In my most recent blog post I explored some basic concepts that are the foundation of the Wild Heart Expressive Arts Intuitive Painting Process.
And if you missed it, you can read that article here.
In that article, I talked a lot about what Wild Heart Expressive Arts Intuitive painting IS. But, today and in the next couple of posts, I wanted to explore some common misperceptions about what it is NOT.
My approach has definite similarities to other forms of intuitive and expressive arts. But there are also some very important differences.
One thing that I see happening a lot is that people try to put intuitive painting into a box.
They try to understand it by defining it. But part of the problem with doing that is that it can’t BE defined. Intuitive painting is the practice of devoting yourself to following the thread of your own creative genius, energy and aliveness. And creative genius, energy and aliveness is NEVER happy in a box.
Here are some definitions I have heard over the years of what people think of as intuitive painting:
• Intuitive painting means you never paint imagery. You only paint abstract forms.
• Intuitive painting means you don’t paint anything that requires discipline and effort. Going with the flow is always messy and haphazard.
• Intuitive painting is the process of channeling your inner child. So I only ever paint with my left hand which forces me to let go of my adult self.
• Intuitive painting means that you only paint what makes you happy or feels good. If you’re struggling you must not be following your intuition.
• Intuitive painting means you always end up with art that is positive or meaningful.
• Intuitive painting isn’t real art because anybody can do it.
NONE of these things by themselves are intuitive painting.
Sometimes your intuition asks you to paint imagery and sometimes it just wants to play with color. Sometimes your process is messy, and sometimes being in the flow means you are lovingly and carefully painting a million tiny details. Sometimes your painting will connect you with feelings of joy, and other times what needs to be expressed is grief or anger. Sometimes your painting process will bring you great peace and comfort and other times it will take you to the edges of your discomfort.
If you try to limit yourself in any way in terms of what you do or don’t paint, that’s not intuitive painting.
Your intuition will call on you to paint ALL of those things at different times in your process depending upon where YOUR energy is. And sometimes it might even ask you to do all those things on the same painting!
Intuitive painting is an invitation to not leave ANYTHING out… including messy, beautiful, swathes of color, detailed imagery, ugly, precise, carefully constructed, meaningful, meaningless, pretty, quick and dirty, childlike or incredibly sophisticated. Feeling good. Feeling bad. Being stuck. Being in the flow. Painting when you’re inspired or tired or angry or in bliss or agitated and confused.
All of these ways of painting and really ways of BEING are always, always, always MORE than welcome at the easel. Which leads to them being welcomed and embraced in your own heart.
And if you want to experience the healing power of trusting in your intuition, the unfettered joy of deep creative play and the spiritual transformation that comes from making soul art in this incredibly unique way, come and join me for my Painting With Fire class that begins in a couple of weeks.