link love and celebrating 1 year painting

Hello today I’d like to share with you a little film clip of some installation art by the very talented Jacob Hashimoto of New York.  I am fascinated by installation artists for the concepts they envisage, the thought and preparation involved in their work, and the time and often problem solving that goes into bring their concepts and visions to reality.  This is just beautiful and you can also pop over here to see more of his work and have a look around his website.

This time last year I picked up a paintbrush for the very first time and began enjoying and exploring my new-found love of painting.  

It all started with a Flora Bowley in March 2011 and her fabulous Bloom True Workshop gifted to me by my husband Michael as an early birthday present.  I think back to that weekend and how I felt so nervous heading off to a painting workshop on my own without any painting experience what so ever and no one there to hold my hand.  It was a similar experience for me to when I left home at 18 and went off to uni all alone, not knowing anyone or understanding exactly what was ahead of me.  I often feel very unsure going into group environments alone where I don’t know anyone yet.  It always feels like everyone knows everyone else but me.  It’s so weird as once I’ve connected I’m fine and naturally confident in myself.  I just knew the only way I was going to move freely through this weekend and actually enjoy myself was if I almost erased my whole mind, so that I didn’t know what it was to fear, to feel nervous, to feel unsure, to feel observed and possibly judged, to have no expectations and no inhibitions.  Certainly not a natural way for me to feel!  I certainly wanted very much to go to this workshop but there was initially a lot of anxiety when the weekend finally arrived and it was time to front up with 2 blank canvases ready to paint.   

I clearly remember the first time I touched paint to that very first canvas and what was going through my mind; “don’t worry about where this is going, what you are doing, or who is watching, just immerse yourself in the moment and enjoy the process for what it is, let go of all expectation and worry”.  That was it, I just moved with it and Flora’s words “there are no mistakes”.

canvas #1

I’ll share with you some images of the progression of my 2 canvases and a few more of Flora’s words that I wrote down in my sketch book from that weekend.                            “It’s your authentic voice, what is true for you”

“let it be true to you, your own language”

canvas #1

“when you draw from life, its giving it life”  I’m not quite sure though if I was in fact giving life to canvas number 2 or taking it’s life from it.  As you can see from these photos I had absolutely no idea of what I was doing.  The whole time I was painting I was just listening to Flora talking to us as she walked around the room.  In between her inspiring stories she often remind us to connect our heart, body and spirit, free up, use whole body movements to paint, allow your heart to guide you, and there are no mistakes…

canvas #2

“start with chaos, and emerge, through a process of discovery”  This was a very poignant piece of advice from Flora and I highlighted it in my notes.  By this stage of progression with canvas #2 I was totally perplexed as to what on earth was going to become of this chaos.  I had no idea how this was supposed to transform.  It in fact was making me feel nauseated to look at.  I remember having to leave it by the afternoon of the 2nd day, as I just couldn’t work with it any more.  I think these physical feelings were due to the energy that was before me in this painting.  I knew they had come from me and this swirling, dark, intense array of movement was full on in terms of its energy.  The fact that a painting, one of my own could make me feel this way, completely took me by surprise.  I ditched it for the rest of the workshop as it was too much and moved on with the first canvas instead.

canvas #2

The first one progressed a little more before the workshop ended and by the end of the second and final day I was totally exhausted.  I couldn’t believe how drained I felt.  I think all of my energy was on the canvases!

canvas #1

When I got home I continued to paint on both of them.  My time was fairly limited and I unfortunately didn’t get full days or weekends to work solidly on them which I was a little frustrated about, but knew this would be how it was painting at home.  Around this time I remember showing some friends who had come to visit over this month, and I was so proud to be just following my heart blissfully painting away.  I’m sure they looked at my progress and were silently thinking OMG she should definitely stick to her day job! LOL

canvas #2

I think as a result some fluidity and movement was lost but I still enjoyed progressing with these two canvases and slowly over time bringing them to a point of completion.  This took many many months.

canvas #1

It was a very interesting process for someone who had never painted before.  To work through each of these paintings, continually just moving with my heart and following my intuitive thought, to paint with no clear direction was such a relief in a way.  It really surprised me.

canvas #2

Painting intuitively I came to realize was perfect for me and just what I needed at this point in my life.  It was like a yoga class.  I could completely switch off my mind, find my inner rhythm, relax and just go with it.  

It was the total opposite process to working as an Architect.  There were no restraints and this was so freeing for me.  Nothing mattered and I loved this the most!

canvas #2

Just in the past month I have brought these two initial canvases to a point where I am confident and happy to call them finished.  It only took me a year!!!

These will always be very special to me and I am just amazed at how much one can learn about oneself and grow with a creative outlet such as this.  

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the very beginning of my painting journey.  It’s certainly been an incredible year for me with an incredible amount of personal growth.  During the past year I have worked on many more canvases and also continued to practice my illustrative skills every day.  My own individual style is emerging and continues to develop which I love!

