Monday, December 08, 2008

Life, Paint and Passion

My studio

Yes! I've finally got my studio back so I can paint again.

Last August Jim removed the old carpet (which had moths and had to go) and painted the floor - unfortunately the cement paint was VERY smelly so I couldn't go back in straight away.

Then we got Teasel and it was the best place to put her as it had a floor that wasn't precious... now she is (more or less) house trained she is inhabiting the upstairs more and I get the basement back!

I'm restricting myself to poster paints for the moment until I'm sure Teasel isn't going to take up paint eating. But that's no problem as I rather like them - they are cheap and colourful and I love their consistency and opaqueness. They are, incidentally, the type of paint recommended by one of my favourite art books:

Which I've recently re-read.

Its amazing how one can completely misremember a book.

The last time I read it and was inspired to paint by it I produced a whole series of paintings that were colourful weird and very detailed (though I used acrylic paints then as its what I had and knew). They formed the last exhibition of paintings that I did. That was in 1996. I blogged one 10 years after that in June 2006.

Now I realise that one of the things the book does is caution against showing this sort of art work to anyone!

Because its so personal.

I somehow missed that entirely before. Though I didn't try to sell them as I felt they were too personal to sell... but at the time I hadn't really worried about whether I might feel over-exposed by showing them... Looking back now I think that showing them did block me from letting myself paint more this way. As though I'd broken a trust with myself. So this time around I will not be showing them, not even here on my blog. (I have been painting on and off this year and not shown it here for the same reason.)

Also I'm sure when I first worked with the process in the book I felt that just splashing paint on "wasn't allowed"... hence the relatively tight and detailed work and yet the book is extremely clear about there being no rules... it makes suggestions that are not all mutually compatible because different things are going to be appropriate at different times. I think I must have got quite a lot of rules into my head when really the idea of the book is to free oneself from ALL the rules!

The idea is more about painting whatever it is appropriate to paint now; not to analyse it at any point, just to let it come.

So given that when I happen to tell Jim "this is such fun" and he responds "is it very messy?" this time around I will let the inner messy painter out!

This process is not about painting for those who intend to make a living from painting. It is about self-expression and painting for the sheer fun of it.

Michele Cassou has her own website - and the first thing that struck me about it is that her name was mispelt (Michell) on the cover of the Life, Paint and Passion book!

She has several other books, plus DVDs and CDs for sale there.

I would love to go on one of her workshops...

Anyone else used her methods or even been to one of her workshops?


Leah said...

I haven't taken any workshops with her, but I have read her book and other similar books like "Painting from the Source" by Aviva Gold (I did take a workshop with Aviva Gold as she's closer to me) and I've taken workshops with other teachers of intuitive style painting. It's great fun!! and I love painting in that way.

Anonymous said...

It's funny - I recognize the cover, and remember reading the book years ago - and yet can barely remember it now - I will have to look for it again. I haven't taken any of her workshops. Though I can also impose a lot of rules on myself at times when making art - at other times, I love just splashing paint about and seeing what happens.
Your studio looks fabulous - happy painting!
p.s. one of my favorite quotes is by Kandinsky - there are no rules in art ;-)

Ellen said...

What a nice, cheery studio. Is that one of your colourful paintings hanging up there? I haven't read her book, but the idea of painting without any viewer in mind, but yourself is really getting back to what the joy in the painting process is all about. Have fun!

Anji said...

I'd like to look at that book too. I wonder if you were so excited the first time you read it that you skimmed it and missed some of the points. It's the kind of thing I'd do.

Congratulations on getting your studio back.

Caroline said...

Leah - thanks for the suggestions - I've now ordered Aviva Gold's book!

Tinker - I think its one of those books that speaks to the part thats ready to listen which if you've forgotten it means another part from that which currently is most active in you. I'm really glad to have my studio back. I think I've had too much "formal" art tuition and that's what I'm currently shedding - I always argued with my art teachers.... (unlike most other teachers...)

Ellen - thank you - I'd like some better artificial light so I'm not dependent on the sun - then it will be perfect!

Anji - quite likely I did! I'm sure I thought I'd read it all but simply blanked out parts... it was certainly a surprise to find what it really said. And thank you.

Suzie Ridler said...

Your studio is absolutely gorgeous! I envy all that natural light. I'm glad you have it back just for you.

Art can be so personal. I'm scared of painting. I'm so bad at it. I guess that's why I do photography but I want to get past my fear. You're an inspiration, as always.

Caroline said...

Sacred Suzie - thank you - I'm enjoying it - my computer is back down here too so I'm feeling more at home again.

Michele Cassou would probably say you are lucky if you think you don't know how to paint - fewer rules to lose!

andrea said...

I missed this post -- probably because I was so busy then I didn't have time to blow my nose. But I'm catching up now and what a lovely little studio! I'm envious. And now I'm thinking I need to find that book...

Caroline said...

Andrea - I think your studio looks much better!

Johnnynorms said...

That looks a lovely space to be creative. The natural light is good at time of photo - how long does it look in?

Caroline said...

Johnnynorms - its SW facing so gets light when there is some - but of course at this time of year the hours are all too short!