WIP: Intuitive Painting with Flora Bowley

If you've been following this blog or my Instagram feed lately, you'll know that I've become more than a little obsessed with painting in my art journal. This year I'm following a few online art courses/prompts, although I will admit to picking and choosing, and to following them on my own terms. It's most nourishing when I get lost in the process, so having a fixed idea of how the finished piece should look doesn't really work for me, but I do love to have a good starting point. (This is also the reason I love to knit big plain items, that don't need much concentration.)

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links to Creativebug, including a free trial offer. If you choose to continue with the subscription after the trial, the fee if $4.99 a month for unlimited access to ALL classes across all disciplines. 

I've had my own Creativebug subscription for quite a long time but only stumbled upon this great class from 2016 in the last week or so - it went live when I was busy with knitting, and completely passed me by. Intuitive Painting with Flora Bowley is a three part lesson, which goes through everything from gathering inspiration to creating an abstract masterpiece on canvas (or paper, if you prefer) in over two and a half hours worth of tuition.

Images from Intuitive Painting class on Creativebug - used with permission

In Part 1, Flora shows how to gather inspiration - a doodle repertoire, if you like - from the local environment or from magazines and online images. You'll learn how to look at common objects differently and to record them with your phone or camera. You'll also make studies which will help you to incorporate these images into the layers of your paintings.


Part 2 is all about mark making and building up a visual reference library. Using brushes, fingers, food (!) and anything else which will produce and interesting texture or shape, you'll see how to create all sorts of motifs and marks.


Part 3 covers working on your main painting - in fact, Flora works on two canvasses at the same time, pulling together everything from the earlier lessons. It involves working in distinct layers which keeps the cool and warm colours from 'sludging' together (my own term) and how to build the painting using a mix of your own intuitive marks and the visual reference library from the earlier sessions.


I'm working in an art journal rather than on canvas but having SO much fun with the things I've learned so far. Most importantly, it isn't about the finished piece but the process of making it. I'm sharing these pictures here to illustrate that point - this one was incredibly fun but turned out really messy and dark - I wouldn't put it on the wall!


Below is my latest work in progress - I'm hoping to get a couple of hours to finish it this week and by then it might look nothing like this, but it really doesn't matter.

In progress: Abstract painting in my art journal

If intuitive painting (and having fun with paint) appeals to you too, I'd highly recommend giving it a go. Subscribers can find the class using the search bar, or by filtering the art classes, and if you're not a subscriber you can either buy the class as a one-off, or take a free trial subscription here.

As well as the Creativebug class, you may also like Flora's website and her latest book, Creative Revolution, which came out a few months ago and is about Personal Transformation through what she calls 'Brave Intuitive Painting'. It's on my wishlist!

Do you paint? Draw? Would you like to? Leave a comment and let me know! 

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