hadn’t read the workshop instruction PDF properly (-_-) So, thanks to moi, not only would we be painting for the first time in almost two decades, but we’d also have our work cut out filling the vast amounts of white space!
LJ’s gorgeous painting!
We arrived in Mornington a little before 9am and found our way to the workshop where we were welcomed by our friendly fellow workshop mates and a smiley Susan, who instantly made us feel at ease. I think one of the first things she said was:
“Intuitive painting has no rules. There is no wrong way.“
LJ & I felt our shoulders sag with relief (I’m sure we weren’t the only ones) and felt that, unlike at school where I had last painted, we were in a nurturing, supportive, creative environment and that whatever the outcome would be ok. There were no expectations and we were encouraged not to put any on ourselves and just be free and *let go* which I often find hard to do but know is necessary for balance.
We eased into the workshop with introductions and a beautiful guided meditation by the lovely Diane of Angelic Presence who was also a fellow workshop participant. It was really interesting to see the mix of people and hear what their hopes were for the workshop.
Everyone was there for a different reason; some had painted before and others, like LJ & I, were trying to discover or rediscover an old friend. We were very fortunate to have Diane in our class, I’ve done a guided meditation with her before and she has a wonderful ability to take you very deep and to that calm, relaxed place (^_^)
Once we were all relaxed and at ease with one another, Susan gently took us through the various layers of the painting, showing us techniques and effects which we could incorporate, but all the while encouraging us to trust our intuition and create from *feeling* rather than a *thinking* place (hard for a Capricorn like me sometimes). LJ and I had a good giggle at one another trying to wrestle our gigantic canvases but we both managed to tame them eventually!
I don’t know whether it was the meditation or the supportive environment, but I found myself letting go and the paint flowed onto the canvas. We painted directly onto the canvas with our hands with our eyes closed, created shapes with brushes, sponges, stencils and all manner of tools and materials, we learnt how to do beautiful washes of paint and rediscovered that child-like joy of just doing something awesome for the sake of it.
At the risk of sounding trite, it was a healing experience for me. (^_^)