Intuitive Nightmare or Intuitive Fun?

Painting by the Seat of Your Pants.

I know plenty of artists simply love to do what is referred to as "intuitive painting." But that wasn't me. I had my first experience doing this about a year ago and I can truthfully say it was awful. And I cried even though i tried hard not to. 

 I did the painting above (bottom left)  with Ivy and Michelle based on a workshop Michelle had done with Jesse Reno. It was meant to be fun. Like a happy art party where you get paint all over your hands and clothes and you feel ecstatic and free as a result of the random application of marks, colors and patterns you were encouraged to use. I didn't realize it at the time but the "intuitive " part meant that in the end even if the thing was all crazy colors and what have you it was supposed to end up with some sort of compositional harmony and innate beauty.

I was a complete novice to this sort of art so when the timer went off my resulting piece was about 8 inches square on a 2x3 foot sheet of watercolor paper. (for emphasis please insert 3 emoji monkeys with hands over eyes, ears and mouth)  Michelle and Ivy filled their paper with all sorts of things and had "intuitive" fun. They were more experienced at selecting a cohesive color palette, arranging their elements in a balanced way....... (so on and so forth through the list of compositional elements)  and the result was they were filled with artistic joy and  they filled their 2x3 foot  piece of gorgeous watercolor paper with interesting art. 

The point of this failure Friday analysis is  to reconcile the conflict I impose upon myself when I forget to accept where I am at any given moment on my creative journey and wish I were somewhere else on the path. I will have far more courage if I surrender to my limitations and my strengths and not place a higher importance on either end. I am a student of art and an artist. Everything I create has that duality built into it. 

For the sake of comparison the painting above on the bottom right is one I did 2 days ago with Ivy following an intuitive mark making exercise from the class Drawn to Expression by Gillian Lee Smith. I was a bit anxious at the deliberately  vague instructions but I just did it anyway and it went way better than it had a year ago. I did not cry, I moaned very little and I even did the portrait over the top in  under 20 minutes when Ivy suggested we take it a step further. But the most Important success  was that I enjoyed myself. Very good! Growth accomplished and I could reflect back to that last intuitive experience and see how I had changed. :) big smiley face!

*** The top painting was another we did a year ago also inspired by Jesse Reno. At the time I was so unhappy with mine I rolled it up in a tight tube and stuck it under my bed where it has stayed for the entire year. I came upon this image of it while searching back in my phone and looked at it in wonder realizing it was just fine and that i could, if I wanted  take it our of hiding and enjoy completing it.

I have as much to learn about being human as I do about painting, drawing and art. It's all woven together and when I see it that way it is all more gratifying, challenging and exciting! 

Love, Robin