Tired of thinking? Need a break from working on “yourself”? Feel like “moving your energy”?
Picking up a paintbrush with the intention of moving and being physical can be a wonderful way to enter into your creative process and leave thinking behind altogether.
One of the gifts of intuitive painting is that there is no formula, no one way to paint. We don’t have to always make “meaning”, or even images. Sometimes you may simply want to play with physical movement and experience the sensuality of paint and canvas.
The visceral experience of painting can include the act of smearing, scraping or brushing the paint. And then there is the smell of paint…and the sound of the palette knife against the canvas/through the layers of paint. And how the paint feels on your hands and fingers.
There can actually be a bit of bliss getting your hands wet with paint.
We can paint through the body and experience kinesthetic joy.
The body knows how to move, and paint knows how to flow. Sometimes you may find that by letting go of intentionality and understanding altogether you will be led through the world of color and into a mysterious kind of spontaneous play.
Into the woods you go…
Some tips for painting from your body:
- Use a bigger brush (2”, 3”…..)
- Choose your music, or your silence, with movement in mind
- Give yourself a big enough canvas, no smaller than 30 x 30
- Don’t worry about how much paint you’ve got on your plate, be willing to throw some out at the end
- Have tools to scrape and/or smear with—pallette knife, rag, sponge..
- Get your hips into your movement, awakening your lower body energies
- Experiment with different kinds of movements and paces…from slow to fast…from flowing to staccato.
In the last week I have had the pleasure to work with several individuals who have declared their desire to paint from their body…allowing the physical act of painting to carry them through.
One woman dancing, moving her arms in large sweeping movements across the page as she painted, free from caution and “smart”.
One woman scraping into the canvas so that the noise itself created a feeling of freedom, release and sound…ahhh….
Another woman stayed with a big paint brush for the whole session, breaking free of her circular thinking and work-mind in such a way that she was physically tired at the end of the session…like a workout.
I’m a big believer in expanding your creative choices.
The physical act of painting can be so cathartic. If you’re someone who always works through emotion or ideas when you paint, try approaching painting differently for a session. Your body knows how to paint. See what your body has to say.
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