—a journey of discovery, of release, and of healing
How to Turn Your Raw Emotions Into Potent Creative Fuel
Last weekend, I found myself drawn to my studio like a moth to a flame, seeking refuge from the knots of unease in my stomach and the persistent whispers of anxiety in my mind. For me, the act of painting has always been a sanctuary, a way to navigate through life's storms and find solace even in the darkest of times. And in these past few weeks, as the tides of emotion have surged and ebbed within me, I've felt an even stronger pull towards the canvas.
Navigating the unpredictable waves of "THE DEEP FEELS" has become a familiar dance, one that has led me to my creative haven. It's during these times that I've discovered the true power of channeling my raw, unfiltered emotions onto the canvas, transforming them into vibrant strokes of color, intricate patterns, and untamed expressions.
But what does it really mean to "paint it out," and how does it differ from any other day spent in the studio? As I've delved deeper into this process, I've come to realize that there's no definitive formula, no strict rules to abide by. Instead, there's a journey—a journey of discovery, of release, and of healing.
In this blog post, I want to take you on a voyage into the heart of creative liberation, a voyage guided by the principles of Paint Your Power. As you stand on the precipice of your own emotions, wondering how to best translate the chaos within into captivating artistry, I've compiled a collection of prompts, considerations, and reminders to accompany you. These insights will be your compass, helping you find your way to the canvas when the tides of emotion threaten to engulf you.
In a world that often encourages us to stifle, suppress, or ignore our tender vulnerabilities, I invite you to embrace a different path. Together, we'll explore how your very emotions—the ones that twirl and twist inside you—can be harnessed as a wellspring of creative inspiration. We'll uncover the transformational potential of allowing your emotions to take shape beyond the confines of your body, mind, and spirit.
So, let's embark on this journey of self-discovery and artistic expression. Let's unravel the threads of our emotions and weave them into a tapestry of colors, textures, and stories on the canvas. Whether you're a seasoned artist or a beginner dipping your toes into the world of creativity, Paint Your Power offers a guiding light to help you navigate the depths of your emotions and transform them into a masterpiece that not only captures your experience but also empowers you to embrace every facet of your being.
In the realm of creativity, there are no boundaries—only the boundless expanse of your imagination and the paintbrush of your emotions, waiting to bring your inner world to life. Let's dive in, explore, and create with the vibrant strokes of our hearts.
Let go of trying to make a “pretty” painting, and focus on making a “feeling” painting. Your emotions might not look very “pretty” right now, but I bet you have a deep well of powerful fervor just waiting to be tapped and released. This is the stuff great art is made of. Use it.
Re-route the urge to impress with the intention to express. What does your soul need to share right now? What is lurking just below the surface? What wants to come OUT? There’s a good chance your unbridled expression will translate into something much more fascinating than your attempts to do it “right” or make it pleasing for others. Remember, always paint for YOU.
Get your body into it. This might mean painting on a larger surface or putting your canvas on the wall. Don’t hold back. Turn up the music. Get aggressive. Get sweaty. Jump around. Punch the canvas. Make some noise. Dig your fingernails in. Let. It. Out.
Use your words. Recently, I’ve been writing out my current thoughts, feelings, prayers and desires right onto the canvas with paint. More often than not, I can’t even read them, but what matters is that they are there — out of my mind and safely embedded into the layers of paint.
Harness the power of color. I often talk about how to keep your colors fresh by avoiding “mud,” but this is a perfect time to throw all that out the window. Instead, make mud on purpose. Go dark. Go darker. Grab that weird brown color you always avoid. Combine the colors you never combine. When you go beyond your usual habits, new worlds emerge. And who knows, these new worlds might reflect your current mood more than your old favorites.
Get messy. This is not the time for perfect. This is the time for real. Color out of the lines. Use your non-dominant hand. Close your eyes. Paint with your fingers and feet. Paint with rags. Paint with knifes. Paint with whatever you can get your hands onto. Paint fast. Paint faster. Spray water. Let your perfect, wild, raw self be seen (and felt) on your canvas.
Pray or set intentions. I know prayer is not for everyone, but if it’s for you, consider how you might “paint your prayers.” Breathe them into your marks. Infuse them into your colors. Write them into your layers. Embody them as you move around the canvas. Come up with visual symbols to represent them. Release them into your paintings and into the world where they are needed most.
Get political. Again, not for everyone, but for those of you who are feeling called, remember that art and politics have always been intimately connected. Artivism is a word I recently discovered that combines art and activism. Artivist Eve Ensler says, “This passion has all the ingredients of activism, but is charged with the wild creations of art. Artivism — where edges are pushed, imagination is freed, and a new language emerges altogether.” What might your flavor of artivism look like?
Paint your story. If you’re feeling like you have *a lot* to say these days, but you’re not exactly sure how to say it, consider painting it out instead. Consider how you could express your feelings, thoughts, and emotions through your own visual language? Remember adding mixed media elements such as newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs can offer another layer of information into your creations.
Raise money by selling or gifting your art to support organizations that are doing work you believe in. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Most importantly, just make art.