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Why is Painting so Relaxing? Mindful Painting for Relaxation


Why is Painting So Relaxing?

Before I created Artanda and adopted the transformative Mindful Painting approach, I had a different attitude towards painting and did not find painting so relaxing! Not at all!

Ego, pressure, and constant need for validation ruined my art practice. I reached a point where art felt more like a burden than a passion and quitting seemed like the only option.

 It was during a retreat that I confided in the retreat mentor and his advise helped me see art from an entirely new perspective. 

What if, instead of fixating on the outcome, I placed emphasis on the practice itself?

Since then,  I have transformed my relationship with creativity and it is my joy to share my seven-stage Mindful Painting method with you. 

Mindful Painting is for you even if relaxation feels FAR removed from how you currently feel! Mindful Painting is for you even if you have never considered yourself an artist or feel disconnected from your creativity.

So why is the Artanda Method of Painting so relaxing? In this video I share my own painting practice with you.

Stage One: Design your space for a Painting practice that is so relaxing: Creating a Calm Space for painting relaxation.

Why is Painting so relaxing? Candles can help create a relaxing space for Mindful Painting.

Relaxation kicks in right from the start by crafting a serene painting environment. I’ve prepared my space and lit a calming candle. Normally, I’ve also got some soothing music going in the background. Our space sets the tone for an ambiance that nurtures your artistic expression.

Stage Two: Meditative Contemplation : a key part of why Mindful Painting is so relaxing.

Someone looking closely. Looking closely can make a Mindful Painting practice more relaxing.

Before I paint, I’m going to look really closely at the colors, lights, and shadows in my artwork. Each practice, I try and find Blue, Yellow and Red hues within my work. This focus, helps me slow down, observe closely and truly appreciate the details we often overlook or take for granted. And YES , I can pretty much always find Red, Blue and Yellow within any subject or colour photograph. 

Stage Three: Mindful Drawing for relaxation.

A girl Mindfully Drawing. She is so relaxed.

Drawing is a meditative practice. I try to work to some kind of rhythm, sometimes the rhythm of my breath to capture lines without judgment. I track a line on my subject or photograph, either on the air or on the photocopy and then transfer it over to my paper, scaling up, down or working to size. I’ll go into more detail on this separately. 

Stage Four: Embracing the Unpredictable : Why is Paining so relaxing when we embrace watercolours natural quality?!

Why is painting so relaxing when we watch the colours merge?

I LOVE this stage. I’m working wet into wet to Embrace the undoneness. At this stage - it always looks like a glorious mess, that’s just part of the process. Knowing that I can savour the process without fixating on the outcome. Watching as colors merge. It’s so satisfying, it’s so relaxing. 

Step Five: Balancing for a Relaxing Result : Finding balance is an important part of what makes Painting so relaxing.

Students finding a balance with watercolour at a relaxing Artanda Mindful Painting class.

Once my paper has dried a little, I add in some firmer lines. Finding painting relaxing really comes from understanding your relationship with the materials. It’s not about forcing control and it’s not actually about our virtuosity or talent. It’s about having a conversation with the watercolour and keeping a balance in the dialogue , so we’re not trying to overpower the beautiful quality of watercolour. As every surfer knows, Water is a dynamic element - and there has to be that element of respect and listening when we engage with it. 

Step Six: Less is More! (Accents and Restraints!) Brevity and restraint are so important when it comes to making a painting practice relaxing!

An outcome of an Artanda Mindful Painting class

I’m finishing off my painting with ink, using the brush and nib-pen mindfully. Work with sensitivity and restraint, realizing that sometimes, doing less alleviates stress from your practice.

Step Seven: Complete your relaxing painting practice with gratitude!

Gratitude is an important part of an Artanda Mindful Painting class and can help make painting relaxing.

I’m going to finish my practice by noticing three things that I am grateful for in this moment. 

Artanda is a Mindful Painting School based in London, offering in-person, online and 1-1 classes.

1 Comment

This is so true. Thank you for saying it.

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