Welcome to The Intuitive Painting Place

The name of this art studio is now TiP Expressive Arts. Send email to Beverly@TipArts.com or visit website at http://www.TipArts.com. Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Connecting with Creativity

 What do you do to center yourself or try to make peace with the world?

When someone asked me this today, my mind immediately went to typical responses to this type of question.

  • Pray
  • Dance
  • Garden
  • Write....
Blah, Blah, Blah....

But those replies did not feel good so I went deeper into my thoughts about how to truly answer that question. Even though my response might have come across as short and flippant, I replied,

"Well, last night I sailed around in the moonlit sky on the wings of a dragon."

That is all I said. And it was enough. The person I was talking to got it. 

A joyful swirl started spinning inside of my heart as I thought about what it might  feel like to soar with a powerful dragon amongst the stars in a moonlit sky. I felt centered and at peace with the world in that moment because my imagination took me on an unexpected dive into Creativity.

Most of us feel more engaged, alive and centered when we are in a creative mode.  It brings us into the present moment and takes us away from memories of long ago or worries about the future. We get grounded into where life really happens. The here and now.

There are many ways that creativity can show up in our lives every day but we often fail to give ourselves over to the process. Since our fast paced world tends to favor accomplishment over indulging in process, we focus on scratching things off of our "To Do" list and then watch television or play video games to recover from exhaustion.  Little snippets of creativity are sprinkled into our lives day after day but we don't get to savor them or build on them. Life is pushing us forward too quickly. 

Intuitive painting allows you to take time away from the hustle and bustle to connect with your creativity. There is nothing to figure out ahead of time, no rules to learn, no agenda to follow. You simply slow down, sit before a canvas and PLAY with color. From there, the sky is the limit. Actually, that's not true. There are no limits, not even the sky. You are free to go any where your heart calls you to go.  Giving yourself full permission to freely paint and play is all that is required.  

Intuitive painting is just one way of connecting with creativity. How do you connect with your creativity? (would love for you to leave a comment and tell me. I really want to know! Thanks!) 


"On the deepest level we are all artists...and every last one of us is a creator."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

There is no 


in Art 


Art  Is  Free 
 ~Wassily Kandinsky

Friday, June 22, 2012

Joy by Beverly Keaton Smith

in the joy of achievement 
the thrill 
of creative effort. 
-Franklin D. Roosevelt 

Painting by Beverly Keaton Smith

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Trust the Paint Brush

mixed media by Beverly Keaton Smith 

Painting Place

When practicing intuitive painting, anything can happen when you TIP over a bottle of paint and let your paint brush or fingers roam around freely on the canvas. The goal is to let the painting happen instead of attempting to force something to happen. I believe this is the biggest  challenge of intuitive painting. There is a nagging need or desire to produce something that would ordinarily be judged worthy by our own high standards or our perceived standards of others. Standing before a blank canvas and letting the paint lead the way requires the surrender of control and outcome. That's not always easy for most of us. 

Being present in the moment is a way to allow the intuitive painting process to happen. If you are focusing on control or outcome, you have most likely settled into the past or the future. Limiting thoughts about your ability to paint or  worrying about how your painting will look are likely to flourish. The result is often paralyzing. 

However, standing smack dab in the present moment while listening to your intuition will connect you to your private well of creativity (and yes, you do have one!) This is where surprises are likely to happen as your creativity swirls into motion while colors merge together to form images you would have sworn you could never paint. It doesn't matter if your images do not resemble anything you've ever seen before. They are uniquely your images and that is what makes this process alive, insightful and enchanting. 

When I talk to friends about intuitive painting, I often hear "I can't paint" as a response. I'd  like to encourage you to move past that hurdle if this stops you from playing with intuitive painting.  It's okay if you can't paint. Actually, it can be beneficial if you don't know how to paint. You are less likely to get hung up on technique and rules which can constrict access to your intuition. 

Letting go of the need to conform or perform allows you to TIP over that bottle of paint and explore freely while giving your intuition and creativity a chance to sparkle. 

Happy Painting!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Free Painting

Everyone can play with intuitive painting because it doesn't matter what your paintings look like. This bears repeating.

It doesn't matter what your paintings look like. 

This sounds like a simple concept but it can be quite challenging. Most of us are conditioned to strive for a particular outcome. Having the opportunity to stand before a blank canvas can be daunting because it gives the inner critic a  golden opportunity to load up her (or his) gun. It doesn't take long before the bullets start flying.  

  • This painting is terrible (nice spin on "you're not good enough.")
  • I am wasting my time
  • I can't do this  
  • Everyone's painting looks better than mine.

When these bullets start flying, you have choices:

  1. Take the hit and put away your paint brush forever. 
  2. Let the bullets cripple you and take away the joy of playing.   
  3. Dance with the bullets while painting through the discomfort they bring
  4. Shield yourself from the bullets. As they sail over you, let let them serve as reminders that you are playing, not trying to paint a masterpiece. 

