Beat stress with art: intuitive painting

When I wrote about adult coloring books last month, it generated a lot of interesting comments and discussions. Chief among them was the argument that coloring is a fun, easy and quick way to beat the stress.

My argument is that the best way to beat the stress is with art.

Well, what if I told you that over a period of about a month, maybe even less, you could have a painted canvas ready to hang on your wall? You need no prior art background, you don’t really need to know how to draw, and all it will take is 5-10 minutes a day. The set-up and clean up is also super easy and very quick.

Painting this canvas will also help you to be mindful, it will help you to beat the stress while creating a piece of original art, and maybe even help you to experience a bit of art therapy.

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The Red Thread

Chinese-legend-myth-of-red-threadThere’s something magical that I’ve been noticing in my life recently. It his to do with art. With learning, teaching, and living an artistic life.

When I started down this path, I was quite a babe in the woods – clueless about where I was going, what I was doing, and why I was doing it. All I recognized was a calling… a yearning to create – to pick paints and paper, glue and pictures, with no idea of what to do with them, how to mold them into something that was pleasing to the eye.

I stumbled upon a few teachers – wonderful people who shared their art, tips, and techniques online for free on YouTube. I picked up a few tips here, an idea for a technique there. But very often, these free videos were disappointing. They were either timelapsed and so fast that I had no idea what or how the person was doing what they were doing. Often, they were product demonstrations – and said products were not necessarily available in India. But I persevered.Continue reading

Adult coloring books and the creativity myth

“I love coloring! The other day, when my niece was over, I started coloring along with her in her coloring book, and I really enjoyed it. I think I’m going to order some adult coloring books soon,” declared a friend recently.

“Adult coloring book? Really?” I asked, somewhat aghast. “Why don’t you try painting instead? Keep it abstract if you like. I can teach you the basics and you’re good to go!”

“No darling, I’m not good at all that.”

There is so much more to creativity than adult coloring books. Explore art journaling with me.

And this, right here, is why I believe adult coloring books have become such a huge fad.

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On my art table: Handmade Journal

 

Before I started art journaling, I was an avid journaler. In fact, I still am. There’s something about writing, about paying attention to each day, that draws me back to the journal.

The journal is a sacred place for me, which is why I’ve always been drawn to beautiful notebooks. But there’s something really special about handmade journals, don’t you think?

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On my art table: A flock of birds

Intuitive-painting-Flock-of-birds

Every evening when I return home from work, I’m greeted by the chirping of birds as they congregate in the tree outside my window. While the husband calls it a cacophony, I think of it as a council. What must they be discussing, I wonder?

The state of the weather? The shrinking green cover? The paucity of food? Or maybe they’re discussing the changing weather patterns, or the latest thermal waves they rode. Perhaps they’re trading the gossip of the day, or having a friendly spat?

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On my art table: Open to interpretation

figurative-landscape-waiting

 

Waiting. Yearning. Dreaming. Hoping.

A figure in space.

A figurative landscape.

Yellows, blues, a tinge of brown.

Hope, calm, despair and sorrow.

Looking ahead.

Turning back.

Dreams broken.

Hope springs anew.

That’s what it does – abstraction.

One image – multiple viewpoints.

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On my art table: Fearless

Fearless painting

This is one of my favorite pieces of art from this year. In fact, when I finished it, I knew I wanted to do something similar on canvas, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I hope to, though, before 2016 is over!

Working on this piece – and art in general – taught me about moving into fear – a lesson on fear and bravery that I had shared earlier this year.

…life is fluid, constantly moving and shaping and stretching and contracting – nothing lasts forever.

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On my art table: Wisdom

art-journal-layout-wisdom-baloon

“Turn your wounds into wisdom” – Oprah Winfrey

Wisdom, they say, comes from living. All of our experiences, good and bad, teach us various lessons. By mining the lessons from our experiences, we claim them, own them, and make them a part of us. This treasure trove of life lessons can sustain us through the darkest times.

I created this spread with ample room to add in the most important life lessons I’ve learnt so far in my life (not all of them are pictured here). And at the end of the year, I plan to add in all the lessons that 2016 teaches me.

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On my art table {plus a how to}: Create

Art_journal_Create

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that my word for the year is Create.

This is the very first art journal spread I created this year, to remind me of my word whenever I open my journal.

And since the word is create, it’s only fair that I tell you how you can create a similar piece, isn’t it?

It’s quite straightforward, and a lot of fun!

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