“Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.” Leonardo da Vinci
We all have ways in which to cope with situations that are thrown at us each day. What works for me might not work for you or somebody else. And what has worked in the past, may not be enough in the present. BUT creativity seems to be a universal form of emotional self-care when we embrace it.
I “discovered” intuitive painting during my training as a Kinesiologist – although it was not really called that at the time. Once a year we went on an intensive weekend where we dove into all things that we had been learning during the year, plus the highlight was the daily painting to a theme of the chinese elements. I was totally blown away.
In the beginning, the paintings were child like and not very pretty to look at (more like WTH) – BUT there was always a meaning behind it. With time, they kept getting better – in my opinion (and that’s all that counts), and I now have about 5 paintings that are framed and hanging up – and a plethora of others that want to be hung.
After many years of not “indulging ” in a selfcare habit, I was again introduced to it by my dear friend Angelika Neumann – and this sparked a new “beginning” with the “arts“. Yes, I know, lots of brackets and whatnot.. and if you read my sparse blogs, you will encounter that quite a bit..
During Covid 19 we started a whole series of free workshops to facilitate connection and community with art creation – or even just releasing emotions through art. It was fantastic! There was so much resonance and appreciation. Sooooo many signed up – and we had many wonderful sessions together.
Have you ever thought of exploring your creativity through art or painting? When exercising our creativity we allow ourselves an outlet from our daily routines, helping us express emotions and boost our happiness levels.
Maybe you’re thinking – No way, I’m not an artist and definitely not creative. Elizabeth Gilbert, says “if you’re alive, you’re a creative person”. What if you could just go with the flow and discover a new part of you, and find some space and time to create to let go of negative emotions, or develop a new self-care ritual for yourself?
Making art reduces stress and negative emotions, creating an experience similar to meditation. When in a meditative state, art draws our attention to details and the environment, which creates a distraction from day-to-day thoughts.
Art offers us the unique opportunity to become completely immersed in self-expression. In doing so, we are ready to calm our nervous systems and more easily access a mindfulness state.
When we engage in complex activities, the brain creates new connections between our brain cells and stimulates communication between the left and the right hemispheres of the brain. Consequently, a study done on the effects of visual art production showed an increase in psychological resilience, an individual’s ability to adapt to conditions and disadvantages.
Here are only a few benefits of creating art…
- reduces stress
- stimulates the imagination
- makes us more observant
- encourages positive thinking
- connection with community
- enhances problem-solving skills
- self-awareness and expression
Remember, any kind of art activity is all about the process of creating and not the aesthetic of the finished product. It is only for our own benefit. You can be as abstract or as messy as you like – and very important, no critiquing allowed!
So, be brave. Try something new for a simple way to access your creativity, see a boost in your mood and/or maybe to change your perspective.