Tag Archives: michele cassou

Painting for me.

Lately I’ve been painting safe. Painting for others. Painting what I think other people want to see. What evidence do I have that staying safe will actually help me? None, actually. What evidence do I have that taking a risk will benefit me? Surprisingly, there is some; the paintings that people respond to the most, are the ones that I have painted from my heart, rather than my head. They are the ones that piss me off, make me angry, and the ones that I dislike the most. But they are also the ones that people respond to, and the ones that people want to buy. I guess it makes sense; if I’m feeling something as I paint, you’ll feel something when you look.

This is my goal now – to paint more from my body, less from my head. Paint what I like, not what I think others will like. It sounds so simple, but sometimes it isn’t easy. Using watercolors forces me to accept what is happening – they are harder to control than acrylics. I’m going to start playing more, and accepting more and using more watercolors. Oh, and dancing before I paint, to help me get out of my head.

After taking the intuitive painting workshop with Michele Cassou, I thought that I had to keep this kind of painting separate from my “work painting”. Now I am not so sure. This is all an experiment. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Hollywood!

I’m back from Los Angeles! I had a picture in my head of how I thought L.A. would be, and it really wasn’t like the picture in my head at all. Maybe I didn’t see enough of it to know, but considering I was staying right in Hollywood, I doubt it.

I stayed at a quirky Bed & Breakfast, aptly named the Hollywood B&B. I would go back there in a heartbeat – friendly owners, clean room, good breakfast, pool out back – what more could you ask for? (ok, a gym would be nice, but it’s not happening at B&Bs.)

During the weekend, I took an intuitive painting workshop with Michele Cassou. I have read her books and done some process painting in the past, so it was wonderful to finally meet her and learn more about it! In a nutshell, Michele teaches painting as process, rather than focusing on a product. It’s a way to get the creativity flowing, and really notice how the mind works to prevent that from happening! Very similar to a meditation retreat, except that the brush is always moving. I would love to try one of her longer workshops, as two days was barely scratching the surface.

I met up with my cousin Chloe for dinner on Sunday night.(right)

On Monday I had the chance to meet Jenny Doh,  author extraordinaire! I recently contributed to a project that Jenny is working on and will come out next year. Super excited about that! We ate brunch and then did a little collaborative drawing in my sketchbook (read about it on Jenny’s blog here!) You know how when you are sitting with someone, and there’s silence and you feel kind of awkward? Well, it wasn’t like that. We are both on the introverted side, and our moment of sketching silence was comforting to me, like a cozy mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter day (which describes Calgary, not L.A.). I really enjoyed the conversation we had, and listening to some of Jenny’s observations about painting.

Later on Monday, Marisa from Creative Thursday (who I have admired since I saw her in an magazine issue of Where Women Create several years ago) stopped by the B&B. [An interesting point to note: Jenny Doh co-wrote the book called “Where Women Create”. Cool!]

Marisa brought her computer and huge Yeti (see me hogging the Yeti?) and we sat and chat and recorded a podcast for the Creative Coconuts, interspersed with several minutes of coughing fits on my part! We had dinner at a cute little French restaurant.  I felt such a mix of disbelief (that I was finally meeting Marisa for real) and that feeling as if we’ve been friends for a long time- kind of a strange mix.

I had a wonderful time and look forward to seeing both Jenny and Marisa again at the Makerie in April!

P.S. – Apparently this is my 100th post!