New art {and feeling a bit like barfing}

This past weekend I had the opportunity of spending one day {of a three day art retreat} at the first Makerie.

Colorado has been needing something this lovely and Ali DeJohn has delivered.

I was only there for the opening ceremony and one day but there were so many little details that an artist’s heart would connect with.

I went to Boulder to take an art class taught by Flora Bowley.

I knew going in that this would be out of my comfort zone…especially with a time frame, completely different art style and a room full of people.

( I teased Jenny at the beginning of class that there was no way she would be clean at the end of the day.  She was…and I now have to send her a prize)

I wanted to be true to Flora’s process and really tried to listen to the steps she was giving and guiding us through.

To be honest it was beyond hard to not use my own techniques, colors etc.

Painfully uncomfortable.  I was really surprised by this.

The morning started off with Flora telling us to drip paint onto the canvas and spray with water and make it blend, drip etc.

As that first layer was drying we started on the next canvas.

Our next step was to take red, orange and yellow…close our eyes…and paint the canvas with our hands.

That piece was then set aside to dry.

We brought our drip piece back in and we didn’t paint on it… everyone else in the room did.  It was supposed to encourage us to feel uninhibited with our piece.

That is not exactly how it made me feel:-)

It wasn’t that big of a deal because I knew it was all going to be covered up but for me art is relaxing, calming, joyful…..this was chaos to me and  I think I needed a stiff drink:-)

Luckily, Jenny Doh and I were in the class together and were laughing and singing the whole time.

(don’t even ask me why whenever I am around Jenny I make up the stupidest songs you have ever heard)

The first half of the day was truly just exploring Flora’s method, techniques etc.

After lunch we were told to reevaluate our piece and decide what we liked.

When Flora came to me I was honest that the piece made me a little nauseous. I wasn’t the only one in the room that felt like that about their piece… this point we were kind of creating messes and if that is not your regular process it can be hard to feel like you aren’t creating something “pretty”.

At this point I was given freedom to pick what I liked about the painting…even if it was a tiny part and make my piece about THAT.

And I did.

Then it became fun.

This piece is obviously very different than what I regularly create but that is why I wanted to take Flora’s class.

It is still me.  It is my color palette, my organization in creating and I just made what felt natural.

I love learning new things.  I just didn’t expect it to be so uncomfortable at first.

It is sticking with something.  Growing.  Stretching. Maybe puking along the way…haha!!!!

Not only did I come home with a new piece of art (I was supposed to finish two) but I got to spend time with two women that I adore!!!

Not too bad of a day!

How are you at learning new techniques and getting out of your comfort zone??


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    1. jeanne Author

      Thanks Jen. It actually is me…just the flip side of what I regularly create. I may not usually do abstract but I do appreciate it.

    1. jeanne Author

      I do…don’t I! I feel so blessed by the amazing creative opportunities that are open to me. I also have an amazing husband:-)

  1. Stacey

    Your piece is beautiful and although different from what you usually create it is a piece that has gone on a journey with you. I agree stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy, especially amongst others. I am terrible about stepping out of my comfort zone with all parts of my life. I often wonder how many doors I shut too quickly! I have been in your very shoes in workshops or classes. I don’t even like to introduce myself as an artist at times because I always feel that it already puts myself in the position of creating amazing pieces on the spot. One particular workshop that actually made me feel very free was an encaustic workshop. It was so amazing and joyful that I didn’t worry about how my work turned out. I truly enjoyed the process. Looking back at that class it still makes me smile.
    Looks like you had a wonderful day with all that creative energy around you! Thank you once again for sharing … you are very inspiring! All my best!

  2. Traci

    i am living my childhood artist dream through you. what an amazing experience. loved your piece.

  3. Leah C

    You are so brave to step so far out of your comfort zone;) I’m not very good at that…yet 😉 But you are an inspiration, dear artist!

  4. meg duerksen

    this is amazing!
    i love it.
    and i would be SO STRESSED by that way of working.
    i would fight the rules….big time.
    i get exactly what you were saying.

    1. jeanne Author

      Seriously…did you see the canvas after everyone else painted on it?? SOOOOOO out of my comfort zone. We would have been laughing the whole time. Miss you!

  5. Cathy Linard

    Hi Jeaanie,
    I’ve always been viewed as more of a business person. However, I have always thought that I have more of an artist inside me. Shower favors have been one my only outlets to express my artistic side. Your collage art was a little bit of the inspiration behind these magnetic photo frames I created. I hope to do more of them and make them a little more artistic. I think I’m also learning to take slightly better photos for my blog by viewing your photos. Thanks again for sharing your life & artistic process with us!

  6. kelly lish

    Jeanne this was such a fun post. Thanks so much for sharing. What a great experience and I just love your piece! Are you going to hang it somewhere special? If I ever have the chance, I would love to take her class…i think it would be uncomfortable in that growing way like it was for you. I loved seeing all the pics and the process. Love you!

