Monday, December 12, 2016

The 100 Faces Project is finished - hooray! Time for a giveaway!

I completed the 100 faces in early December, and they can all be viewed on my 100 Faces Project page. I have decided to give away painting #100 - I am The Light:

 
Enter to win painting #100 by leaving a comment below this post, on my Lesley Fountain Studio facebook page, or in email to lesleyfountainstudio@gmail.com. I will be making the draw on December 24th, and will ship anywhere!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

I Love to Paint. I Love to Share.

 I offer a variety of art workshops in intuitive painting and mixed media, twice weekly drop in sessions, once a month extended drop in sessions, unique art parties, private workshops and one on one art classes.  No class size too small!  See my workshops page for details on upcoming workshops and drop in sessions and click on the paintings links (organized by years) for photos of my artwork. 

Testimonials
What I love and needed from Lesley Fountain she so effortlessly delivered.  Lesley allows people to return to a childhood place, where a person can create in a limitless, imaginative and non- judgmental fashion.  Her studio is like a dream of high quality paints and a space where a mess is encouraged and art is created by everyone!  Friends are made quickly in her studio space, and affirmation encourages aspiring artists to experiment and be free.  Music and laughter fill the space and I left feeling like I wanted more!  Lesley provides materials in her fees which is such a great way to get started.  She has taught me the value of good quality paint and even more Lesley has set me on a path of lifetime joy through creation on canvas!  Very grateful!  
- Sheila Thomas

I've taken several workshops and attended drop-in sessions with Lesley Fountain.  Creating art is such a personal experience, and to be truly experienced cannot not be approached by following a recipe.  Lesley not only welcomes her learners to experiment and try different techniques, but she celebrates the unexpected, learns along with her students, and nurtures, supports and encourages the process, not just the end result.  Generous is the word that comes to mind when I think of how willing Lesley is to share her craft, which is in equal measure the craft of artistry,  and of teaching. 
 - Lisa Read

Lesley Fountain is an amazingly talented person.  Aside from that, she has a wonderful, joyful, personality.  I discovered this after taking a course in Passionate Intuitive Painting that she gave.  I had not painted since the 1960's and decided to take this course.  WELL, unbelievable how she inspired me! I now paint almost every day, I've painted over 100 paintings since I took that course over a year ago.  Can you imagine if she inspires everyone like that!  WOW!  I encourage anyone to take the course, even if you have never painted before.  You will be amazed, you will be relaxed, and happy with yourself! And she has herbal tea and chocolate!
- Bev Robinson

  I have participated in several workshops with Lesley - drop in, one day, as well as multi day - and she never disappoints!  It is so rewarding to arrive at a workshop with no plan or "vision" and come away with a piece of art that is personal, unique and soul satisfying.  Chocolate and tea are an added delight, as is Lesley's insight and good humour.  Do yourself a favour and make the time to connect with your inner artist!
- Heather Craib

 
Growing, Growing, All the Time

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Healing Through Painting - to share, or not to share, THAT is the question.

Snippet from Little Girl, Earnest


I saw a course description the other day for a class at a local university called Writing Your Heart Out. The description of the course said: "Experience this unique two-day course in writing your loves, losses, and deepest longings."

It immediately brought to mind my unfinished book, (working title "Art Making That Heals - how I turned pain and rage into healing with paint, brush and canvas") which is part memoir,  part art book, and part instructional manual for expressing internal feelings of pain, anger and loss through art making.

And I ruminated, once again, about not publishing it after all. 
  
Throughout 2015 I created a series of paintings using a technique I created which I call "rage painting."  I called the series "Don't F@#k With Me."  It was born, not surprisingly, out of acute pain and rage that I needed to express creatively, lest it bring me to my knees, or worse.  After completing the paintings I had the idea to put them into a format that could help others, hence the book idea. 

Creating the paintings saved my sanity last year.  I worked through a lot of shit that was weighing me down, and every time I completed another canvas I felt the load lifting.  But here is the thing - while the process was incredibly therapeutic for me, it was also intensely personal.  I have shared photos of three of the paintings publicly, but have felt a huge resistance to sharing the entire series. 

I watched a video recently about artists and exposure.  The Long Game, Part 3 -"Painting In the Dark -  The Struggle for Art in a World Obsessed With Popularity" is the follow up video to the Long Game Parts 1 & 2.  The video addresses the downside of the popularity driven social media culture vis a vis creativity, and asks the question "If we create art and share it with no one, are we still artists?"  What about the intrinsic value of art making for the artist alone, regardless of everyone else's thoughts and opinions on either the process or the end result?

(Check out the series, it is terrific) -  https://vimeo.com/151128399

I love to paint, and I love to share.  I am certainly "guilty" (if you want to attach a value judgement) of sharing on social media on a very regular basis - my thoughts and opinions on a wide variety of topics, including photos of my work and information about my art making process.   As an art facilitator, I often view my artistic breakthroughs or triumphs as great opportunities to help others.   But sometimes expressing ourselves through art making is a private and personal process, like journalling.  I do not post my private journal pages on social media - the idea horrifies me.  I use the process of journalling (and art journalling) to work through and resolve issues that crop up in my internal world. 

If in the back of our minds we are conscious that the end result of our creative process is to be shared with the world, how much of the process is altered?  For many of us, many moments of our day become "I should post this on facebook/instagram" opportunities.  Those thoughts take us out of the moment by projecting ourselves into the future, and if we are creating at the time that we have these thoughts, we cannot remain in the state of "flow" we may have reached while creating.  When we are working to share, we remove ourselves to some degree from the therapeutic benefit of losing ourselves in the state of flow. 

