I was in the art store picking up supplies the other day when a book caught my eye. It was “Brave Intuitive Painting” by Flora Bowley. I was in a bit of a rush so I figured I would check it out another time. But for some reason, as I was almost to the checkout counter, something pulled me back to take a closer look.
I flipped the book open and here’s the first thing I read:
It’s tempting, and very natural, to want to know what your paintings are going to look like before they are finished, but the truth is you never really know what the future holds. Incredible amounts of energy are wasted by chasing what you cannot catch. Let go of the chase and embrace the unknown. By releasing the need to control the future, you open yourself up to the magic of the moment where everything is possible.
This book was for me. I immediately bought it.
I have been a fan of Flora Bowley’s work for a while now. But it’s not only her work that attracts me, it is also her approach to her work. She seems to be more about the beauty of the process and that really appeals to me. I long to take one of her workshops. She teaches all over the world but I would especially love to one day take her workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
I read her book in one sitting and it really inspired me. Not only was I touched deeply by the ideas she expresses but I was also overwhelmed by the beautiful photography and layout of the book. It is astonishingly gorgeous to look at. And some of her prompts really got me thinking differently about the way I paint.
Her theories on how to let colors emerge intuitively on your canvas are so liberating. And her advice on how to let your painting evolve while still keeping true to what’s working, was especially helpful to me. But I think my favorite part of this book was her specific approach to creating layers of color in order to bring more depth and life to a painting.
“Brave Intuitive Painting” has definitely had an impact on the way I will paint. And I’m sure I will continue to refer to it as I move forward with my next pieces. If you are a painter, I think this book is a valuable addition to your book shelf. I don’t know Flora personally, but her spirit definitely shines through the pages of this remarkable book.