You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul. ~ George Bernard Shaw
The intuitive painting process unfolding. Here is Ileana participating in her first four hour workshop in intuitive painting. She had never painted before.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Intuitive Painting?
Intuitive painting is an opportunity to explore the inner self through the creative process in a safe, critic free environment. It is not a painting technique or method. The main premise of intuitive painting is to tune in to your own unique creative process whilst releasing attachment to meaning, control, expertise or final product. This approach to painting is focused on mindfulness, creative permission and the act of spontaneous expression. There is no prior painting experience necessary. Stemming from a deep belief that creativity is fundamental to human health and well-being, it can be enlightening, invigorating, deeply moving, playful, fun and cathartic. Through the painting process we learn to acknowledge that anything that comes up is coming up to be healed.
For a deeper understanding of intuitive painting, check out my past mentor and wild heart queen, Chris Zydel's definition.
What does an Intuitive Painting class look like?
In an intuitive painting class, participants paint in a silent, safe, confidential and judgment-free space. Here they are invited to simply be with themselves, much like a meditation. Participants may paint on the wall or a table; whatever modality meets their needs. All painting materials are supplied so as not to inhibit the painting process. Classes begin with a guided awareness practice to center and align and may involve authentic movement. Participants will have the opportunity to check in before and after class, expressing anything that is coming up for them in that moment or as a result of their experience. Participants are invited to journal after their painting process as writing can often integrate and ground the work.
Are there any rules?
The guidelines (as opposed to rules) are:
- We paint in silence in the studio
- Please refrain from making comments on other peoples work. Positive or negative, the critic loves recognition.
- Please check in with the facilitator when you feel you are complete with a painting. We will go through a completion process and then you may sign your painting, taking ownership of your process.
- Sometimes intense emotions and feeling may arise when painting…laughter, anger, sadness. All emotions are welcome. Allow them to move through you in the safety of the studio.
What is the role of the facilitator?
My role as facilitator is to function as a ‘compassionate witness’ by creating a safe, grounded and judgment free space for creative and authentic expression to occur. In this space, I accept all participants with unconditional positive regard. Once this safe space is established, I support and guide the participant’s process by checking in with them individually in a continued non-verbal space, holding the belief that we are all innately creative and have within us the gifts of self-direction, awareness and insight.
What are the objectives of Intuitive Painting?
- Provide participants a safe place to express themselves non-verbally in a non-judgmental environment
- Provide an environment in which external evaluation is absent
- Inspire participants to reconnect authentically with themselves
- Invite participants to experience the innate wisdom of their body
- Engage and inspire participants in their innate creative and intuitive abilities.
- Provide participants with an embodied experience of self-care and nurturing their spirit.
- Provide a safe space for participants to express difficult emotions in a healthy way.
- Provide a community in which participants needs and desires may be seen and heard.
- Experience the presence of releasing the product and ‘being’ in your process
What tools will I learn? How will I benefit?
Aside from the practical skills related to painting such as mixing paints, experimenting with various brushes and painting techniques and being responsible for your studio space, you will learn to use tools of an inward nature - related to self knowledge, self awareness and self exploration.
You will also have the opportunity to embody and practice the experience of listening to your intuitive voice and acting upon it as well as expressing your feelings and emotions through paint. Over time, you will begin to recognize that when we give ourselves permission to listen within and express our emotions – even the difficult ones – in a safe and healthy way, their energy is released and can transform as we reconnect with our centre. In the safe environment of the painting studio, you will have the opportunity to:
- Gain self esteem
- Recognise and shift old patterns and less-than-serving beliefs
- Listen to and trust your own intuitive voice and act upon it
- Experience creative freedom
- Tap into the internal well of creativity, power and life force energy that is within
- Trust in your process
- Take creative risks
- Feel empowered as you explore the unknown (endless possibilities and potential)
- Explore and exercise your imagination
- Learn tools to move through creative blocks
- Learn to keep the inner critic from sabotaging your creativity (life)
- Experience the present moment
- Explore your sense of mystery and wonder
How can engaging in an Intuitive Painting class enrich my daily life?
All of the tools and benefits that you take away with you can be translated to and inform your daily life and self-knowledge. In many ways, this process mirrors our path through life: overcoming that which is blocking us from fully expressing our authentic selves, trusting our intuition, self-acceptance, self-awareness, being with and moving through emotion in healthy ways, exploring our imagination, taking creative risks, and realizing and acknowledging our needs, gifts and creative potential. Through this process, these teachings and insights are embodied by you from within and have the potential to transform.
Where can I learn more about Intuitive Painting?
- Cassou, Michell, and Stewart Cubley. Life, Paint and Passion: Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression. New York: Jeremy P Tarcher/Putnam Book, 1995.
- Cassou, Michele. Point Zero: Creativity without Limits. New York: Jeremy P Tarcher/Putnam Book, 2001.
- Bowley, Flora. Brave Intuitive Painting - Let Go, Be Bold, Unfold: Techniques For Uncovering Your Own Unique Painting Style. USA: Quarry Books, 2012
- McNiff, Shaun. Trust the Process. Shambhala Publications, 1998.
- Rogers, Natalie. The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing. Paolo Alto, CA: Science and Behaviour books, 1993.
- Rogers, Natalie. The Creative Connection for Groups: Person Centered Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change. Paolo Alto, CA: Science and Behaviour books, 2011