Lost in the forest with Prince
I thought I would try something different with painting Prince, along with six participants of my Unleash the Artist Within workshop. I changed things up and dived in with a different palette.
"I'm going to paint against my instincts," I said, grabbed an unfamiliar colour to get started.
It's fascinating how I felt like a lost traveler trying to find the road to somewhere. I was meandering in a strange forest and trying to make sense of it all.
I kept plugging away, as did Richelle, Brace, Leighla, Paris, Janice and Rosina.
I knew I was struggling with it as my rhythm felt off, and to make a baseball reference: I was making unforced errors. That fact is though that it was healthy to put myself in a place of discomfort as it forced me to work through it.
By the time the workshop was over and the ladies were ready to head home with their lovely paintings, I will still not completely on the path.
"I absolutely love it," said one of the participants as she glanced over to my easel.
"Thank you," I replied. "It's still not there yet, but I'll figure it out."
Something in the colour choices was not sitting well with me, though I might have been a bit too close to the forest to see the trees.
"Maybe the colours are a little soft," suggested my father-in-law Neil, a former art teacher. "Maybe bump up the contrast."
I put the project aside and went out for a lovely family meal at The Keg, with "bump up the contrast" repeating itself in my brain.
I went back into the studio when we got home and dived right in to trying a couple of different things. I began by adding more natural skin tones, then circled back to the purples, pinks and limes.
When I'm struggling with a piece, my mantra is "work the canvas". That's exactly what I did with this portrait; I was lost through much of the journey but discovered that I was just a few short turns away from my destination.
We've been getting a lot of enquiries about the Unleash the Artist Within workshops in recent days. Thank you so much for your interest. If you want to sign up for a future session, all you have to do is visit the Birdsong Connections website. Or, you can click here and get started right now. The experience is three hours long and includes all supplies. I can only accommodate a total of 8 participants per session, so book early to get your seat.