Thursday, October 23, 2008

Learning to Fly

I had been painting for a number of months and completed several different pieces all with brightly coloured flowers as my subject. I heard about a course that a friend, Celeste Varley, was offering on Pender Island, entitled "Learning to Fly". So, having no training in art whatsoever, I thought this might be fun. I entered into the course thinking I might pick up some advice on techniques, but I came away with so much more. Celeste empowered each of us in the class to tap into creativity within. We did a number of exercises that often challenged me, but ultimately broke me out of patterns I was developing. This piece, now titled "Learning to Fly", is the result of a splash of ochre during an exercise in the second class I took with Celeste. "What do you see?" Celeste asked me of my ochre blob on the canvas. I tried to deny it, but all I could see was the skeleton of a bird. Compared to my bright, colourful flowers, this subject was quite frankly a bit morbid and I just wasn't willing to see it. However, with Celeste's encouragement, the canvas and I worked together to create this piece. It has now become one of my favourites as I no longer see the morbidity, but the beauty. It was a turning point for me in my work.

If you would like to find out more about Celeste Varley's courses, please visit her at Who knows what you might discover?

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