Friday, February 6, 2015

Art Therapy Lesson 6: Free Form Painting

For this week's lesson I wanted to focus on relaxation and how will be do that some of you may be asking, well, we are going to complete three paintings in 30 minutes. Insert the panic here for some, but hear me out. 
To get us in the state of relaxation, we will be doing a body scan first. Body scans are widely used in the mediation field to help one become more aware of their breathing and on their body. It helps the mind the slow down and to allow ourselves to accept whatever creativeness that manifests itself. For this exercise I want you to focus on relaxing so there is no judgements here. There is no statements like "I can not paint" or "I am not an artist" or "I am not creative enough". We are all creative. Our self doubt and judgements are what gets in our way of our process. So, change those statements to more positive ones.

I can paint.
I am an artist.
I am creative.
1. The Bunny Hop 2. The Slayer 3. The Winter Blues
Ok. Here we go.
First prepare your supplies. We will be doing three paintings. I used my ink pads as my medium and three sheets of plain white card stock. I stamped my inks onto some acrylic blocks when you add some water the ink becomes a great medium and the clean up is so easy.

Once your supplies are out get ready to mediate a bit. I like to use some soft tranquil music in the background during this exercise. I stream a zen station via Pandora, but you can use whatever you find to be relaxing or no music at all if thats what you prefer.

The scan is simple. Close your eyes and take a few deep breathes. Become aware of the air coming in. How does it feel through your nose and entering your lungs. Do you see a color? Focus on the way your belly goes in and out. How does your chest lift up and down? Starting at your feet, feel how they are placed on the ground feel your breath rising through your toes and to your ankles. Feel it as it travels through your calfs into your knees. Watch it as it continues to travel through your thighs and your hips into your stomach. Take a few more deep breathes. If you have any other thoughts coming in gently acknowledge them and push them away. Feel the air in your lungs and as it travels and fills your heart. It continues to move up and out through your nose and fills your mind. Sit with this moment for a little bit. Take one more deep breath and now lets paint.

Get your brush ready with some ink or paint (whichever you chose) and close your eyes. Doodle on your paper. When you feel as though you are done open your eyes. Now exam your drawing. Do you see anything in it. Turn it around a few times until you can make something out of it. Again no pressure! As you can see here in this painting I saw a bunny. Once you find something use your supplies to paint it. Do twice more (just the paintings not the scan). Name your paintings.

Notice how did you feel during the second and third paintings. Were you more relaxed in the third? For me I found my third painting to be the easiest. I am not sure if it was because of how I felt or that it was just that my creative mind found something beautiful in the scribbles effortlessly unlike the first two. It is also my favorite. I called it "The Winter Blues" which is kinda how I am feeling with all this snow surrounding us New Englander's as of late. 
The point of this exercise is to boost your creativity through relaxing your judgements and being in a somewhat Zen state.

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