The above image marks a surprise return to painting after a good number of years during which I painted only sporadically and without much success. Life and all that.
An email arrived earlier this year, out-of-the-blue, inviting me onto a 12-week intensive painting programme. The course was principle-based, meaning the content was applicable to any of the art disciplines. A ton of techniques were included, the better to apply these principles. There was also a very supportive private Facebook group.
It was certainly intensive, the programme. And difficult for me in a number of ways. I was to be painting in series, using acrylics and on small 12″x12″ wood panels. I’ve not been accustomed to working in series, have never worked on wood panels and was accustomed to oil paints, rather than acrylics. Add to that I’d lost dexterity after so long an absence from painting (it felt like my fingers were arthritic throughout a lot of the programme). Gradually, I got the feel back.
I wasn’t able to complete all the modules by the end of the programme. I wasn’t the only one. Thankfully, all the modules, which include the many videos originally presented live via Zoom, are available for a full year.
A bonus for me is that the paintings will transmigrate into works on fabric.
Another bonus was getting to know other artists on the programme. Though international, several other artists are based quite near to me in real life and so I’m enjoying making new friends with similar enthusiasms.
Acrylic paints today are more eco-friendly. And one of the video presentations dealt with the disposal of acrylic paint leftovers in eco-friendly fashion. One method was a foolproof way of not ending up with any leftover paint at all, leaving only the very diluted paint in the pot of water used to dilute the paint and clean the brushes. I’ll go into this in detail in another post.
The painting above is one of a series of three. I have several series on the go. For me, that’s prolific!
It seems to be a year for series. Just before my invitation onto the painting programme dropped into my email box, I started another kind of series. I’ve not posted much on the blog this year. In respect of eco-printing and natural dyeing, I decided to start a series of writings taking a single plant and exploring it in detail – from as many perspectives as I could find. I decided to start with Nettle. In my research, I dredged up so much information on nettle, however, that it’s threatening to become a small book! And is taking a lot of time to finalise.
I was busy earlier this year studying and singing Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, which is a sort of series, of songs and choruses.