24 February 2015

Creative Journey Workshop

On Sunday, February 15th I spent the afternoon in a Creative Journey Workshop taught by Shelba King of Gypsy Moth Studio. It was an introductory workshop on intuitive art. "Intuitive painting is a practice that seeks to tap into the wells of your creativity, unleashing unplanned art fueled by your intuition. This technique calls for action without limitation and painting without worrying about the end product." You may read more about intuitive art here:intuitive-painting In the past I have done layering of paint, not knowing really where I was going with it but always had a slight idea of where I wanted it to go. This was very different, after every layer Shelba would have me step back and look at the canvas until it spoke to me. Towards the latter half each time I was told to turn the canvas 90 degrees and step back. It was interesting once I saw things popping out to me. I thought I had seen one thing and had stepped back farther then sat down while Shelba talked to me, all of a sudden I said "ohmygosh there's an African American man with an afro!"  He looked straight out of the 60s (think Mod Squad) I don't think Shelba saw it lol That's okay I saw several things she didn't and she saw things I didn't.

Part of the process is being free to let the painting take you where it leads you. Early on the dancer spoke to me then the moon. Later I saw a cockatiel that eventually became my fish, mainly because fish speak more to me than cockatiels
J  I saw Pearl but she never materialized to what I wanted her to be. Where I saw Pearl, Shelba saw a bull, the Chosen One a pig. I'm not finished and I am positive that she will be hidden under more layers of paint. I love my fish but I am having a hard time with him fitting into the story my mind weaves for this painting so I think he'll be covered but not before he is well photographed so I can try to recreate him on another canvas...pretty sure that totally breaks away from intuitive art.

I can't say enough positive things about Shelba as an instructor. She was very organized and clear. She explained everything well even though there were things I struggled with. There were a few times she was firm but only after she had shown me and told me to "push the paint" or "lay your hand flat" multiple times. Her becoming firm helped, it put her voice in my head so I am quite sure when I get back to this piece I will hear her guiding my techniques. The coolest part about Shelba was that she was incredibly supportive and encouraging. I would do something and she would get excited and tell me how awesome it was, etc. The best part was I never once felt like she was insincere, in every aspect of the class I felt she was being genuine and sincere.

If you are in the Raleigh area I highly recommend taking a class with her. She uses the classroom at Marketplace by Gifts with a Heart on Hillsborough Street. Besides art she is also doing creative writing workshops. You can see the schedule on the store's Facebook page. In fact the one tomorrow night is free!

The photos below are all of the same canvas and in order of progression. Please remember I am not finished and I know you might not see Pearl and I’m okay with that lol I promise I'll post a few photos when it speaks to me and says "no more" because that part is intuitive as well.

 Step one choose 2 cool colors

 choose 2 or 3 cool colors;
 be sure to use different shapes and patterns

add a few more colors, experiment with shapes and "push the paint"


and rotate

 add black and white

stop and be happy because you have messy hands lol


rotate and add more color
( hint: this is where the piece first spoke to me, do you see what I saw?)

Check out what the teacher is doing :)

define the dancer, think that you want orange, think that it will make Pearl pop

realize you really hate the orange so add more layers, start building and defining other areas

to me...Pearl not so much to anyone else

The dancer was the first thing that spoke to me, I took dance from the time I was very young into high school and college and even taught for a few years. (It does not offend me that this fact surprises people, I have no semblance of being a dancer nor having been extremely thin) At 19 I already had issues with my knees; the abnormality of the bent leg speaks to me. Dancing to me means freedom is several different ways ....freedom to express myself, freedom that I am healthy, freedom from pain, freedom from adulthood. The dancer looks as if she is just completing a fouette.

The fish emerges more, adding color and outlining, I love the stripes!

more blending, stepping back, adding color and depth, working on the moon

At this point I am getting tired but feel so good.

I have loved the process and learned so much 
and oh how 
I do love messy hands for it shows my soul has been fed.

Have you ever done this type of painting? Have you taken any classes?

Leave a comment here on the blog, on my personal Facebook page or on the Facebook page of BEglorious or Gifts with a Heart and I will enter your name in a giveaway. I will draw a winner this Friday, February 27th. The winner will receive 2 of Shelba's gorgeous cards. To see more of her work visit her website 

If by chance the robot detector is showing up when you go to post a comment on the blog just ignore him. I find he is popping up on 95% of the blogs I visit and I have learned that if I just click submit without following his biding it goes through perfectly.
Have a glorious day!


  1. I loved this post, Beverly. And your painting is really cool - I LOVE the dancer shape you added. It's interesting what rotating the canvas will do. And thanks for the tip about proving I'm not a robot. ;o)

    1. Thank you, Deb! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it :) That robot thing is driving me nuts so I was very happy to learn I could ignore him. We had snow/ice last week. 2" of snow yesterday and are expecting 4+ tonight, I canNOT wait to come to see you!!!

  2. Wonderful post. I love seeing how the final piece came together.

    1. Thanks so much, Monica. I really enjoy seeing people's process and this was very different point A to point E, a friend thought they were all separate paintings (thankfully not!

  3. What a FUN class - it looks like you really got the hang of the intuitive art! I've never done anything like that . . . and am not sure that I would! LOL

    1. Ohhh come on, we could get you loose and free and it would be FUN :)

  4. You have clearly had a wonderful time with this! I took Flora Bowley's class a few years ago (I think she was the first to paint like this) and it was glorious too.

  5. I loved the reading this post Beverly. So very interesting.


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