Blooming True- Part One of my Creative Renewal Grant

All of my life it has been a dream of mine to paint on big canvases, so when I was awarded the United Way Creative Renewal grant this year, I chose to participate in an online class offered by Flora Bowley called, “Bloom True” ( This e-class was process painting at its best and was exactly what I needed–No limits, no rules, no wrong answers, and ongoing prompts to lead one in the direction of finding her own unique style. This painting, along with others I completed this fall as part of my renewal project, will be included in a group art show presented at the Fishers Town Hall Gallery. The opening reception will be held on Jan.18th from 6-8pm.

Title: My Love Letter to Colorado, My Love Letter to Me

Media: Acrylic Paint

Size: 36×48

One of the things that I loved about this five weeks of painting was the connection to all of the intense emotions that surfaced in this process. Paint can be an emotionally regressive media and I loved examining the intensity of my emotions from week to week and canvas to canvas. This painting was inspired by a very vivid dream that I had after painting one day in relation to grief and loss about moving from the Rocky Mountains years ago. Even in the early playful and wild first layers, I began to feel very homesick . In particular I felt my sadness and nostalgia growing for Colorado, which was my home for a number of years while I studied art therapy. I had no preconceived notions about the content of this painting being about this issue but I did feel the feelings and moved on to make layer after layer on this canvas.

Here are layers one and two of my painting.

This is layer five or six within my process. To find the content of this painting, I chose to experiment using my technique of drawing the content of my painting with my non-dominant hand.  I was eager to see how it would feel to use this technique with acrylic paints instead of my typical watercolors.

Ahh yes! The Rocky Mountains and my inner animal friends hiking together with a mother creature, at this point appearing to be a rabbit. A perfect example of the cyclical experience of doing art to process one’s emotions and the ah ha moment that comes from seeing everything inside you didn’t have the words for.  No words needed–my art tells me the story and only I can translate.

So I began to follow the path that my left hand and right hand together made for me. I struggled with whether to edit out the horse that appeared on the right side of the canvas. I can see that there is a message from the mother horse to daughter here in these circle orb-like shapes. She is speaking to her daughter’s heart as this figure embraces her. Ultimately this process allowed me to merge the horse with the figure on the right and for those message orbs to bloom like giant flowers. Through the various stages of this painting a story unfolded. A fish came to the party more than once. The dogfox sang me a tremendous song of longing and finding and finally the painting was complete. I suppose no one can treasure it like I do but I hope to share the story or at least the part that I have the words for.



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