Intuitive painting

Trust your gut instinct, haven’t you heard that before?

Your intuition never lies, apparently.

Well, I really believe there is some truth in the concept of trusting your own intuition. How many times have you felt a real gut instinct to do something, to find out that, actually your gut feeling was right.

Taking the intuition concept into art can be a wonderful experience too. Painting intuitively is a great way to solidify your relationship with your creative and spiritual being. I have found the practice to be stimulating and enlightening.

So what is intuitive painting?

Intuitive painting is the practice of meditating with a brush in your hand. It helps you to free your creative side, to let go and to connect with your inner self.

I painted troubled water one Saturday morning at my sister’s studio. There I was, literally facing a blank canvas, thinking ‘what am I going to paint’. My sister, Muriel, introduced me to the world of intuitive painting and this was my first attempt at it.

I looked at the paints and I looked at the canvass. It took only a few moments before I was, subconsciously, reaching for the colours. The next 90 minutes were spent, just painting. No preconceived ideas of what I wanted to paint; I just let myself go.

I truly let go. The perfectionist in me was pushed to the side. The ideologist in me was suppressed, and the pragmatist was squashed. I felt no pressure to create something that looked like something. My mind was free from constraints.

Over the next 90 minutes, the colours moved around the canvas freely and the shapes, drips and squiggles appeared. My week up to that Saturday had been a little ‘difficult’ for me. My IBS had flared up earlier in the week, resulting in a few nights of pain. I felt tense and a bit angry. The first few minutes of painting certainly reflected that anger. But gradually, as the first hour went by, my mood changed. I was meditating and it was calming my mind. The colours started to change, blending together in a more harmonious way.

But for me, here is the really amazing thing about intuitive painting. After 90 minutes, we stepped out of the studio to have a coffee, returning about half and hour later. I looked at the painting on the wall and thought, wow, who did that! Where did that come from?

Of course, the painting came from me. But it didn’t come from the conscious, thinking, planning, logical me. It came from the subconscious, the intuitive me. The painting came from my soul, from my inner self. It is an inextricably part of me. That is the beauty of intuitive painting.

So many things in life are painful, stressful, and when we are faced with those things our instinct is to try and fix them. We try to categorise things that have gone wrong, so that we can find the correct solution. Intuitive painting teaches us to trust our inner wisdom and to let it flow unhindered.

As you know, all my art has a pewter connection. After painting troubled water I left it for a few days before returning to look at it with fresh eyes. When I saw it again I immediately thought of a small pewter piece that would finish the painting nicely. But my conundrum was that surely adding a piece of cast pewter was moving it away from the ‘intuitive’. Well, I don’t think so. Because there comes a point with everything that has been created intuitively where it needs to be brought into the here and now. My view is that, by adding a small piece of cast pewter I have connected my inner self to the real world.

If you get the chance, please let me know if you have tried intuitive painting. Did it work for you? What did you create?