art therapy

On intuitive painting (art as therapy)

Today I'd like to share my approach to painting with you which can be described as intuitive painting. When I make art I strive to get in touch with my emotions and then to express those emotions through creative process of painting freely and without any restrictions.
I almost never plan my art ahead but usually just before I start a new piece I take a moment to get in touch with myself and to pose some questions. I literally ask myself what do you need to express today? or how are are you feeling right now, are you sad, angry or are you happy are you joyful or perhaps indifferent or bored? Usually, intuitively I do get some kind of answer like oh I'm feeling a bit melancholic or maybe I'm slightly nervous or perhaps I'm feeling excited about something. Whatever it is I accept it and then I move on to the next step which is going a little bit deeper inward. If, for example the answer was oh I'm slightly nervous and edgy, then I continue to ask myself: ok how does this nervousness feel like? and I try to describe it in as much detail as possible.  I will go on by asking something like, does this nervousness feel like being bitten by a swarm of pesky mosquitoes, or does it feel like being stuck in a traffic jam on a hot summer's day in a car without air conditioning? or maybe it feels like wanting to scratch my own skin or not being able to sit still longer than 30 sec? I do that to get the most accurate description of how I'm feeling in order to fully connect to the mood or emotion so that I can eventually release it through painting, so I can paint it out. So after I answer those questions and intuitively get answers that feel accurate and right and after I have fully embraced my mood or feeling then I go further and ask specifically what is the color of this feeling, for example is this nervousness muted, sickly yellow of being sick to my stomach or is it bright electric blue of being super-high strung? If the answer is blue then I dip my brush into blue ink and start to paint. Sometimes I ask what is the texture of this feeling? Is it smooth or is it rough? Or can this emotion be represented by a pattern? What is this pattern, is it thousands of tiny bubbles about to burst or is it a forest of tall triangles that feel like sharp knifes? Whatever answer comes to mind first, I accept it and proceed to paint. So, if the feeling can be depicted by thousand tiny bubbles I will go on and paint them. I don't overthink the answers I just go ahead and paint them.
This practice is also very therapeutic because it helps me to get in touch with my emotions, to process them and eventually release them though painting. I found this to be very healthy and effective way of dealing with stress but also it helps in dealing with some more serious issues like some deep emotional pain or irrational fears or anxiety.  This approach to painting also has helped me greatly in getting to know myself better and it helped me in process of recovery after I have experienced some traumatic events in my life. Since this kind of painting is an intuitive and not so much a mental process and I am very intuitive, emotional person I find it very energizing and rewarding and almost effortless. It helped me a lot and I hope that if you choose to give this approach a go, it would help you as well or that you would at least have fun with it :)