Intuitive painting is inclusive and is perfect for the beginner artist because it is simply acting on impulses that come from within. It is the perfect way, in my opinion, to just play around with the paint, brushes, and other tools or items you find and explore!
Intuitive Painting for Beginners: “The Lean”
What exactly does it mean when I say, “Lean into the Intuitive process?” It’s sometimes easier for me to demonstrate this with paint rather than with words, so I’m going to try to “paint with words” to help you create a visual reference in your mind.
When someone embraces who or what they naturally are, they are living authentically and truthfully going about every day just being who they are. They are recognized as their own unique person for these qualities. For instance, there are some famous people that are known for their unique features or interests. Who comes to your mind when I mention a large nose? A space between their front teeth? Hmmm… What if I say the word “shiplap,” or the phrase “happy trees?” All of these phrases should have prompted you to imagine a specific person.
Each artist has a certain way they choose to apply paint (this applies to all creatives, not just painters) and move it on their canvas. Some use brushes, some knives, some may choose their fingers or even throw the paint on. When I think of paint being thrown onto the canvas my mind immediately goes to artist Jackson Pollock, who is known for his energetic, high contrast black and white splatter paintings. He is one of the first abstract painters I was obsessed with that I would truly call an intuitive painter. He simply painted what he was feeling and he was fearless as he painted! Pollock described his process saying, “When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing… I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.”
“Press Into It”
Every creative has a unique application or process and, like Jackson Pollock, we need to push into that intuitive feeling and not run away from it. Just Imagine if Pollock had been too fearful to throw his paint because of what people would say or think of him? Many times it’s the very urge you have hiding deep in your soul that blossoms and refines into something pretty darn amazing… If you’re courageous enough to press into it! This aspect of intuitive painting can be difficult for beginners; it is hard enough to trust your intuition, let alone lean into the things that we might be afraid to share with the world. But magic happens when we press on that idea…
When you show up to create in your authentic truth and allow the rawness, the love, the hurt, happiness and all the “feels” to escape onto your canvas… That, my friend, is when you are truly experiencing the “lean into the intuitive process.” What is it that just makes your own soul sing? I think of my own experiences as I create, as I ease into the movements and gradually feel my body feeling full of comfort and then eventually excitement! All awareness of any physical pain my body may normally have disappears, the worries and fears that can consume my thoughts at various times throughout my day vanish, and anxiety diminishes! This is how I can gauge my own progress and development throughout my work.
I even have the same experience when I’m teaching, as this same synergy bounces around from one person to the next, the attendees each having the same experience, and I see and hear the shift change right before my eyes!
I hope that this has helped you to mentally open up and try to create in a new way, free from judgment! I look forward to teaching you so much more about this exciting and emotional process of creating intuitively in the next blog posts to come! Before you get started on your next piece, indulge me by answering a few questions. Who were the people you thought of with my visual prompts above and what are your thoughts of Jackson Pollock’s fearless process to his artwork? What makes your heart and soul just sing when you’re creating? Is it bold layers of color? Is it freeflow brushstrokes? Maybe – like Pollock – you enjoy the layered splatters that dance across the canvas? There is no wrong answer, just your authentic truth.
Until next time, keep showing up and leaning into YOUR intuitive process!
Kelly Wiler is an Ohio artist that has been creating and practicing art since she was a young girl inspired by her art teacher. Kelly teaches many different styles of paint classes and workshops, she specializes in the Intuitive Art process as a way to push her students to new levels of awareness in their own artistic journey. She lives with her husband Jeff and their daughter Cassidy. View Kelly’s Full Bio