Monday, March 7, 2016

Practicing Nonattachment

Artist Flora Bowley shoots an arrow directly into my Achille's heel with an exercise she calls Practicing Nonattachment.

The essence of the exercise is to get two canvases going at once, working 15 minutes at a time on each, switching back and forth to allow drying time, and covering 3/4 of what you previously painted on each until you build up four layers on both canvases.

I elect to cut 8" squares (vs. suggested 24") from the end of a roll of brittle 37-year-old wallpaper.

I decide to paint on the design side of one square and the pre-pasted back of the other. Hard to imagine getting attached to either. I start with the design-side square, pick three colors, create a loose-grid format underpainting.

Please laugh with me: I get attached immediately. To the first layer on the first sheet!

Nonetheless, I grit my teeth and soldier on.

I'll post Nonattchment 1 today, Nonattachment 2 tomorrow.

layer 1

layer 2

layer 3

layer 4


  1. Yeah! Wallpaper Rules! ;-)

    And I also liked the painting-on-four-paintings-at-the-same-time exercise, that I indeed had from her. Wonderful, and also very practical since you don't need drying time: the painting dries while you are painting on...

    Have fun, and I am inspired by it and try it soon myself.

    1. Thanks, Simone. I don't have a clue where I'll go from here with this start. Stay tuned!

  2. Hi Dotty! As always, I love seeing all your adventures even if I have to go back! This is a cool exercise. It looks really 3 dimensional by that 4th layer. And implementing tools (prior) is fun! I love that you do all these exercises, and of course sans the fear of something not pleasing you in the end. That's how we grow! I've been working hard with preparation stuff for my class, and some of the exercises I'm throwing at them are pretty cool- challenging they tell me. Keep up the awesome artwork and writing, Dotty! It brings a lot of smiles, including on my mug!!

    1. Hi Laurie! As always, I so appreciate your support and encouragement, and your being a compatriot in the trenches.

      This Practicing Nonattachment exercise, raising awareness of attachment as it does, AND raising awareness of intuition as it does … HARD WORK for me in many regards. Can't tell you how often I catch myself getting attached to outcome!

      I've started developing themes a tiny bit in this piece but feel stumped. I suspect I'm going to have to keep on layering and letting go and PRACTICING NONATTACHMENT. It's always a comeuppance to realize that certain lessons aren't one-offs that one can learn and be done with in the way we learn how to tie shoes, for example. Some lessons are ongoing. As is in until death do us part!

      Again, thanks for your support and encouragement. Say hi to your class from me, and tell them I am cheering them on.