There is no doubt that this part of the course is challenging the imagination! Exercises on Free Expression required me to draw on the subconscious and paint images according to the title..  This could have been enormous fun if I had had more time and I did enjoy the glimpse I had of its potential. Drawing on inner thoughts, memories and the imagination is very different from all other parts of the course but it certainly opened up a new world.  I don’t think any of my efforts were very good but I look at them as a beginning of a new way of looking. Just two examples of free expression….



LET WONDERMENT IN...line from a poem

LET WONDERMENT IN…line from a poem

PAINTING TO MUSIC Strangely this exercise proved easier than the previous one. In free expression, I found that I had to reach a place in consciousness where memory or emotional responses exist without any material evidence in the form of objects. This was difficult but with music, I found that it took me there instantly and there was no struggle. The first piece of music was the Complete Music for Solo Piano by Poulenc. With my eyes closed and simply moving my hand to the music of the piano, I let this guide the marks on the paper. To my amazement I found that my hand was making different marks when I wasn’t thinking ….I was simply responding!  This was so exciting and once again opened up possibilities.


Complete Music for Solo Piano- Poulenc

Complete Music for Solo Piano- Poulenc

The next piece of music was even more revealing for me as an artist. I used the same music but painted from a different section where the mood was much deeper and calmer. I started the painting with a warm background colour and then began to paint by dropping the watercolour onto the paper and moving the paper in the rhythm of the music. I wasn’t conscious of anything but the music  but it was the mood of the piece which was dictating this time. I found the music was doing the painting and I literally became list in it. I didn’t attempt to add any other media because I had gone beyond painting a  picture. As I look at it now I can see a different hand….not my usual work!





About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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