The one week Find Your Joy taster course started today. The first assignment is to tape a sheet into 6-squares and paint for 1/2 hour using 3 colors plus black/white, ignoring the tape. Then remove the tape.
So. I went upstairs at 10, taped my paper to my 23x31 gatorboard, then decided on 3 colors: alizarin crimson, a medium turquoise, quin gold and black and white. I didn’t set a timer and lost track of time so I probably worked on it for an hour, at a certain point had a mess of similar values and nothing like I’d envisioned. So I started covering over some areas  in white, then covered others in lighter more neutral tones and started seeing patterns emerging and just followed them. As this happened, “I got it”. I finally ‘got’ how the spontaneity happens. I was just trying it in watercolor before, which is impossible because you can’t refresh a dark mess with white. The other thing I noticed is that by following the emerging patterns, each segment became a good composition in itself. And I realized this time I continued through the horrible messy failure stage where I normally have quit due to feeling shame of failure. This time I worked through it, doing a very minor analysis in assessing the values and adjusting - rather than judging.

The other thing is - this is NOT the atmospheric style I was originally trying to create. It turned out to be a really great first lesson and I learned something important from it.