Intuitive art, I have learned, means two very different things. It can mean using our intuition as a guide for creating art; it can also mean using art as a guide to understanding ourselves, a way of communicating with a higher self, a part of our being that is connected to the divine.
In a recent post, I mentioned Awakening Your Creative Soul by Sandra Duran Wilson. The book had been sitting on my “want-to-read” list for quite some time. After making that post, I said “Oh, why not?” and I bought the Kindle version.
I know I have a creative soul, and as far as I know it’s already wide awake, but still I loved the thought of exploring new creative possibilities through a week-by-week journey. I’m already set for “A Year in Art” so why not incorporate Wilson’s ideas, as well?
Wilson’s book is divided into four gateways toward the creative process. These correspond to the seasons of the year. I performed a few mental calculations and ended up at Week 22: Recognizing Intuition.
The suggested exercise for that week involves used teabags, and since I don’t drink tea, I couldn’t follow along exactly as directed. Essentially the idea is to find and/or create visual meaning in random shapes and splotches of tea. Instead of working through the exercise precisely as intended, I thought of ways I’ve previously applied this principle in my own artwork. I’ve done it with ink and I’ve done it using splotches of acrylics on canvases. Sometimes it works. Other times, not so much. It is a helpful practice, though, and I would encourage every artist — no matter the skill level — to sometimes play around with random shapes and colors and see what emerges.
Garden Fantasy was one such intuitive painting. In this photo, I’ve lightened the colors just a bit with an editing program. Intuitively, I wanted a little more light, a slightly more airy feeling to the painting.
When I have random shapes and colors on the canvas, I can often see things and feel things. I can’t always act upon what I see and feel, though. My efforts to turn those splotches of color into something called art often fall short of my vision.
At other times, I’ve tried doing abstracts from intuition, the idea being to simply take a blank canvas, grab a brush and a variety of colors and to paint what I feel.
I quickly discovered I was not good at that sort of intuitive painting. I felt a bit lost, unsure of how to express thoughts and feelings.
I’ve painted along with music, I’ve learned to experience art as a form of meditation, and even so, I still wonder if I understand anything about intuitive art.
So, I went browsing. And here is where I found my higher self — or at least the concept of my higher self. It was at a site called, appropriately enough, Intuitive Art. Here you can learn to create simple art that brings messages from your intuition to your conscious awareness. Your higher self can speak to you through your drawings.
It’s a bit like dream interpretation, I suppose, except that there are no standard guidebooks telling you how to de-code your drawings. There is, however, a color sheet and a meditative process you can go through to determine what colors mean to you — and to your own higher self.
The site offers training — no idea of the cost — but there is also a free online class to help you gain multidimensional clarity and connection. You know me. Always curious. Always willing to try new things. Of course I clicked!
Would I recommend that you do the same? Yes, with a few caveats.
- Honestly, I didn’t care for the speaker. When she immediately started out addressing viewers as “my dear friend”, my hackles went up. I even scribbled on a note pad, “I am not your dear friend.”
- Being bluntly honest again, I found her lengthy discussion of her life experiences boring. I was there for an activity to help me find my way through this process, not to listen to her going on and on about being psychic and whatever else she spoke about. I was already tuning out.
- Yes, indeed, this free class video is a long one. I don’t recall the exact time, but it’s close to an hour, give or take a few minutes. I tried to settle myself into it, to relax, and to enjoy the process. I felt impatient, nevertheless. At some point I did start skipping forward.
- There is a guided meditation to follow, and this is the key to the entire process. Unfortunately — on my computer, at least — all I could really hear was the music. Her voice was so muted, I could make out only a few words. This was the point at which I was supposed to learn what the colors meant to my higher self. I had to give up on the meditation, so I just took the list of colors (a print out from the site) and assigned my own meanings to the colors.
- Learning how to de-code the messages probably won’t be as easy as she makes it appear in her video, so while the process is interesting, the results might be less than you’re looking for.
With all that said, let me share my experience. The process is very simple, indeed. It’s a three-step process:
- Ask a question on which you’d like guidance.
- Do an intuitive drawing.
- De-code the drawing for your answer.
But, wait! How is that intuitive drawing done? Well, this was the fun part. You grab a sketchbook or a sheet of paper — with a comfortable support for drawing. You gather up colorful drawing materials. It could be crayons, colored pencils, markers, or whatever you have close at hand. I used soft pastels.
First, I found a little box, put all the broken bits and pieces of an old soft pastel set into it, and then I took the required deep breath and closed my eyes. Yes, you draw — scribble — without looking. You reach into your box of colors, you choose one, you scribble. You let your hand do the talking. It’s being guided by your higher self, and it will reveal the answers you’re seeking.
In this intuitive process, you’re sensing two feelings:
- You will feel when it’s time to change colors.
- You will feel when it’s time to stop drawing.
I used those feelings as guidance, and I let myself scribble all over the page. And you know what, I was a little shocked when I opened my eyes and found this friendly-looking critter staring up at me.
He reminded me so much of some of the ink monsters I’d drawn during last year’s Inktober challenge! I blinked in surprise, caught off-guard by the fact that my scribbles actually resembled something — which is not the point of the exercise at all. For me, though, it seemed as if my higher self was showing me a very definite answer in a way that I might actually recognize.
So, what was my question? It was about my art, of course. I wanted to know what steps I should take to improve my vision as an artist.
And the meaning of the colors my intuition chose? For me, the orange represents my own creative energy. Blue symbolizes peace. Green suggests nature.
Now, how to interpret the whole thing? Your guess is probably as good as mine. I did have thoughts of “jumping both feet first” into new creative projects, and in looking at it now, I see that the orange — my creativity — seems to form the shape of wings. So, I guess my higher self is telling me to let my creative instincts soar. The peacefulness of nature definitely plays a role here, so maybe my higher self is saying to get outside more, do more plein aire painting, let nature inspire me.
Or maybe this little art monster is just telling me to have more fun. I don’t know. It was an interesting experience, one that I thought I should share. Was it a life-changing experience? No. Will I do it again? Maybe, maybe not. Will it spark new visions in my art? That remains to be seen.
Yes, it was an amusing way to spend a morning. If you decide to give it a try, please share your experiences, too!
Could’ve been worse–could’ve been a Power Point.
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I felt like I wouldn’t be clicking on the link and the “going on and on about being psychic” sealed the deal.
However the idea of finding art in seemingly random ways I think is definitely part of the creative muscle.
Since I started making art a few years ago I notice more and more the shapes, patterns and lines that “could almost be a xxx”. Always noticed to some extent I guess, as everyone does – things like rabbit shapes in the clouds, etc. But it’s definitely increased in frequency since creating art daily.
I’m firmly in the camp of art as an “acquired skill” rather than a “born-with talent” and remember saying to my mum that I wasn’t really much of a creative person. To which she reminded me that I’d built two cars from scratch, built various “things” over the years with wood and metal – it was a useful message to myself to ponder on. Just because I wasn’t making images on paper I hadn’t realised that maybe I was a “creative” person after all. But then again I think everyone is, if they just focused on creating a piece of art rather than creating their next selfie for Facebook.
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I definitely agree that everyone has a creative aspect to their personality. Some just don’t use it regularly, and so they forget that it’s there. Helping others re-discover and explore their own creativity is one of the passions in my life. And as you’ve pointed out, creativity doesn’t only involve arts. My husband is an extremely creative man, but much like you, he expresses his creative abilities through working on and restoring cars, through woodworking, metalworking, leatherworking, and other projects. Needless to say, between the two of us, we make quite a lot of messes — indoors and out!
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