The process I went through with the Don't F@#k With Me series could be called paint journalling.  It was unbelievably therapeutic - liberating, satisfying, and intensely personal.  I believe it was life saving, and I highly recommend adding art making to work through pain and grief and loss to anyone, in addition to other therapies. 

I do love to share, but maybe not every painting I create. I do love to share, but maybe not every detail about my process, or the feelings that preceded it.  Perhaps, after all, both "Art Making That Heals" and the paintings in the "Don't F@#k With Me" series are simply private gifts to myself.










Sunday, December 20, 2015

You Love It. Then You Hate It. Then You Change It. Then You Love It.

Goddesses? What Goddesses?


I painted this painting a couple of years ago, and it was hanging on my studio wall minding it's own business last week, when I suddenly developed a serious grudge against it.  Here is the deal with this particular painting.  A couple of years ago I was so in love with colour and layers upon layers upon layers of marks and texture that it was very hard for me to cull.  "Ooh, that bit is so pretty!" I was like a kid decorating a Christmas tree that had to hang every ornament PLUS tinsel AND multi coloured lights.  (Note: Tree this year is minimalist - white twinkly lights and a dozen old fashioned wooden or knitted ornaments.)  As a result, my paintings were busy - full of action, like a carnival ride.

Midway through painting this one I saw two women, chin to chin, breast to breast, hair streaming back and hips a-sway.  I called the painting Embrace Your Inner Goddess.  The thing is, no one could see those women but me.  In over two years, not a single person saw my goddesses, no matter how many clues I gave.  "See? Both of them have an arm back, like THIS" I would say, demonstrating with my own arm.  Nope.  No one.

Aside from the hidden goddesses, the painting was starting to really bug me.  Too much color.  Too many marks.  It made me feel all jangly when I looked at it.  Get me off this carnival ride, already.

The absolute beauty of painting, the thing that I really want my students to Get with a capital G, is that you can paint, and stop, and start again, and change it, and leave it, and change it, and so on and so forth. Until you like it. (And then, maybe you won't again later.)  But it is signed already!   But I took photos of it and called it finished!

So what?

It is the PROCESS that is so delicious, not the end result. When I took that big bad goddessy girl down and started layering blues and whites over it I was in the zone. What to keep, what to get rid of? This process still thrills the heck out of me, maybe because I am so much better at it than I used to be.

The first thing I did was rotate the canvas, like this for a new view:

Once it was in this orientation, all sorts of new possibilities presented themselves. You can see what I mean more clearly if I show you half the canvas at a time. I saw some bits I wanted to keep...

...like the hanging down pod thingie, the little blue leaves, the tiny etched flower, and one of the blue horizontal slashes. I changed the horizontal lines a bit, and added white and black liberally.

On this half you can see that another pod thingie from the top stayed, as well as some of the blue vertical streaks. I loved the marks in the big circle under the pod, but made it smaller and anchored it to the bottom of the canvas with a stem. The orange area at the lower right had so much pretty colour going on, so I kept a bit of it in the leaves and gave the rest the white treatment. Adding some black areas give a nice contrast.

The painting has been renamed Winter Drift. I like it. For now... ;)




Thursday, November 12, 2015

CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY! You can win this painting (aka why I think we should show up and clap)


I was teaching a workshop this past weekend and was talking with my students about recurring themes and imagery.   Sometimes we are drawn to certain images, concepts or words, and they show up over and over again in our work.   Personally, I think it is important to allow them to continue to show up, rather than think (with our monkey mind) "Oh not another house - (or figure, or flower, or heart), - how cliche!   Why do I paint the same things over and over again?!!"

We do not need to consult Freud to understand why some imagery has personal significance for us, but knowing why our intuition or subconscious mind keeps bringing up certain concepts is not as important, to me, as being open to the idea that there is a reason why those concepts continue to do an encore performance, and just show up and clap enthusiastically when they do.

For me, houses show up over and over again in my work.   Honestly, I never begin a painting thinking "I'm going to scatter little houses along the bottom of this painting,"  - (I never begin a painting thinking anything but "Wheeee! A blank canvas, time to play!") - but there are those little houses, again, and again, and again.  I guess they will continue to show up until they don't anymore, and I am okay with that.

This 12 x 12 original acrylic on canvas painting entitled "Home is a Feeling" was a demo painting I did in one of my Personal Intentions workshops, and it can be yours (or someone you love's) - by participating in my contest.  You can either comment on my Lesley Fountain Studio facebook page (under the giveaway post) or email me at lesleyfountainstudio@gmail.com and tell me, in a brief paragraph or longer, what the word HOME means to you.   Contest ends November 30th. Please like and share, this contest is open to anyone anywhere!

Friday, November 6, 2015

CHRISTMAS WORKSHOP DECEMBER 5th and 19th - Mini Paintings!

Get in the Christmas spirit with this fun afternoon workshop. These little mini paintings make great gifts for friends and relatives. At 2" square they fit nicely in a stocking.

Using collage, stamping, stencils and paint to create these small treasures, each participant will go home with six original minis just in time for the holidays!

TWO DATES TO CHOOSE FROM:
Saturday, December 5th, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, December 19th, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
50.00 includes all materials, tea and a festive treat.
Friend discount - register with a friend and pay 45.00 each.

To register contact me at: lesleyfountainstudio@gmail.com