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
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.
We 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.
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