I began this painting several months ago. I was SO excited about working on what would be my largest canvas size yet ~ a metre square. The bigger the painting, the more I get to use my whole body in the process of bringing it to life.

I also had this gorgeous vision of what I wanted to paint; a seagull in flight on a rich single coloured background, a bit like my elephant painting of a few months ago.

So I dived in, spreading orange all over the place and large pieces of textured wallpaper and other scraps. I love the physicality of painting on this scale. For a relatively quiet person I make a lot of ‘noise’ when I’m painting! I move a lot and dance about; it’s a real action process.

Then the gesso. I was more or less following the process I used for the Prajna painting. I wanted some of the colour showing through but also for the texture of the collage elements to be a big feature.

Once the gesso was slapped on, I used a few print outs of images of seagulls I’d Googled to give me a feel for the shape; I have taken a large amount of photos myself but could never capture them fast enough or close up enough. I didn’t mind too much about making the perfect seagull; more I just wanted to use the shape to express flight. I watch the seagulls every day here and like to imagine myself flying that high or skimming the surface of the sea; total freedom.

Several months later… it just wasn’t feeling right. The depth was lacking and I didn’t know how to create the vision I’d had, which had faded in energy considerably. So here I am just painting over it, using my spray bottle and smooshing the paint around, with no plan whatsoever. {Bit scary.}

When I say ‘just’, don’t assume that means it was easy! I don’t mind going over old paintings, but I did wonder what the hell I was doing covering up what had been a strong vision with something that had no vision at all. Even at the time of writing, I don’t know what where it’s going.  And the whole time I was laying down these colours, the voices were having a field day ripping me and my lack of artistic skills or talent to shreds.

Here’s where it’s at now. I actually like it a lot more since the addition of the neon pink. I’ve never painted with neon colours before, but recently bought a few for ‘research’ purposes, trying out different makes of paint to see what’s good and what I might recommend.

These looping bunting-like shapes are a common feature in my art recently. I don’t know what they mean, but they are lovely to do, so they probably don’t mean anything beyond being a sense experience. And the building-like shapes at the top are derived from the beach huts I see every time I go down to the seafront. I love their multicoloured doors and the way they disappear into the distance.

I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I’m intrigued to find out! The ecourse has now finished and I naively thought that’d mean more time for things, but it turns out once you start this ball rolling, it changes  your whole MO and way of life, so I will need to learn to integrate the painting into my life even more consciously now!

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