Back in December, my friend Lauren introduced me to the concept of intuitive painting.
I love this so much because many of us do not think we are creative, but we all have creativity inside of us! Intuitive painting makes art and creative expression both healing and approachable.
We are all creative but society tends to put only artists in the creative category, leaving everyone who isn’t an “artist” feeling too embarrassed to even attempt to play with art mediums.
Art feels good, it’s fun.
I’ve never met a child who doesn’t like to color or draw stick figures or finger paint – we are meant to create and play. But as we start to grow older, we learn about comparisons and judgment. Self-consciousness creeps in and we begin to rob ourselves of creative expression to avoid the pain of ridicule from our peers.
Expressing our creativity alleviates our pain!
So this week I will be sharing with you what Lauren shared with me!
Lauren has a blog called Strange Enough and there you will find her full article on what led her to this technique, but for today I will share what stood out to me.
- Separate Conscious and Subconscious Thoughts
First, she recognizes that she cannot THINK her way into her subconscious and intuition. 👀 I can’t tell you how much I try to transcend my mind with my mind!!
She reminds us repeatedly that there is NO WRONG WAY to do this, so give yourself permission to make “bad” art, because the beauty in this painting is felt rather than seen. Lauren even tells us that no formal art training works to your advantage in this space.
“I dare say that this practice would be especially valuable for people who are not formally trained in art. They would have nothing influencing them telling them “this is balance and balance is beauty”. You’ll be able to draw on your baseline sense of beauty, and not what you’ve been taught. So please, don’t let the thought “I’m not good at art” or “I’m not an artist” get in the way. Once you do one of these, you are officially an artist.”
Here are the materials she uses in her process, but I use my iPad & stylus to make art on my digital canvas – this is your journey, work with what you have or what speaks to you.
The basic tools you’ll need for this exercise: paint, paper to paint on, paint brush, some cardstock or thicker paper, a pen or pencil, scissors. Optional: glue, list of feelings and physical sensations (I used this one I found on the internet: Link)
How Do You Begin to Combine Art and Healing Expression?
Just grab your paintbrush and paint, using whatever colors, shapes, and brush strokes you’re drawn to.
- Don’t Overthink It!
The next step is to write out some words that reflect emotions or physical sensations you might be experiencing & add them to the canvas in any order. “Now you’re an artist AND a damn poet. WHAT’S UP!”
Here is a quick demo video where Lauren shares her process, and a few examples of her work.
The really bright:
Poem Reads: Energized happy uplift. Understood yes. Spring seen pops supported. Refresh joyful. Hopeful growth. Power smiles long. Go forth: New. Good.
The pretty damn dark:
Poem reads: Anxious fears echo jagged, cracked scars. Metallic cold Earthy soil. Remorseful dark. Damp, hidden. Warned by your judgmental tension. A past insecure choice.
- Accept There is No Wrong Way
Again, Lauren reminds us that there is no wrong way to do this. Sometimes a word doesn’t make it onto her poetic canvas and that’s okay! Another route she takes is recording her thoughts as she is painting:
“I’ve started running the voice recorder on my phone when I do these paintings so when random thoughts bubble up I can just say them out loud and continue to paint. It seems to be just relaxing enough of an activity that the subconscious loosens up and things float up. That’s the thing with the subconscious, the house of our intuition… it’s like peripheral vision or the sun; you can’t look directly at it, but you can still experience it. Or something.”
I Hope You Give This a Try!
My morning iPad paintings have been such a release! Experiment with printer paper and ink pens if that’s all you have, it may inspire a trip to the art store so that you can play some more!!