The year of painting dangerously


Still Life (30 cms x 22 cms acrylic and coloured pencil 2016)

I’m preparing, mentally at least, for something I’ve wanted to do for some time – a three-day still life workshop with Katie Sollohub at the Seawhite Studios. For years I’ve looked wistfully at their website and Facebook pages, at students smeared in charcoal and paint having a wonderful time and breaking through their limiting beliefs.

I clutch on to a number of limiting beliefs: that I can’t paint, that I can’t do anything on a scale larger than A3, that I don’t know how to use certain media. Some of these, I hope, will be challenged and possibily even dispelled at the end of this month. It’ll be wonderful to work with an artist like Katie Sollohub whose style is loose and free and very different to my own. I’m also hoping to work with multi-media artist Doug Selway soon, again exploring aspects of painting that I would find difficult to confront on my own.

Why all this sudden activity? Well, you can only tell yourself stories for so long before they become real. As we learned from the poem I posted last week, one must ‘keep changing, you just get more who you really are‘. I am, I hope, someone who can paint without inhibitions, without the limits I seem to want to impose upon myself. It was time to paint ‘dangerously’.

The picture above – although small in scale – is a product of such abandon. I’d made a mess of something and had lots of unused acrylic paint left over. Without first drawing or sketching out a composition, without even setting up a still life group, I used up the spare paint and just made it up as I went along. The result is no masterpiece but neither is it completely worthless (and it was fun to do because there were no expectations and no borders to fear).

Watch this space…



27 thoughts on “The year of painting dangerously

  1. I’m going to say right now that you are a wonderful artist and I always love to see what work you have been making. And I don’t understand your lack of confidence in yourself. Well, I do, of course, but what I mean is, looking at what you present to us here, well, it’s just great. Always well done, beautiful to look at, and original. So I hope that these workshops are fun, most of all, and I look forward to seeing what you come away with, both artwork and in what you thought about the experiences.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Claudia, that’s so supportive. I suppose I concentrate too much on what I might have done better and I think that comes from working too much in isolation, perhaps. It could also be because I measure myself against what I see in my head! I’m certainly looking forward to the workshops though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful post Michael–your thoughts about creativity, fear, and moving forward really resonate-I so love your work and I look forward to seeing what the coming months bring with your new adventures. Reading it this morning was also a dose of “we get what we need”- I am jumping back in with watercolor and ink this year courtesy of a journaling class I am taking. The prospect is both terrifying and exhilirating-all it takes is that first brush or pen stroke. Good luck with your class and thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this vibrant still life! I’m so excited for you to be attending a workshop. I know the classes I took last year really made a difference in both my attitude and ways of playing with art supplies. Have fun! I’m looking forward to what you will do!


  4. Your painting and words brightened up my day 🙂 I admire your attitude and determination despite the limiting beliefs. Believe me every artist has them and I can totally relate!(Julia Cameron does a good job explaining this in the Artist’s Way). I hope you get a lot out of the workshop and I look forward to seeing more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Most of us could probably do with a bit of painting dangerously Michael, thank you for sharing this with us and the painting looks great, fresh and alive and beautifully judged. Look forward to hearing how you get on at the workshop, it sounds a treat 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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