You don’t have to go by the name Van Gogh to paint!! Notes on spontaneous, intuitive, non-perfectionistic artmaking

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First of all: Happy Friday!

I know, I knooow not everyone is as happy as I am and has today off…

I want to share a few thoughts on artmaking. Many, many wise people (,who have written wonderful books even, but we’ll come to that in a bit) have already put it out there:

you don’t have to know about composition, technique, the whole theoretical stuff to create a painting…may it be on a


crayons (Photo credit: dyetochange)


canvas or

a sketchbook

or a huge piece of paper attached to the ground,

an old wooden drawer you found on the street (one of my favourites!!) and which Kind of already gives you this 3 dimensional Impression simply by being a drawer …

As someone who cried when a kindergarten teacher mistook my fairy for a “tree with wrong colours” … and a 16 year old back then who was closed to being paid by her…well…very extravagant art teacher just to quit her arts classes ^^ … I perceived myself – for a while – as someone who is well advised to stay away from Crayons, brushes, paper, canvas.

Thank god there were other experiences as well, and especially in the past few years, even after having started to teach art to Special School students all ages…..

it seemingly started to rain hints and Inspiration!

It’d be a way-too-long post..oh wait … sadly, the word “Inspiration” is being used a lot lately, very often in very purple-sparkle-esoteric-ish ways…. it makes me a little sad but then again I come to think of the meaning of the word. In-spire, like putting Spirit into you. How precious is that? It takes away the sparkle again and me to a more peaceful mood 🙂IMG_1548 (638x800)

There is a bunch of artists who might make you get to the next art supplies store and start, because they teach a way of painting, which is just connecting with the creativity each and every one of us has already in us!

Add photography (and YES, you do find outstanding ways to take photos within a short while!) as it is…or can be… next to painting another really fulfilling creation process.

-Let’s start with the photography. There’s this book I read. Not because of photography, but because she has a really  beautiful  column in the new Magazine “The Simple Things”:

Susannah Conway’s “this i know”

This is what you can read on your Website about her book:

“This book is about unraveling the layers of our lives, delving beneath the surface in order to better understand ourselves, our relationships, and our path. Author Susannah Conway uncovered this process following a tragedy—the sudden death of the man she loved. In sharing her journey of self-discovery first through her blog, then her online courses, and now in these pages, she reveals how grief reshaped her life and led her to reconnect with her creativity, make peace with her past, and learn to appreciate herself.

This is a guidebook of sorts, a collection of thoughts and theories, each chapter culminating in a small creative exercise for the reader to reflect upon and apply to her own life. The author’s signature dreamy Polaroid images are also included throughout. Conway reminds readers that they are not alone, that living mindfully is a process, and that unraveling is not about coming undone or losing control, but rather letting go in the best possible way. By untangling the knots that hold you back, unearthing the potential that’s always been there and ditching the labels and should-haves you can let yourself be who you were always meant to be.”

And while you’re at it, go visit her photography chapter as well, just sit down and dream away (and maybe do the same as I did and go ask around for a Polaroid camera)

And then there’s :


let me introduce Flora Bowley, my very “art-Guru” to you by this Video Clip:

Her Motto: “Let go, be bold, unfold”

How I came across her? I got her book “Brave intuitive painting”

as a gift from someone who knows me very well. It took days just to look at the beautiful photos of painting processes, of art supplies and Flora’s paintings. You learn how to paint with old rugs, fingers, dip your brush in different colours and just …Play!…or spray water on your acrylic creation to add extra effects..

What I like so much about Flora’s art teaching (go to her Website for courses, both personal and e-courses) is how she first sets the mood, with a favourite record, to which she Dances or some yoga Stretches … You just have to read all this, her book is a real gem.

Here are a few things Susannah and Flora (mostly, but also the mixed media Artist Sarah Ahearn Bellamare)  inspired me to do and which Kind of stuck with me:

  • go for an aimless walk/wandering, take your camera with you, pay Attention to surrounding shapes (for example heart shapes in rocks), or colours, or signs of the season you are just in and its typical colours, your Initials or words you love, for example in shop windows or such
  • Keep a Journal, write, Scribble, make Little doodles to express yourself, take an envelope with you to collect flowers, a Flyer from a shop with something worth becoming a clipping…
  • Before starting to paint: get out a table full of art supplies, clippings, templates, rugs, old tooth brushes, bubble wrap (great for colour printing!!) etc etc.
  • Then: light a candle, make sure you sit down in an upright and comfy Position, enjoy some conscious breeaths… or do a yoga Stretch or two (I love the tree for this occasion)
  • Try. Try colour combinations. Paint with Crayons like a four year old and listen to the Sound the Crayons make on the ground (I got -thanks to my teacher Max Bailly) a wooden board to which I stick my papers, it’s a lovely Sound – this click and clack of the Crayons hitting Wood and the board does resonate with you. I promise
  • I sure hope that this blog entry expressed what I intended to: the fulfilment of being spontaneously, intuitively, bravely creative and that you are very very welcome to let go of your inner demons which tell you this is silly … (Tell them to go where the sun don’t shine. 🙂
  • What’s the worst thing that can happen? You are not going to like what you see. Gee. This is why I love Mixed Media Artmaking. You can still attach some beautiful clipping on top of a “painting accident” if you really feel like it. You can add contours in a colour which is complementary to the Background or you can just allow yourself to and that’s fine, too. 🙂 Go on then and Keep creating. Enjoy the process, don’t think of the result. Be surprised by what you will end up with. It’s like travelling a new area over and over again. And so worth it!!


Categories: colours, intuitive artmaking, life, photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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