Intuitive painting. What is it? Well, I can tell you what it is to me.
I describe my painting process as color and shape based with an intuitive process. This means that when I’m connecting with my painting I’m connecting with the colors and how the colors make me feel, and I’m connecting with the shapes and how they make me feel. I like to feel some contrast in my colors but I also like harmony within the whole feeling of the painting. I like static shapes that just sit there and are just blobs of color and I like that paired with moving shapes that look like they wind around the canvas. I base my final painting on how it feels more so then how it looks.
I try to connect to a place beyond just my thoughts. I use spontaneous thoughts or feelings that come up (intuitive guidance), such as ‘try a pop of yellow’, and then try to act of those messages without fear. I try to make sure these are coming from a creative flow space and not a judgemental or critical place. That’s really the way I can usually tell which ones to listen to. I can reflect on the thought, is this spontaneous thought a quick intuitive hit about adding a shape or a color or a line etc., or is this thought saying something that doesn’t feel good such as: nobodies gonna like your blue splats OR that’s not pretty enough it’s too weird OR this is boring so you need a brighter color?
I try to get an indicator, a message of what to do next, whether it makes sense or not in my mind and then take the leap, not letting fear dictate the action nor worry about the outcome.
That’s INTUITIVE PAINTING. At least for me.
Anndddddd after I take the leap and I’m in the ‘doing’ phase, of course my mind tries to figure out what it’s gonna look like, but it usually never comes out like I ‘thought’ or expected; but is was always the right move. Why?
It was always the right move because it was the step that felt right in that moment, whether the end result of that step was the ‘answer’ or ‘end’ to the painting isn’t the point. Whether I liked the results of that step also isn’t the point. It was following the intuition and not letting fear dictate my actions that IS the point.
Sometimes through trying things we’re afraid to try because we cannot control the outcome, we find our way to things we never could have thought up or even imagined, without this process.
Sometimes I find out that the path is a lot longer with many more layers then I expected and I have to keep battling thoughts that, ‘I’ve made the wrong choice’ (you can see my post about that HERE) but I keep going. Most of the time it leads to very cool things I never was able to imagine.
And then sometimes I find out that path I as taking with those intuitive decisions was actually not the right path and it’s time to scrap that painting (or hobby or job) and start anew. This is also okay. Sometimes discovering what doesn’t work is just as important as discovering what does.
What’s scary is feeling like we are out of control, but the truth is we are always out of control. We just put boundaries in our heads that help us to feel more in control, so we can feel more at ease. They are not true of course. We can not know from one day to another what course our life will take.
Just like when I’m painting. I can be controlled by my thoughts and fears of trying to make the right decisions and have it be perfect and not take any risks when it’s looking okay because, what if I mess it up?
I know it may not make sense for everyone but I talk about allowing the painting to be born as it will, letting it unfold, and this is the only way that makes sense for me now. I had to bump up against this many times before letting it be, but it is the only way for me now.
What I mean by letting the painting be born the way it will is basically putting together the parts I’ve already talked about. We as humans try to control things as best we can to feel safe and at ease. Though in truth the only constant IS change and most of the time it isn’t our own doing, and we have to learn to live with those twists and turns. At other times it IS our own doing to change things and we have a choice to make those decision out of faith instead of fear, and even then we still cannot control what that decision will lead to.
So our life is kinda born before us and we are along for the ride. We manage our lives the best we can and that is our job to do! The way we can get better at this management is with many different tools like meditation and prayer/Divine talks and getting into the flow of life, allowing what comes and basing our choice on each moment in the here and now and not from past hurts/pains/layers or future anxieties and worries. We can only do one layer at a time based on what intuitive messages we get in that moment. Then we allow life to be born in a harmonious way, whether that next layer is pretty or ugly, easy or hard, is irrelevant because it was the right next step, in life or in painting!
Sure I plan and make drawings of composition or ideas for color combos and I test and try and experiment. I usually call all my paintings experiments because even when I have a plan I still feel like i’m experimenting because I actively practice letting go of my plan to follow the rhythm of the painting as it unfolds before me. Allowing it to be born without me trying to control the ‘outcome’.
This process is one reason I mainly paint on raw canvas. It reminds me of life. It’s harder to work with raw canvas as it’s much more unforgiving. Any accidental splats or drops cannot be erased, they have to be worked in the painting. It can create some pretty rough outcomes, difficult trials and uncomfortable feelings, and then it also it flows and amazes and creates beauty I couldn’t have even imagined.
This is my intuitive painting process. Thanks for reading and sharing the journey with me! I’d love to hear from you and how you use your intuition for processes.
From my heart to yours,
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