Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Lesson 8, Busy & Quiet, turned out to be so about inner process for me. 

I don't remember how aware I might have been at the time but, when I took up painting in 2014, I think it was because something in me wanted to bump into parts of myself that I consciously or unknowingly hide away, and that same something in me recognized that painting might be a totally awesome gateway.

Lesson 8 held my feet to the fire of confronting those inner nether regions pretty much nonstop.

I felt wildly experimental and improvisational starting my first piece. Dove headfirst into Not Knowing, and swam there for a long time. Went from impulsive to intuitive to reckless to open-ended to lost to dizzy to unstructured to flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.

At some point I woke up, beached. 

Found myself in a corner I'd painted myself into. 


exhibit a: in a corner

Painted my way out of that one into a space that also started to feel cornery (good word! I felt [c]ornery!).

exhibit b: getting cornery

Did some playful mucking about with ink, line, and teeny patterns.

exhibit c: more playful

From there, went to a big mess that brought me to a paralyzing standstill—didn't even photograph it.

At which point I thought, What would instructor Jane do?

Just cover over something and see where it takes you.


Here's where it took me, first time out of the gate with this lesson.

Does it not seem like magic that exhibit a lies somewhere deep inside Busy and Quiet #1?

Busy and Quiet #1
When I came to this piece to evaluate its visual content
in terms of the lesson goals, it had much to teach me.
Tunnel-visioned as I was while painting,
I felt pretty clear about what was busy, what transitional, what quiet.
Afterward, with more clear-headed objectivity (ha!),
I saw where this piece felt short of satisfying the lesson.
Most conspicuously, the busy sections were dispersed,
which tends to activate the 'quiet' spaces in between.
For now, I've left it as is.


  1. Love the transitions, the teeny, and where you landed. Feel like I am looking up at the clear blue sky, colorful birds, quickly passing by. :)

    1. Sheila, thanks as ever, for your support and thoughtful comments. Love the image of clear blue sky, colorful birds quickly passing by.