Pintura Rapida – Speed Painting


 

During the Summer months in Spain, a regular event is held in various towns throughout the country where artists are invited to participate in a competition called ‘Pintura Rapida’ or ‘Speed Painting’. This event is open to professional and amateur artists where they are to paint, in a given amount of time, either the landscape, city, streets or people of the area. My local town called Alcaudete hosts this annually and this year I decided to enter, along with between 70-80 other artists from all over Spain.

It was an extremely hot dusty day in August and I arrived early at the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) to have my canvas stamped and registered to prove I had not started the piece previously. I was given my complimentary breakfast and lunch vouchers and set off to find a quiet and hopefully cool spot to begin my painting.

I found a lovely solitary place which had some shade and set up my canvas ready for the challenge that lay ahead. It was so peaceful being alone amongst the nature with only the strong smell of fennel and a few cats for company. I made quite a promising start, I knew I had to get the paint on to the canvas quickly as we were only given until 6pm that day to finish, it was already about 11.00 am. The view I had chosen was of Alcaudete Castle in the distance with the landscape cascading around it and so the paint flowed onto the canvas.

However as morning became the afternoon, it was more and more difficult to concentrate as the heat started to affect me and made me light headed as my chosen spot was now in full sunshine. I am quite used to painting ‘en plain air’ but not in the intense heat of August, and as the minutes flew by I knew I probably wouldn’t have my painting finished by 6 pm.

The promenade in ‘El Parque’ was filled both sides with artists and their work displayed on easels and I tentativley place my unfinished piece amongst the most incredible paintings. The judging then took place and the winners were announced and they collected their substantial prize money which had been mainly donated by local companies. It is an amazing experience to see an outside exhibition with so many talented artists work on display.

At the end of the evening I took my painting back to my studio and completed it the next day. I realised there is certainly a technique to speed painting which I don’t have. My work is based on layering and has an emotional reaction to what I am painting. There is no formula to my style as I paint what I feel as well as what I see. I also need a certain amount of drying time before I apply the next layer or textures, this tecqnique doesn’t really work when speed painting.

So I definitely need to ‘skill-up’ if I am going to enter again next year and maybe find somewhere with a bit more shade ! I finished my piece back in my studio and I am actually quite pleased with the finished painting, it certainly gives the impression of a hot day in August in Southern Spain.

IMG_9038Finished painting – Contemporary Landscape, Alcaudete, Spain

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Goddess Art


I have just recently said ‘adios’ to my two very special friends who spent a week with me at Cortijo Las Salinas painting goddesses.  It was such an amazing week as we meditated, danced the Five Rhythms, laughed, created body maps and cried, did some creative writing, Haiku, told stories and painted life sized goddesses.  As our stories developed so did our imaginations and we began what became a 5 day ‘lock-in’ to my studio as we began the painting process and our goddesses emerged.

After our meditation and story telling session, we began by drawing around each to get our own life sized body shapes, then the paint went onto the canvas and the goddess journey began.

First layers are always interesting and its important to clear as much of the blank canvas as possible.  Using the intuitive process painting technique, we allowed our intuition to guide us, along with our meditations and story writing.

The paintings developed and flourished as our goddess painting became a part of our personality.  My goddess was Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, beauty and eternal youth.

We even used ourselves as the paintbrush !!

Details of the finished Goddess Aphrodite.

It was so sad to finish our paintings as the whole experience was so intense and emotional for us all.  However the next goddess ‘paint-in’ is in the planning already !

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l-r      Goddess Tanit, Goddess Aphrodite, Goddess Hathor

by Alice Mason, Steffi Goddard and Terre Cerridwyn

Intuitive Art


I have been living my dream of being an artist and I have a wonderful art studio which is large and bright and has lots of space to be creative.  I have been painting for over 20 years, however just recently I wasn’t really feeling very happy or fulfilled with the art I was creating and I was struggling to find new inspiration and ideas even though I am surrounded by beautiful nature.  I tried many things, like simplifying my work to become more abstract, changing the colour palette from my usual colours, and trying to ‘let go’ a bit more to become a bit looser whilst trying to shake off some of my Fine Art training.  Painting had become a big effort and although I like to make a daily connection with my studio my I would find myself procrastinating to avoid the moment of entry due to these creative blocks I was having.  In fact I would even do the ‘chores’ in order to delay the moment of entry.  I was definitely feeling a little stressed and very un-centred.

I then made a chance discovery, something called Intuitive Art or Intuitive Process Painting.  It is an expressive method of creating art whereby you begin with some meditation to clear the mind, say some mantras, do a bit of yoga, play some music, light some inscense and then allow yourself to be free with the paint on the canvas using your hands, feet, and anything but a paintbrush!   There are no rules, no expected outcome, no ego to create blocks whilst thinking ‘it should look like this or like that’, or ‘a certain standard is expected of me’, or ‘I need to be able to sell it!’  You just let your intuition guide you.

It was like being a child again as I used various tools for mark making, experimenting with colours and shapes.  It was so exciting to watch the painting take its own course and direction over a few days, never knowing where things would go.    As the daily layering process continually changed the direction of the painting until finally my intuition told me it was now complete.

Art is a healing therapy and I discovered that this amazing practice is healing on so many levels.  So if you are coming to Cortijo Las Salinas this year to spend some time painting with me, expect something a little different as we paint using our intuition and leave the ego behind.




A Retreat for the Creative Heart


In a few weeks I shall be working, once again,  with 2 wonderful artists here at Cortijo Las Salinas.  Terre Cerridwyn will be flying all the way from California and Alice Mason will be zooming over from Brighton, UK.  We shall be sharing a week of creative art, dance, nature walks, great food, lots of laughs and making the most of the opportunity to explore our creative selves.  This week is open to anyone who wants to join in with something very special, and maybe find out something about the wonderful self we didn’t know.  Terre has a website page with full information and timetable for the week, but for now here are some photos from last year.

LoveHugs have their own website !


The first LoveHug was created over 10 years ago when a gallery approached me and asked me to paint some paintings full of hearts, i.e. heart art.   Since then I have created over 100 LoveHugs, and continue to do so and for every LoveHug sold I donate a percentage of the selling price to charity.  The charity I am supporting for 2016 is The Eve Appeal.  I have also previously worked on collaborative fundraising charity projects creating 2 large LoveHug canvases for The British Heart Foundation for auction, for the Eve Appeal and Byte Nyte. If you would like a personal commissioned LoveHug painted for someone special in your life or for a special anniversary or celebration please get in touch or browse the new website dedicated to LoveHugs where they can be purchased online.

Oil, Acrylic or Watercolour – which one do you prefer ?


The painting ‘Splash!’ was created in three media, oil on canvas, acrylic on paper and watercolour on Fabriano watercolour paper, the same image but each with a different evocative effect.  The oil painting now lives in Ireland, the Watercolour painting lives in Jersey and the acrylic in Belgium.  Its hard to know which one I prefer … I love them all!  I might have to paint another for myself !!

Just blogging about art, yoga and Spain