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An intuitive abstract painting that pushed my boundaries

While taking an indefinite break from working on wood with pyrography I felt a nudge -or maybe more of a growling push- to do something a bit abstract. To just play with some colours on canvas.

I always have a prepped canvas ready for moments like these where I can’t wait to play with paints while the inspiration is hot.

So I started laying out some base colours on my 100×100 cm canvas.

I had no idea where it would go.

I just heard/saw/felt the colours I wanted to use and followed that.


At first, I started with a brush but I soon got really into it and took up my palette knife and had a ball applying dollops of colourful paint.

After the base layers were put down I rested for the day and would see what it asked of me the next day, whereupon I decided to add some black line details which would give the colours some punch. These details, however, would later be coloured over as they were obviously not meant to be -probably because I was trying to control the outcome again!


Then, in the middle of the following night, I dreamt/saw the large yellow shape of an upright ‘watch’, so on waking up I knew what I had to do.


This is what intuitive painting is about. You don’t question, you don’t force it. It’s an organic process and you need to be open to receive the prompts and try not to control them, which is not always easy….

While being open and going with the flow you also need to be vigilant of yourself and any rising tendency to fall back into lockdown.

Which is what happened to me promptly after the ‘watch’.

And there it sat for days on my easel, staring at me while I got on with other things. I wondered whether it was actually done -is it ever? But something inside me kept telling me there was more to come.

So I relaxed about it and got on with other things as it watched over me, poised there on my easel overlooking my activity.

To be honest I can’t quite recall how she came to me…the woman…I simply felt a nudge to paint and out she came! Slap bang covering half the canvas in all her glory! I don’t consider myself a great figure drawing artist, especially since I haven’t done very much of it at all. My figures are usually a little childlike. But what surprised me with her was the motion she seems to have. She’s turning away, walking, her full head of hair swinging around in the decisiveness of her direction.


She so surprised me -after all, this was supposed to be an abstract painting (!)- that I ‘froze’ again over the next few days not knowing whether to leave her be, fearful that I might ruin her!

But that’s just the point where we need to keep moving. To move beyond the fear and insecurity and trust in what moves us.

At last, I was able to relax enough and in a bout of creative fervour I let go and finally sat back in relief when I knew she was done.


She’s not the usual docile face I might draw. Her eye is vital, full of energy and determination.

All I could hear her say was ” Enough. Time’s Up. There is only Now. Time for Me. Time to be who I truly Am.”

And there you have it.

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