I've chosen all of the above responses to the inner critic while painting. The more I paint, the easier it is to practice with numbers 3 and 4.  (I know this sounds like a cliche, but it truly is like lifting weights to build up muscles in your arms.)

One of the long lasting payoffs for practicing intuitive painting is that it becomes easier to recognize and address the limiting voices in your head.  Your ability to choose how you respond to  the inner critic becomes stronger as you keep painting. A refusal to be crippled or derailed by the inner critic while painting eventually trickles over into other areas of your life too.

More insights about the value of intuitive painting are on the way. Have you practiced intuitive painting? In what ways does it benefit you?


Beverly Keaton Smith

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Can't Paint

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” ~Vincent van Gogh

If you asked me to paint a picture of a bowl of fruit, the results would be quite comical. That's because I can't paint. Except for when I can.

I wish I could have a conversation with the great Vincent van Gogh. I'd  tell him that I frequently tell myself, “I can't paint!” I am very attached to this belief too. It helps me see beyond the roughness of my less than beautiful paintings and keeps me going back for more. It doesn't matter to me that I can't paint. I do it just for fun.

I have no desire to paint something for show or sell. I paint because it connects me with my creativity, brings me fully into the present moment and entertains the heck out of me. 

I follow some of my intuitive paintings down a great big rabbit hole and stand back amazed at the places I visit. Other paintings make me mad or sad or both. Some of my paintings are confusing because there is no meaning to be found in them. Other paintings absolutely delight me or help me to understand myself better. There is  a big mix of possible outcomes when practicing intuitive painting. The mystery of going toward the unknown is compelling to me. Since I trust my intuition, I know the journey will offer me nuggets of gold in one way or another.

If I ever get to have that conversation with Vincent van Gogh, I'm going to tell him that the act of painting does not silence that limiting voice inside of my head. I've just learned to be with it and keep going.


PS: The above painting started out as a giant stick figure wearing a scarf blowing in the wind. Don't ask me why because I have no idea. As the painting evolved, I saw a little doggie's face in the outline of the paint. Slowly it turned into my dog, Buddy. This painting led me to tap into a whole bunch of the love that I feel for Buddy. It pulled out many joyful tears and reminded me that Buddy is always in my heart. When I look at this painting, I can revisit those moments of the deeply expressed love that came flowing through as I painted this. It's a sweet reminder of going deep into the emotion of love. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Intuitive Painting #1

As I put paint onto paper for the first time, I tune into my intuition for guidance. I have a desire to make circular lines on my canvas, so that is how I begin. I have no roadmap or destination. I'm just painting for the sake of painting.

Quickly, I slip into a childlike state and immerse myself into playtime. Giddy with excitement once the paintbrush starts moving, I forget about my earlier anxiety about painting. My fears of looking stupid, making a mess and failing to measure up no longer concern me. I feel a sense of freedom as I let go of my desire to produce something pretty.

As my painting evolves, I see the outline of a bird in the center of the picture. This thrills me because I see it as a sign of liberation and soaring. Once the painting is complete, I do not focus on it because, quite frankly, I think it is ugly. Instead of being discouraged by my harsh judgment of my first painting, I am energized by the act of painting. Slowly I am realizing that intuitive painting truly is about process, not product.

Later, when I show a few friends my first painting, they do not see a bird in flight. They see a woman in bondage. What?? I look at my painting through their eyes and I see her haunting image. How in the world did I not see her before?

Keeping in mind that the painting happened spontaneously, I realize that the previous anxiety I felt about painting revealed itself on the canvas. However, I had so much fun painting, that I could not see it. I only saw the fun and freedom I felt, which was represented by the hint of a bird.

This is when I realized that intuitive painting holds deep value for me. By skipping over the busy mind, I tapped into the wing clipping emotions of anxiety and fear. Through painting, I purged them without even realizing it. Kind of amazing, huh?

Here is the last painting I did during the retreat. Quite a difference, eh? 

Will your first intuitive painting experience be like mine? No! Your experience will be uniquely yours. There is no way to predict what might unfold for you. Diving deep into the mystery of the unknown is one of the many compelling components of intuitive painting. Just allowing yourself the time to play and be present can be such a wonderful gift to self. The busy brain gets a break as you immerse yourself into a space where creativity bubbles up and flourishes. Sounds so simple and at the same time, can be so refreshing and rewarding. I highly recommend!

Beverly Keaton Smith

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Intuitive Painting 101

Flashback – September 10, 2011

It's the first day of painting at Chris Zydel's intuitive painting retreat at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. The idea of painting sounds simple, right? You just paint. There are no rules, goals or grades. This means there is no way to mess up. It's mostly about being present in the moment and relying on intuition to guide you through the painting process. Simple enough, right?

