What is Intuitive Painting?
Intuitive painting or process painting as it is sometimes referred to, is painting without a plan, following our own internal urges and intuition. It’s all about the process, not the product and anyone can do it – not just ‘creative people’ or ‘artists’ (pst..we are all innately creative and I believe we are all artists). We use big sheets of paper and tempera/poster paint. By using these materials instead of more expensive materials such as acrylic or oil paint and canvases we are freer to express ourselves without fear of getting it wrong.
Our intuition speaks to us in colour, shape and image and our job during the intuitive painting process is to quieten the rational, logical, judging mind so that we can tune into the intuitive voice and its prompts. When we listen to our intuition and follow its guidance by painting the colour, shape or image it suggests, we start to open ourselves up to infinite wisdom about ourselves. When we can quieten our judging inner critic voice the one that says things like - ‘that doesn’t make sense, that doesn’t look right or fit there, people will think I’m crazy or weird’ and tune into our intuition and follow it, we can become deeply enchanted by what appears before us.
The intuitive painting process can be fun, frustrating, challenging, powerful, meaningful and above all is guaranteed to bring us deep into who we are and what wants to be expressed. It is a meditative, spiritual practice requiring us to be present, to allow ourselves to show up authentically and to be seen on the page. It takes courage to be with ourselves in this way and to be open to the full spectrum of what will want to be witnessed, but the rewards of this bravery will ripple out into our day to day lives.
The intuitive painting process offers endless opportunities to know ourselves more deeply and to see our lives and souls reflected back to us from the page.
What I love about the intuitive painting process
What I love most about the intuitive painting process is its capacity to keep surprising me and engaging me over and over again. Each time I pick up the brush in the spirit of this practice I know that I am being led deeper into myself and all I have to do is keep my ego and inner critic at bay and stay in the moment. When I truly can be in my body, feeling my feelings and noticing the sensations and urges I have whilst painting, I can tap into the wisdom that is always there to guide me back to myself.
I love when I tap into the flow and there is no rational thinking involved. My body is just moving the brush and choosing colours and the shapes and images are just appearing on the paper in front of me.
I love challenging myself to trust the brush and not engage with my logical mind which wants to direct me to make aesthetic adjustments to the painting. It is freeing not to have to tweak the painting to make it ‘look good’. My soul doesn’t care if it looks perfect, it just cares that the image, feeling or impression is expressed.
When painting with others, the practice of not commenting on other’s work and knowing that others won’t comment on my work really creates an environment where I feel I can create authentically and freely without judgement. It helps me to release my own judgement about what is coming through and stay with the energy of the next right action.
In the intuitive painting practice, my paintings are for myself only. I don’t need to explain them or have them make sense for others or myself for that matter. Engaging with the process of creating the paintings is where the transformation happens. Before working with this intuitive painting process I very much wanted my paintings to have a message for me and I would grasp hold of any stories that started to appear as I painted. This happened for me in the intuitive painting process too but I practised letting go of the story to make way for the next right action and was always rewarded with surprising shifts and changes revealing what really needed to come through. This whole process for me really is about getting my dominant thinking mind to take a backseat and let my powerful intuitive knowing lead the way and direct my actions.
I love that these practices are not only so powerfully transformative in the painting process but also in my everyday life too. When I practice mindfully tapping into where I have energy and follow that energy into action, my life flows more and is more aligned with my purpose and how I want to be in the world. This practice helps me feel more centred and powerful, knowing that I don’t have to figure things out and force solutions. I can trust that I will be guided and that everyone I love also has the innate wisdom and capacity to be guided in their lives too. I can let go of trying to control the outcome of everything and let things unfold in their own perfect ways.