  7. Theresa Wilmot

    I was in your class that day – it was a good exercise for me as well! I love how you documented it with these photos. Just like reliving it!

  8. Lisa Hilderbrand

    I really loved your finished piece…You took chaos and created calm and beauty out of it…How great is that? Not too shabby for a weekend’s work, my friend! <3

  9. Jill Luigs

    Beautiful pictures and sentiment! I so understand the barfing feeling. I used to live in the Boulder area, and how lovely to see those sights again. By the way, FABULOUS apron and bag!!

    1. jeanne Author

      Boulder is so gorgeous! Wish I could afford a house there:-) The apron and camera bag are from my winter collection. New aprons and bags will be in the shop by May!! I hope you like the new collection as much. Have a great day.

  10. Jackie

    That looks like such an amazing class! Love your piece! She’s teaching in Berkeley in May and I’ve been on the wait list for sooo long (fingers crossed). I agree it’s always good to try new things and step out of your comfort zone!

    1. jeanne Author

      I hope you get in and I would love to see what you make (just bring some wine in your bag:-))

  11. Helen

    Absolutely love your blog, photos and art. Keep those stories coming. Amazing class, I’m nearly tempted to enroll but I think I will stick to quilting.

  12. Lee W

    Wow- that looks fun, and scary, and amazing, and a little overwhelming!! I would love to t ake a class like that. I have been trying new things, on a much smaller level, but the idea of smearing paint around (randomly) sounds kinda cool!!

  13. Julie Parmer Hosley

    J! I love it! I however would need several bottles of wine! Lol! As a child I refused to fingerpaint…just too messy for this girl! I think Jenny and I own the same apron! Haha!

  14. kolleen

    love the photos.
    love your creation.
    love that you went out of your comfort zone even if you almost puked from it…you pushed through and you did it!! (inspiring!)
    love jenny’s apron.
    i think i would really love one of flora’s class.
    i enjoy creating with reckless abandon….think i like the thought of “there is no right or wrong way”.


    1. jeanne Author

      I agree that no matter how you paint that there is no right or wrong! I hope you get to take Flora’s class someday!

  15. amy

    jeanne, this is the one “pleasure” i gave myself tonight (reading this post), given the chaos that is filling our home right now.=) fun to see your piece. given the “messy” start, you brought it to a very cool place! excuse me for interrupting your love fest tonight; hope you two are having a wonderful time.=) love you!


    jeanne, i love what you did in this class. i would have been a nervous wreck! i hope i get the opportunity to take one of her classes! thank you for sharing. xo carlanda

  17. Anne Marie

    seeing that my artistic abilities pretty much look like the start of your painting (at the nausiated stage) I would love to know how to get out of my art box………I am not a good artist but love learning!

    this is so much like what I want to do here at the farm Jeanne….

    someday….a whole weekend devoted to getting out of the comfort zone…..

    can’t wait to see ya!

  18. liz

    Loved this post and loved where you took your painting . . . this was so inspiring to me . . . and I love the fact that you did this and shared it with all of us! I would have been nervous too!! I once had an art instructor say to me . . . “draw a wort-hog instead of flowers for your final . . . it would make you stretch as an artist. . . ” – I remember thinking “are you kidding me??? . . . and of course – I drew a flower – lol!! Now that I am older, I understand what she was trying to get me to do . . . to stretch and explore as an artist . . . which is exactly what you did here!!! Well done!!! xoxo – liz

    1. jeanne Author

      Thanks Liz. It is always fun to get out of your comfort zone…but the most fun to create in our own elements. I love when MY music is playing, my feet are bare, I have my studio all to myself to think and create…those are my favorite moments.

  19. Alexis

    what a great class… I would have loved to be there… makes me want to paint!!! badly!

    love you!!!! oxoxo

    1. jeanne Author

      Get painting. I think when that sweet baby is old need to come stay with me and we just paint. I want to see that belly!!!

  20. Jen

    This looks like such an amazing class (and it is always better with a girlfriend around)! I have taken classes online, but have yet to go to an art retreat or class like this. I can’t wait!! I tend to get a little scared when I am pushed outside my comfort zone… and a wee bit of a perfectionist. But, I do know that pushing through that “fear” gives the sweetest reward. Your painting is beautiful Jeanne! I applaud you for working outside of your comfort zone!! :)I LOVE the colors.

  21. sandy b.

    Okay, At first I wanted to skip to comment on this post.
    But, honestly I don’t really don’t like to step out of my comfort zone.
    I go weird if I do. I like things to be me or find me in it.
    Very Brave of you to actually stay till the end.
    I am glad you did, we got to see the flip-side of you and you got to discover it.
    I am going back to my sewing table. Where I feel comfort. AAAAhhhhhhh

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