Photo of Flora Bowley by Tara Morris

Flora Bowley

The last two weeks I have talked about repurposing artwork, and asking for help.

That seems like two totally separate thoughts, right?  Not if you have sought out the irrepressible and inspirational Flora Bowley!

Flora is the Author of “Brave Intuitive Painting” and turns learning to trust your intuition, being brave and letting go…well, into an art form.  A very unique and inspiring one at that.

In February I had the opportunity to take an E-workshop from Flora, aptly called “Bloom True”, and it was and continues to be, one of the most amazing experiences I have had.

The bonds that were formed within the group of participants are holding strong. We have shared the birth of new life together, as well as some of life’s worst moments. We have shared fear of what to do with our art, and celebrated each other’s breakthroughs, and we as a group are still sharing. That is the kind of affect Flora and her amazing thoughts about life and art have on people.

I began a journey that has become one of the best life lessons I have ever had.

Layer 2 of cyd rust's Bloom True painting

Layer 2 of Cyd Rust’s Bloom True painting

Do you remember what I said about the masters of the past repurposing their art on purpose? Flora does the same basic thing, only with fresh paint and canvases.  She creates base layers to add rich undertones and brush strokes.

Flora paints big! So I purchased the largest canvas I have ever worked on. But she also is “green”. So I made the decision to start with my oldest acrylic paints and work through to the new, so I wouldn’t need to throw away any unuseable paints in the near future. This worked well as the initial layers were mostly covered up, so if the colors had altered a little from their initial shades,  it didn’t matter. Did I mention this canvas is big? We are talking a lot of paint.

Layer 4 of Cyd Rust's Bloom True painting

Layer 4 of Cyd Rust’s Bloom True painting

Her approach teaches that nothing is so precious it can’t be transformed for the better if you open yourself up to your own intuition and don’t let fear get in the way. I got a little nervous during this stage, and painted the word “trust” into my painting.


Layer 5 of Cyd Rust’s Bloom True painting

This is layer 5. And I was in love with it. I would easily have left it here, and hung it in my studio for myself. smile. But that is not what the class is about. The lesson to be learned in this class is to be free, to let go, that nothing is too precious, that there is no reason to have artist’s block. I had let this layer become VERY precious to me. In fact, too precious. I actually held off continuing for a number of weeks, and worked on a couple smaller pieces half-heartedly, still in process.  But, eventually, as I watched the pieces in the group progress to be more beautiful as they worked through the bravery process of altering, and then finding new and better, I knew I had to also. If not, it wasn’t worth the call for help to Flora I had placed way back in early December to help bring the fun back into painting. An action taken long before finger painting had even entered my mind. Serendipitous perhaps, because I learned a wealth of finger painting techniques from Flora after I had made the decision to finger paint.

BloomTrueL7 -CydRust

Layer 7 of Cyd Rust’s Bloom True painting

I am still facing this one. I am now looking for images in the painting I can pull out. And then it will continue. I haven’t been doing much acrylic painting recently, but my parents are coming in May and mom can’t be around oils, so I think maybe she and I will paint with acrylics on the deck. Then we’ll see where this goes next.

All those brush and finger marks, all those undertones. The masters knew something. Now it is up to Flora’s teachings to help me find what is there.  She is always saying “You are where you are supposed to be”. I now believe that, and later this year I will share with you the evolution of this painting to a completed one.

Be Brave.  No Fear. 

You are where you are supposed to be.


Have a wonderful weekend. ♥ ~ Cyd