Aaaaand…..she’s back :)

That was a blogging break I really needed, I hope you didn’t miss me too much ;)

I’d like to be able to tell you that there was a good reason for my blog-silence but there wasn’t really. OK so a couple of weeks of it may have been down to a spell of depression, but I’m coming out of it now, which is a relief. I spent a good chunk of the time painting on big canvases as part of Flora Bowley’s Bloom True course. I learned how to really let go of all expectations and self-pressure and to paint freely. I really enjoyed it!

I painted 6 canvases altogether, 3 big ‘box’ canvases and 3 little canvas boards. Painting BIG is my new favourite thing! So much more space to PLAY! I really want to get some even bigger canvases but due to working from home without a studio, I am extremely space-limited.

Here are progress shots of the first big canvas I worked on during Flora’s course. Many layers, much paint, and then something completely different emerged…

Canvas painting zoe ford orange layer 1

Layer 1 – acrylic inks in warm colours

canvas painting zoe ford warm colours

Layer 2 – acrylic paints over top of the first layer, using my hands only.

acrylic canvas painting zoe ford

Layer 3 – Cool colours added randomly with paintbrushes, foambrushes and other mark makers.

Then I forgot to take photos for a while…and I started to ‘know’ how I wanted it to turn out (but that’s completely opposite to the point of ‘Bloom True’!)

acrylic canvas painting by zoe ford

You can see I added a LOT more details in both warm and cool colours, layering in such a way as to cover up parts of the previous layers, while letting other parts show through.

Here’s a close-up of that flowery part at the bottom which I really liked:

acrylic painting canvas close up zoe ford

‘Petals’ stamped onto the canvas using a squashed cardboard tube, with metallic gold accents.

And then I ‘broke’ it :) I didn’t like it at all.

acrylic canvas painting in progress zoe ford

And I really didn’t like how that leaf on the right reminded me of a cannabis leaf!

But that’s OK, because this was ‘Bloom True’ and the whole point is to move past your fears and expectations. You have to not get attached to any particular layer and try really hard not to have any idea of how it’s going to end up at this point. And therein was my mistake. I knew exactly where my painting was going, but I didn’t have the skill to get it there. Cue frustration and disappointment. I left it for a week or two, wondering how I was going to move on.

When I felt ready to face it again, I threw everything I had at it.

Literally.

acrylic canvas painting zoe ford, drips, random, abstract

The only way you can tell this is the same painting is those petal shapes at the bottom peeking through.

I really liked this and I almost wish I’d left it there.

But apparently I don’t know when to stop.

Tree acrylic painting zoe ford

Stuck in a rut with a painting?
Put a tree on it.

I really liked the tree too. But again, my painting skills let me down and I didn’t feel able to take it any further. Cue another couple of weeks spent not looking at it, painting other canvases…and then covering up this canvas completely with tiny flowers, which I forgot to take photos of. After the flowers, which were quite pretty, came drips and squares in warm tones accompanied by some stencilling, allowing some of the flowers to show through translucent layers.

Changing Seasons by Zoe Ford

‘Changing Seasons’ 24 x 24 inch canvas, Zoe Ford 2013.
Stencil by DecoArt, fluid acrylics by Americana (DecoArt) and Golden, artist acrylic by Traditions (DecoArt), High Flow acrylics by Golden, acrylic inks by Magic Color (Speedry)

And THAT is the finished canvas (available to buy here).

Flora Bowley is going to be running another session of Bloom True in February 2014.

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Sign-ups are now open!

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7 thoughts on “Aaaaand…..she’s back :)

  1. Loved seeing your process! The outcome is beautiful. I took a Bloom True class about a year ago and had a hard time letting go and finishing a canvas. Both canvases are still in my art space waiting for me to return to them. Your post inspires me to press on and finish them! Thanks for sharing. :)

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