Liza xxx



22 thoughts on “link love and celebrating 1 year painting

  1. The transformation is AMAZING…. each photo is beautiful in its own way… and i SO love that you trusted your intuition – even with such little experience with painting. That last pic is absolutely breathtaking. My favorite of all the “steps” you posted. Bravo to you Liza! xoxo

  2. What a cool journey, Liza! I love seeing the transformations of these paintings. I’m going to paint with Flora in September when she comes to Wisconsin and I can’t wait to go through that journey too:)


    • Hi Jill, it certainly has been a journey, and one I didn’t even know I was about to jump on. I think back to that weekend with Flora and I had no idea that it would lead me to pursuing my own art interests. You will absolutely love Flora’s workshop. My advice, just totally free up, be lead from within and you will have an amazing time. Thanks for popping in here, enjoy your Bloom true workshop x

  3. I am so inspired by this post Liza and I can’t believe you’ve only been painting for a year! You have a beautiful talent and you have truly inspired and encouraged me to pick up a paint brush again and to realise it doesn’t have to be finished overnight to turn out beautiful, that it’s really a process and journey to completion… a bit like life really! Thank you for your honesty and generosity of heart in sharing this. Absolutely love it! xox

    • Hi Nel, wow, I’m so so very happy that this has inspired you to pick up a paint brush again, YAY (o: This is the best comment I’ve read! If I can inspire others to follow their hearts and dreams and to have the courage to pursue what ever it is they want to do in their life, then that’s fantastic! I’m happy, happy, happy. Yes, my art is definitely never finished in a day. I can sketch each day, but I certainly can’t produce a finished painting or illustration in a day. Even my blog posts take me about 2hrs to write. Maybe I’m a slow one LOL. Everyone is different and it’s really great when you can just enjoy your own unique process and techniques that go into creating a piece, whatever form or medium it takes. All I worry about these days is enjoying, freeing and clearing my mind, relaxing and having fun. Liza xxx

  4. Its amazing to watch the progression of paintings …how much they change, how when you think they are finished something else needs to come out. Sometimes they need to sit by themselves for a while until inspiration comes and its amazing when others see in them something you had never dreamed of yourself! These are wonderful …love them forever and keep painting … I can’t wait to see what comes next! Love to you my beautiful friend! Shae xo

    • hey honey, thank-you for your lovely comment, all you’ve written is so very true. It’s funny I’ve had the painting with the next and the boy looking down on the moon hanging in our living room the past month and Michael saw something in it that I’d never noticed before. Once he’d pointed it out to me it was quite distinct. He said did you know there’s a turtle in the bottom right hand corner. I said no, really?! And then I saw it. I LOVE that, when someone else can find something in your work for themselves. Thank-you for your warmth and gorgeous friendship, I look forward to seeing what is next for both of us in the coming year. So excited, especially after working through HSHB. Love to you too and wishing you a magical year ahead. Liza xxx

    • Thanks Michelle, I love looking around at what each and every one of us has achieved in this past year. I think it’s just so wonderful that there are fabulous professional artists out there willing to spend the time and share their hearts with us to encourage us to follow our own passions and dreams no matter what our background or training. Lx

  5. Your post is so encouraging to me – I feel like it is taking me forever for my style to develop and then I hear you say that these beautiful paintings of your took time! Your artwork is so lovely. You colors are beautiful and the emotion expressed is soothing to me. Thank you so much for sharing a little of your journey over this past year. I am so excited to see what develops over the course of this year!

    • Thank-you Kathleen, it makes me very happy to hear your words and how encouraged you are by my post. My art certainly is a constant progressive exploration of self and one that takes time. I was talking to a dear friend about this last Thursday and how we all are working to find our own style. I actually said but once we do, will our style remain as it is? I think we’ll always be developing, moving forward, adapting, changing, exploring. I really believe that what comes out on a canvas or a piece of sculpture, what ever it is that we create, will always be a direct reflection of our inner selves. I love this and I think that’s why I’m not concerned about how long something takes me or trying to ensure that a painting turns out a specific way. I really do enjoy the intuitive process of looking within and exploring our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions and seeing how they unravel on a blank canvas. It’s so much fun. Take your time with your own pieces Kathleen, let them evolve in their own time, there is no rush and you will enjoy every little bit of the process. My pleasure I’m so glad I shared this process with you all. I certainly had to brave up with sharing the early photos of each of these canvases, they used to really scare me and I remember thinking oh my how on earth did this come out. I guess it’s all part of the process. Have fun Kathleen. Liza xxx

  6. Liza – what an incredible post. I got a horrible hot flash reading this and then I started crying. Your words and the painting are beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing and giving me inspiration. Best, Kim

    • (o: I hope they were happy tears. Big hugs for you! My pleasure Kim, and I’m over-joyed to hear that this has provide you with inspiration. That’s just the best thing I could ever hope to hear. Much love Liza xxx

    • Oh gee thank-you that’s a really encouraging comment to leave. Trust was really all I could do, so I just allowed what was to be to be and that is the first time in my life I’ve ever done that. It was very much a turning point for me & lot of re-assessing and inner thought has been going on every since (o: xxx

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