I’ve been working hard on the abstraction course and it’s been challenging! I realised that I had become stuck. Working in such detail and in a concious way had led me down a narrow path and I ended up in ‘neat cul-de-sac’ and going nowhere! So I did a great exercise for becoming unstuck, one recommended by many many tutors and artists.

The biggest piece of paper I could find 🙂

I wanted to do everything differently to how I’ve been working and set myself some restrictions, so I went big, I chose colours I haven’t used in ages (one ‘blue’ (violet), one yellow, (naples yellow), some magenta, black and white). I chose tools I have not used in ages, I stood up rather than being seated, and I set a timer for 30 mins. Oh and I put on some loud rock music of course!

(I also tried a wet palette for the first time, I think this is Nicholas Wiltons idea, but several artists recommend it – I loved it!).

And off I went. Charcoal and ink first. Big bold marks, getting my arm moving. Then colours and different brushes and tools. It was fun! Singing along to some great tunes whilst I did it. At one point I had added a lot of gesso on a palette knife that was wet so rather than stop, I turned to an old canvas board that I had lying next to me. [I should point out that at no point is this meant to be an actual painting, this is an exercise in freeing up. ]

And then the magic happened…

Having got the mad, free stuff out of the way, and completely sub-conciously, or intuitively, I used up the rest of the paint on my palette. When I stepped back, I was amazed 🙂 A completely free and fun picture had emerged from an old blue canvas. I would never have used these colours normally, but I really love the wonderful soft greys that have resulted.

I’ve added a bit of collage now, and some additional marks, I’m not sure it’s completely finished yet, but I’m hopeful it’s a keeper!

A valuable exercise for me in how to loosen up and keep things fresh.

Now back to my abstraction!

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