I am quite embarrassed to admit that I am writing this review about a painting e-course, “Bloom True,” that I took in September 2013. I started this post months ago, but one thing after another got in the way, namely the holidays, and the fact that I am still going through the class with Flora Bowley‘s generous access to her videos for a full six months after the class ended, and time slipped away from me. Yet, instead of simply blowing the post off, I can’t, because I find myself constantly singing the praises of Flora and “Bloom True,” and more importantly, I still hear her lessons reverberate in my head. Fr those reasons, this post is a must-do for me.
I am very new to the world of painting. For most of my life, I’ve longed for creativity, to paint and to draw. Early negative experiences convinced me that I wasn’t creative and I could not do such things. In 2013, in spite of my fears and self-doubt, I registered for my very first painting class, shortly followed by my first drawing class. I’d discovered two new burgeoning passions. Since then, I must confess to have taken a number of painting classes from artists whom I both like and admire. I have learned a great deal from all of them.
Nevertheless, I find that it is Flora Bowley’s painting course, “Bloom True,” that served to cement my love of and fascination for painting. Flora Bowley is an artist, author, lecturer, teacher and all-around amazing person. I was first introduced to Flora and her “Bloom True” course in an interview given by Kelly Rae Roberts, an artist whom I adore and have many of her pieces. Anyway, Kelly was a guest artist interviewee in another painting e-course that I was taking. At the time, I had not discovered Flora and her work, but the enthusiastic and glowing statements from Kelly about her in-person class with Flora in Bali and the transformation that it had on her and her work intrigued me. After much soul-searching, I decided that I wanted to experience what Kelly experienced, but there was no way that I could afford to travel to near or distant lands to take the class.
Fortunately, that was not necessary, since Flora offers her class on-line. Of course, an in-person class is highly preferable to an e-course, but as e-courses grow in popularity, the quality of the videos and class format is amazing and makes it a more than acceptable alternative to taking a live class. Flora’s e-course is the next best thing to being there. The lessons are clear, filled with vital information about her process and the videos of excellent quality.
The fact is that “Bloom True” is not simply a painting class about Flora’s painting process. Instead, I found it a life lesson filled with heart and soul and many opportunities for growth and self-acceptance. Flora refers to her style of painting as “brave intuitive” painting. In Flora’s world, our hearts possess a wealth of wisdom that guides us as we paint. The course melds the spiritual and soul in such a way that it takes the art of painting to a higher realm. As Flora states in her ‘welcome’ post, “this process is not about painting a preconceived idea that you have in your mind such as a still life or a landscape. Instead, it is about painting intuitively and allowing your paintings to emerge naturally through an organic process of letting go, opening up and welcoming in inspiration of all kinds. From the very first layer, it is a process of discovery — one that requires patience, trust, curiosity and bravery.”
To take part in one of Flora’s class, one does not come into the class leaving his/her baggage at the door. You join the class in whatever state you find yourself and move forward from there. As Flora states early on, “Your job is to embrace your heart’s wisdom and ALLOW it to lead the way.” From the beginning of the course, you understand that you are not taking a painting course wherein you parrot what the teacher does, but one that is borne of your own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences. Although Flora freely discusses and demonstrates her own painting process, it is a mere adjunct to the heart of the course.
She heartily supported us and repeatedly encouraged us to make the work our own, not by thinking it so, but by surrendering to our heart’s guidance. Flora and “Bloom True” taught me that painting, without the heart, soul and spirit fashions a mere shell of the work that we are capable of creating. Each mark and stroke embodies what we choose to put into it and by letting go and surrendering, we impart the painting with a piece of ourselves and for that reason alone, each is uniquely beautiful. “Bloom True” is more than a phrase, it is the truth of the matter.
If you are interested, or even think that you may be, in painting, whether as a newbie, intermediate or professional, I guarantee you that this course offers thoughts and ideas that will teach, provoke, inspire, reinvigorate and propel your art to new heights. Check out this short video introducing you to the course. Given my delayed post, if registration is closed for the current class, please note that the spaces in these classes fill up quickly, so don’t delay in registering for the next available session. You will not regret it.
All Will Be Well, ~ Julian of Norwich