A few weekends ago I went on an artist retreated run by Tracy Verdugo.

I started writing up what she did but part of me feels you should go explore her site and perhaps read her book. It is nice to explore individually. Her process has similarities to Flora Bowley but is clearly her own style. The idea of allowing your intuition to totally play is a step beyond what I have done before but a natural leap into unknown possibilities. I have always been guided by my intuition but Tacy has helped me to let go and allow the base coats to be layers of becoming with no set direction. These are more like my pallet painting works on paper that I have done for awhile now. I have always looked at shapes to find images and still do but Tracy reminded me that this is about really allowing what comes and then looking for the bits you love to work them into a final creation.  This was a natural process for me and it was given total permission. Brushes were optional, fingers, sticks, a fine brush, a foam brush…just make marks and use the symbols that you love. We all have those symbols and I have many that have become part of what I do over the years but it was time to be more conscious. Be aware of balance, variety, colour and repetition. Good reminders of course.

She encouraged 3,4 or more layers until it feels done and you can start to see something in the forms. As I am a figurative painter so automatically looked for figures and they were there but how was I going to move from where I had been to allowing some of the beautiful marks to stay?

What did I learn. I learnt that in order to really let go and allow, I had to totally trust my intuition and let whatever happened, happen. Dripping, spraying, finger prints, smudges, spirals and dots and lots of colour. I have learnt that the steps I was already  exploring, particularly on my works on paper , with the fan brush, layers and allowing myself to destroy an area in order to make something, is exactly where I needed to be. The use of pencil to draw back into the paint  (my process) is a really effective technique which works with the type of work I am doing. And most of all, I needed to not to be so and precise  in the broader areas. Fine detail is great in small areas but don’t get trapped by it. I also realised that my work has changed. It has become brighter, bolder and freer.

I love the possibilities of what is starting to take form. I leapt and ‘the net appeared.’

I learnt that quinacrydine burnt orange and pthalo turquoise make a great coloured black and my love of golden colours became stronger. I learnt that FW inks are acrylic based and create a great effect with the intensity if the transparent layers. When you are creating so many marks, finding quieter spaces makes a big difference and helps the final work really pop. I decided I wanted to add collage but in the earlier layers and not just the later layers as suggested, works better for me. I was reminded to always live in wonder, to search for symbols I could use everywhere and record them frequently to build up my mark making potential.

Yes my art work does look different but it feels right. So much looser within the structure and lots of  rich rasas of colour and pattern through the layers.

Thank you Tracy for your inspiration and helping me let go.

I am enjoying finding my own direction as I continue the journey and seeing were your possibilities can lead me and how I can transform them to  fit my work. ..the question is where will my intuition take me and how much openness will I allow as I explore my own potential.

As these new works develop and show my individual style coming through, I will add them. I have finally decided to post this draft as I fell the first palette painting that has embraced this new direction is finished. I will continue to add the works as they progress and if possible, some of the previous stages in the process.




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