I pick out a red apron that is splattered with dried paint stains from previous painters. This pleases me because I'm hoping some of that painting energy will rub off on me. Push pins firmly secure my blank poster onto the cardboard frame that acts as a giant easel. My painting supplies are neatly perched upon a wooden TV tray that nestles me into the cozy corner of the room that I have secured for myself. Along with a palatte full of colorful paints, a plastic cup is half full of water for brush cleaning. A discolored rag is at my fingertips and even though I am not sure what the rag is for,  I'm thinking that when I need it, I'll be glad I have it. 

I have stalled as long as I can by occupying myself with setting up. Next, I  look around the room. Everyone appears to be happily painting away while I stand before that big, white poster board feeling paralyzed.

My mind turns into a thinking machine and bombards me with questions: Where to start? What to paint? How does this work? Why am I here? What is the point? What color should I use? What if I mess up? How will I know if I mess up? Why did I sign up for this? Why did I think I wanted to paint? Again, why am I here?

Yes, my mind is busy, busy, busy. Out of no where, I hear a soft voice behind me say, “Just paint. Just put some paint on there.” I turn to see the face that matches this supportive voice. It is Nadine Hamil and I trust that she knows what she is talking about since she is one of the assistants who is helping out with the week long retreat. Nadine's words, along with a gentle nodding of her head, give me courage to put paint on the poster even though I have no idea what I will paint.

With butterflies fluttering in my stomach, I do it. I put paint on the poster. My slow hesitance turns into fascination with the way the paint looks on my poster. The chatter in my mind slowly fades. Color begins to take over my poster board and time vanishes as I am deeply pulled into a dance with creativity through the use of paints and a paintbrush. The result is a painting I do not particularly like but I do not care. When I put up a new sheet of poster board, I am eager to paint again!

Sometimes when I stand before yet another blank canvas, I can hear that soft encouraging voice in my head. It belongs to Nadine and it simply says, “Just Paint.”

Beverly Keaton Smith

Monday, June 4, 2012

It Began with Intuition

Flashback - Spring 2011

Why do I have this nagging desire to paint? I am not an artist and I have absolutely no ability to paint. Yet, the call of the paint brush grows louder and remains constant. This urge has my attention even though I do not understand it. 

I resist as long as I can. I am afraid. I can't paint. I will look foolish and feel foolish if I try to paint. I am confused. Where does this desire to paint come from? What is it trying to lead me toward? 

Finally, I give into this unexplainable invitation to paint by enrolling in a Wild Heart painting retreat with Chris Zydel. I dive into the deep sea of mystery by stepping into a week long commitment to paint at beautiful Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. If nothing else, I can go hiking while everyone else is immersed in painting if the whole painting thing does not work out for me. (This is what I tell myself to soothe the part of me that is reluctant to step out of my beloved comfort zone.)

I guess it could be said that my intuition led me to intuitive painting. I trusted the voice of guidance and it did not lead me astray when it pointed me toward Chris's painting retreat. That week created an opportunity for insights, healing, growth and revelations that were reflected to me through the process of intuitive painting. It was one of those turning places in life where I knew something big and powerful was taking place along my path. 


The following testimony is the result of my week at Ghost Ranch with Chris.  It captures the heart of my experience that week and it is posted at CreativeJuiceArts.com

A nagging desire to paint, despite feeling intimidated by the idea of painting, led me to Chris Zydel and Painting From The Wild Heart. Chris's strong ability to create a sacred, safe space along with her gentle guidance paved the way for me to deeply connect with myself. Whenever I felt stuck or uncertain while painting, Chris seemed to magically appear at my side. She knew just what to say to help me go deeper into my intuition and creativity.

Feelings of frustration and confusion evolved into victorious feelings of bliss throughout my deep and satisfying journey into self-discovery.I went from feeling intimidated about painting to feeling completely free to play with creativity and intuition in the midst of color and paint. I connected with lost and neglected pieces of my soul while gaining valuable insights about my authentic self.

The experiential learning, healing and growth that I experienced at Chris's retreat went deep into my bones and the impact will be long lasting. A door flung open and I have been invited and encouraged to boldly follow my heart in a bigger and brighter way.

I am grateful to Chris for her warm hugs, understanding ear and belief in the process of intuitive painting. She is a strong leader and healer and it has been wonderful to experience the gifts she shares with the world. Each one of my paintings serves as a reminder that I can go deeper and further than I ever imagined. That's a huge thing to bring home and hang on the wall! I left the retreat wanting more for myself and feeling certain that I can have it.

With deep gratitude and love,
~Beverly Keaton Smith, CPCC

Friday, June 1, 2012


The blank canvas invites us to slowly slip into dreamtime. We stand before emptiness and wait for our dance with the voice of guidance to begin. Limitations fall away as we give ourselves full permission to dive deep into the dance with color, intuition, imagination, play, courage, laughter, tears and Spirit. What are we left with? Colorful evidence of miracles that connect us more deeply to Spirit and self.

Beverly Keaton Smith 

June 1, 2012