I’m now four weeks into a 3-month online course called Creative Visionary Programme (CVP). And I have to say its unlike any online art programme I’ve been involved in. Not only is it a huge community, but geographically participants are from all over the globe.
My goal was to get some inspiration and learn some new techniques. But more than anything it was to find ways to make the whole process of painting easier. I’m sure when many people look at abstract art they think “well I could do that”. But I actually find painting much easier when creating more representative work. Generally you are drawing from real life, so you’re copying. Abstract is tough. When things work out I often find that its down to happy accidents rather than a comprehensive understanding of why some compositions work better than others.
First Few Weeks
The course started slowly. Although there is a wealth of materials to go through. From videos, zoom calls, bonus content, etc, and that’s before you start the exercises. But if you’re considering doing it next year don’t let that put you off. I work full time and have still managed to keep up. I does mean that I watch some of the live group calls at the weekend as videos on Facebook but that’s fine.
It’s only week 4 but already I can see that it’s going to be a very different type of training. To start with it doesn’t throw you into painting straight away. The first few weeks were focused on spending time reflecting on what inspires you and looking at limiting beliefs. Those little voices that stop you producing the art you want to create. Mindset is very much at the heart of the programme.
Creating an inspiration board was such a lovely experience. Not only was it an opportunity to release your inner child – cutting up pictures and collaging with prit stick. But it also gets you to think about things that you love. I’m planning to revisit this exercise at the end of the course. I’m sure I’ll have a different take on it by then. I’ve noticed that even in these first few weeks I can stare at this board and get ideas for colour combinations, shapes, etc.
Play, Play, Play
Last week we started painting but very much focusing on play. Applying paint and pushing it around the board without any real plan.
I was surprised how difficult I found it. It’s tough to switch off that little voice in your head that says “well that looks crap” or “what are you doing? What’s the plan?” But it is also really liberating to just spend time experimenting with different colour combinations, trying stuff just to see what happens and generally making marks.
Design and Values
In week 4 the course really stepped up. The Art2Life teaching embraces an approach that flutters between play and conscious choices. This week we started to get a real sense of the conscious choices. The exercise was to get under the skin of design and values and was really tough. I actually completed this over 3 days, involving a lot of repainting of the panels.
I am finding it difficult accepting that I will create panels I simply don’t like. Nick and the other coaches have been extremely reassuring telling us to view these as exercises rather than paintings. But switching off that little voice in your head is easier said than done!
What I have found really odd is that I can’t switch off. I find myself thinking about art all the time now. I’m even starting to think about trying to merge some of my more representational work with abstract. Not something I’ve considered before. It may just be a passing fancy but I’ll let you know if anything comes of that one.
In the Studio This Week
Aside from CVP I have also continued with my 100 days of creative play challenge, part of #the100dayproject. We are now officially over halfway and I’ve created a couple more lino prints but not much else.