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:
- Take the hit and put away your paint brush forever.
- Let the bullets cripple you and take away the joy of playing.
- Dance with the bullets while painting through the discomfort they bring
- 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