Intuitive painting process: Into the storm

Intuitive painting process: into the storm

The thing I enjoy most about intuitive painting is how closely the intuitive painting process starts to mimic life. By remaining present in the moment, trusting my instincts, and not allowing my mind to start dictating what happens next, the push-pull nature of this style of painting starts to reveal numerous life lessons.

I’ve spoken about the influences that informed one of my intuitive paintings in the video below, as I take you through the evolution of this painting from start to finish.

Intuitive painting process: Into the storm

I started this painting with an oracle card pull, using the cards that came up to hold space for this painting. And these cards took the painting – and me – through quite the journey, teaching me many a lesson along the way.

Using oracle cards to hold space for the painting process

intuitive painting process using oracle cards to hold space

Soar. Unfurl. Descent. Storm. See. Those were the cards that came up, and the order in which they came up. At the time I drew them, I couldn’t image the journey they’d take me on. But what a journey it turned out to be!

Working with the idea of soar and unfurl, I started the painting with sunny yellows, lime green, and a hint of blue and neon orange. Next, I added in hot pink butterflies, colorful feathers, drips, and marks.

Things were looking nice and sunny, when I decided to draw some swirly lines and spirals and paint them turquoise blue. And from there, we went into the descent.

Intuitive painting process: The descent and the storm

Almost as soon as I painted those swirly lines, I wanted to get rid of them. So out came the gesso and some modeling paste. As I swept the gesso across the page, I felt called to leave some of the butterflies and marks showing through. And soon after that came the storm.

The bright and happy color palette changed into tentative marks and timid shapes, and then it shifted into stormy blues and angry pinks and purples. The entire painting going through a metamorphosis. And as I struggled with the canvas, going back and forth with images and colors and shapes, asking questions and trying desperately to find some answers, soon enough, I could see the answers begin to emerge.

Intuitive painting process: Gaining clarity

They say that art mimics life, and this particular painting really showed me the truth of those words. From the joyful clarity with which I started to the descent into the storm is something that we have all experienced in our lives. Confident and clear about our place and role in the world, until suddenly one day we get thrown into the confusion and the illusions that our minds are so capable of entangling us in.

One day we are clear on our dreams, and then suddenly we start doubting ourselves, unsure of whether we can actually live up to the dreams we have. As our fears start coming into the picture, suddenly everything gets muddled and confused. We lose our clarity and sense of purpose, we lose the conviction that we had in our ideas, and suddenly our way doesn’t seem so clear anymore. A thousand doubts and questions raise their heads.

Intuitive painting process and some musings on how art mimics lifeWe have little glimpses of our original idea still, and we hold on to those pieces and struggle and strive to find our voice and the way back to our conviction. It’s only as we enter the storm and work our way through the doubts and the fears, as we transform the way we think and shift our mindset, that we can begin to find our way back to our dreams once again. And then suddenly, out of that soupy mess we’ve been wading through, stepping stones emerge and slowly, the way that was so confused a little while ago, seems clear again.

Pretty much the way this painting unfolded, if you think about it!

Healing with art

There is so much joy and healing that I find at the painty table. It’s a joy I wish everyone could experience. Which is why I love to create mini art + soul ecourses that include curated guided meditations, journaling questions, and an art journal project from start to finish. The videos are broken down into easy to watch segments, which makes it perfect even for the most busy people to watch and create! You can find all the ecourses and sign up for one or more here.

If you enjoyed this video, do subscribe and follow my YouTube channel – I will be adding a new art journaling video every 2nd and 4th Saturday!

I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Posted in Art Journaling, Art tutorials.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. This concept is new for me. I love the final work and yes, the concept of healing through art holds so true especially in this form.

  2. Woah, simply brilliant! The creative process is something unique to each individual. I am sure my interpretation of the cards you uncovered would be way different from yours. I love the way your mind works and thence the art! It is soothing to watch the video with the art taking shape into something so beautiful!

    • Thank you, Kala! And yes, of course. There are many ways to interpret those cards and that’s the beauty of the creative process. That we can all start from the same place and draw out completely different things! xx

  3. Hi Shinjini, let me start with a confession 🙂 – the moment i opened your post, i just wasn’t sure whether i would understand even a bit of the stuff about Intuitive painting but i just got pulled into reading it due to the simple reason that you had written it with so much passion. As i proceeded with the post, i was trying hard to comprehend every word (another confession – i don’t have any sense of painting) because or my sheer ignorance about the subject. Now, the best part – when i started reading the “gaining clarity” section, everything started making sense. The way you described the process was impeccable. You have articulated it so well. Thanks for the beautiful post 🙂

    • Thank you so much!! I’m so glad that everything clicked together in the end, and that you enjoyed reading this even though you don’t know anything about painting. That’s always my hope – that even if you don’t know how to paint, you can relate to the process or the thought process behind a painting, and more, that you’re inspired to pick up a paintbrush and try your hand at flinging paint! 😉

  4. Those words in the last paragraph…about finding our stepping stones that emerge from the soupy mess….I so agree with you, Shinjini! Also, very often, we are pretty blind to those stones, until we trip and fall against one of them! It’s a personal experience. 😛
    Loved your video…as always!

  5. That was beautiful! I have heard this from a friend who often finds her solace in drawing random lines on the canvas. However, the outcome always strikes cord with me – beautiful and thoughtful. This feels something like that.

  6. This concept is new to me and honestly, Paiting and craft works are like French to me, though I would love to learn French oneday, i am not sure, i can go beyond staring and congratulating the person who did that painting or craft work??

  7. This concept is new to me. As far as I can make out it is unstructured painting. I employ a similar idea when I write fiction. I just open my laptop and I start typing without any preconceived notion about what my story is going to be like.

  8. Hey Shinjini, I love the way you relate art with soul. Life is unpredictable at every moment. So correctly said by you, at one moment we are so clear about our dreams until the next moment when everything looks shattered.

  9. Wow! I loved your site. And such a unique concept. I had no idea about this and for me it’s so much information. Also the end product is wonderful! Tell me, do you think there would be a similar concept with other art forms like music or poetry??

    • Thanks so much, Sonia! I don’t think you can do something this unstructured with poetry. Nor with music, because they have some underlying rules that cannot be broken. In this way of painting, you break most of the rules! The only other art form that comes somewhat close to this for me is free writing. But even that feels pale in comparison to intuitive painting.

  10. First of all, I loved your site. And such a uNique concept, such wonderful depiction of art, it’s connect with the soul. All so wonderful. I was just keen to know that can we apply this to poetry or music also? Intuitive music or poetry??

  11. The moment I entered your blog I got the positive vibes and I knew I was going to like it even more after reading your blog. Loved your writing style and so impressed and inspired by your creative process of healing through art.
    #damurureads #myfriendalexa

  12. Painitng, getting lost into the world of colors is like meditation. I remember attending to a discourse where the speaker told us the similarity between meditation and the art painting. You have weaved your post so beautifully keeping the soul intact.

  13. Your paintings have so much meaning… It was so wonderful to listen to your insightful commentary. I love how deeply you delve into the intricacies of the patterns and what they mean. It’s a very different approach to art. ?

  14. Its been quite some time now that I have seen your art, your paintings have always held some meaning and touches heart is a different kind of way. The art concept is new to me though, but really loved it

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