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Rose coloured sunglasses and why you should paint

Why should you paint? I prefer to say ‘why not?” It’s and excellent way to spend time peacefully. You do not need to be super healthy or a certain age. You could be three or a hundred and three.

Sadly, art has the unhelpful image of people having to be brilliant at it. Let me dispel that myth right now. The benefits of art practice come in the doing, long before they come in the end result. We are all naturally makers and ‘do-ers’ – whether it is  cooking, sports, home decoration or (substitute your favourite activity here).

Painting……

  • is fun
  • is relaxing (let me point out here that some people find it stressful but that is because they set their expectations on the outcome instead of the process or the ‘doing’.)
  • is exciting
  • provides stress relief
  • restores a sense of control and purpose
  • can enable you to help others – for example, giving a painting can cheer someone up
  • forms friendship when painting in a group setting
  • has a ripple effect – the happiness you get from it effects those around you
  • provides solace – you are never really alone when you paint
  • provides a form of escape, when things go badly in life you can leap into this private world of comfort
  • is mood changing – think of the yellow of a sandy beach or a deep stormy sky

Now I’ll tell you a story. This Autumn I’ve been leading an art club at my local Primary School having fun with children aged between eight and ten years old. On a handful of occasions some children became very tearful because they had decided that their art was “not good enough”. I could see beautiful art work and they couldn’t. It felt very poignant watching these beautiful little souls being so hard on themselves as they are too young to be deciding what is or isn’t good enough. A lot of us have said this to ourselves at some point in time. This experience reinforced in me my mission to make art accessible to everyone and create that safe place where the inner artist can come into the daylight to learn and grow. Those rose coloured sunglasses need to go back on.

Just playing with colour alone can be really satisfying. These pictures are examples of simple colour flow exercises that I teach in my workshops.  Notice that there is no specific subject. Instead we adopt a position of wonder – “what will this colour do”? I’ve called these Waterfall and Obstacles. 

So why not paint? Consider coming along to my watercolour workshops every Thursday this January. Also available as a Christmas gift voucher for that special someone who needs those rose coloured sunglasses.

Want to know more but can’t make my workshops? The ideas mentioned here come from a fabulous book called ‘Paint Yourself Calm’ by Jean Haines which I can highly recommend. 

My name is Glenda Strong and my business is Illustrating Interiors.

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