"Every painting is a voyage into a sacred harbour."Giotto di Bondone
Painting can be precise, expressive, messy, detailed, expansive, subtle, bold, realistic, abstract, technical, intuitive, etc etc. Here are 20 best reasons to love painting in all its forms.
1. First and foremost, painting is so much fun and brings a great deal of pleasure!
2. You can paint on a small budget. Cheaper art supplies can be fine for beginners. Even artist quality watercolour sets are often reasonably priced. Craft acrylics are also a great option to consider in order to own a good range of colours at a low price. For example Paper Artsy Fresco acrylics.
3. Using colour is therapeutic. When I was studying art therapy we often carried out exercises where we would just paint with one colour for a whole session of wet-in-wet watercolour painting. I was amazed at the strength of the different emotional, mental and even physical responses I had to the colours. Different colours are said to have different emotional qualities but we also each have a unique personal response to each colour. Sometimes the colours that we like the least are the ones that are beneficial to work with to bring our energy fields into balance. If you would like to try following along with short videos to guide you using each of the colours in turn, try this great 21 day journey with Whitney Freya.
4. You can use painting therapeutically to process emotions. I often start an art journal page by just writing my current feelings on the page before I paint over it. Many people weren’t taught as children how to identify and express emotions. Painting can bring these feelings out so that they can be recognised and integrated. Also by using certain colours, collage, styles of painting and process, you can powerfully work through emotions and blockages on the page or canvas. You may even find that you can express feelings and emotions that you weren’t previously able to find words for. If you are processing very difficult emotions or experiences it may be advisable to work with an art therapist.
“Painting is the passage from the chaos of the emotions to the order of the possible.” Balthus
5. When you get immersed in painting and are in the flow, it is incredibly meditative. The increased attention to detail increases mindfulness. Time takes on a different quality and aches and pains fall away. There is only you and the page/canvas and blissful feelings may arise!
6. Painting reduces and releases stress. A study carried out at Drexel University by the assistant Creative Arts Therapy professor investigated the effect of making art on stress levels. The results, (published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association) showed that art making resulted in statistically significant lowering of cortisol levels.
7. You can paint portraits or self-portraits as gifts for friends and family. It is fun to paint your pets too!
15. The fine motor skills needed to hold a paintbrush make painting a great activity for elderly people to help them keep their brain pathways healthy. It is also useful to help treat physical, cognitive and neurological issues stemming from physical illness such as strokes.
Here is a challenge:
Find a simple you tube painting video that you like and follow along.
Post about how the experience was for you below in the comments section. How did you feel before and afterwards? Did you have any strong emotional responses to the colours used? Post your images too if you are comfortable to share.