i made it to week 9 of cvp!

we are in the homestretch now in the online art course i’m taking (cvp), in the middle of week 9 (out of 12). since i last posted here, we’ve covered a lot of color theory – color value, harmony, temperature, saturation, compliments, etc. – and had a week on texture. there was a “rest” week in there too, where we didn’t have any assignments and were supposed to either rest or use the time to get caught up. i did a little of both.

i wouldn’t say i’m entirely caught up with the course but i’ve muddled my way through it. i’ve watched all the lesson videos, done most of the lesson exercises, watched all the zoom coaching calls and done the exercises from those. i’ve even watched most of the bonus videos in the portal and gone through all the “helpful hints” pdfs – the written supplements to what we are taught in the lesson videos and coaching calls.

and i’ve done a pretty good job of painting in my journal regularly, not always daily but most days. i also began in my art journal, when we started the class, a daily gratitude practice, writing it down. and that i have done every single day since i started cvp. it’s how i start my day each morning while i’m drinking my coffee and/or eating my breakfast and i do really think it’s helped shift how i feel and start my days.

my first cvp journal is now full (the one on the left) so i’m starting a 2nd journal!

but what has fallen through the cracks is all the actual weekly assignment boards – usually for each week/principle we are supposed to paint 1-3 boards to integrate that knowledge into our painting practice. i did ok for the early weeks when we were working in black and white on value and contrast but once color was introduced, i got a little overwhelmed. i haven’t really “finished” any of those and some weeks i maybe only started one board instead of 2 or 3.

but it’s ok – i’ll go back to them. i’ve wanted to just keep moving along so i could keep up with the pace of the class and the live calls. but this also means i haven’t been participating as much in the social media/community portion of the class, at least for the last few weeks, since i haven’t had as much to share. (we have a class-specific social media forum on a platform/app called circle, so the course could be moved off of facebook. this is where we are supposed to be posting what we paint, sharing with the other students, offering feedback to each other, etc.) i’ve tried to keep posting on my instagram feed, mostly stuff from my art journal, and have found a handful of other cvp students on insta and we interact. but it’s not the same as participating on circle where all 3000+ of the cvp students are.

oh well. i think i’m doing pretty good considering i have a full time job and there’s been a lot going on to distract me, i.e. jazzfest. (you’d have to have no job/be retired and have no distractions for 12 weeks i think to have the time to do everything to completion in the weekly timeframes. it’s really a lot of information, which is why we have access to the materials/videos/portal for an entire year, so we can go back through whatever we missed.)

anyways, here we are in week 9 and for the rest of the weeks, we will be working on our final series of paintings. this week we are to start them, give them a first and maybe second pass. just get something going. play. experiment. we don’t need to know where it’s going or have a plan. so i jumped in and did so, on monday. i have 3 boards and a throwaway board (the one furthest away on the table in the pic below) that all have a first pass on them and they don’t even look awful! i actually kinda like some parts of what i have going on them!

(i’ve now done a second pass that i didn’t take a photo of, but this is where i started.)

last night i began a 7 day overnight pet sit for a geriatric dog and cat, so i won’t be at my house a lot and therefore won’t get to spend a lot of time in my studio for the next week. but this class has taught me that all i need is 20-30 minutes at a time… so maybe i’ll be able to keep working on these a little. and even if i can’t, i have at least done what i was supposed to do for week 9, and the sit ends on tuesday so i’ll still have time in week 10 to do the next step.

so yeah, that’s what’s going on. this week’s lessons have all been about process, understanding what the art2life/nick wilton process is for making intuitive abstract art. it may not end up being the best process for me or any one individual taking the class, but i am hoping it can be mine… at least for abstract work. i hope i’m absorbing it, because it’s all about being present, paying attention to what you like, what lights you up, gives you energy, makes you feel alive, and then infusing that into your work. and if i’m to be honest, i’ve spent much of my 40s and 50s not feeling very alive. on auto pilot. shut down. checked out. and my inability to make art that i like, that feels like me, has been the result. sure, i’ve had a few blips in there of inspiration, of connection, of feeling that flow of the universe… but it has been fleeting.

so the whole reason i took this class is because i knew it was more than just an art class. it’s kind of an art class mixed with a self-help/self-discovery woo-woo group experience, perfect for my midlife crisis. it’s teaching me how to use my art practice for self discovery, to find the me that’s been buried, while i still have time to explore and enjoy it. and when i do, the art i make will be an artifact of that journey.

i’ll leave you with this quote from this week’s lessons on process: “try to look at your art practice as a journey of healing and a way to stay present.” yes indeed.

stay tuned to see where my final series of paintings go!

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