"You don't make art, you find it." - Pablo Picasso
Good Monday Ladies! This week we'll be stepping into our discussion on Intuition. Now this may be one of those trigger words wherein you feel a spark of excitement, or it could be one of those words that sounds like pulling a rabbit out of a hat and you're not buying the gig. Either way, I believe it is a vital part of creating and here's why:
Working with your intuition is just another way of compiling inspiration as well as information. Last week we began by exercising our conscious minds, actively looking, remembering, thinking, deducing. When we begin exercising our gut feelings, our intuition, or our subconscious mind, we engage an all new section of our mind's capacity for thought. Double your brain power!
If you've ever had the experience of working on a piece of art and really feeling like you need to use red even though you never use red, or that it needs to be bigger even though you always work smaller, then you've felt your intuition. Sometimes we don't know (and don't need to know) exactly why we've done something until after it's done. And sometimes not even then. That's intuition! For me, much of my work has a balance of elements that I've really looked close at, that I've drawn out, played with in my mind, that have meanings and associations for me, AS WELL AS elements that just felt really, really good. Sometimes as I work on the piece (or even after I finish it) I realize why the background to that painting needed to be salmon pink, or why those three very different stones needed to be placed together on that ring. Sometimes I just know I love it. And here's the deal: Each reason (or lack of "reason" as the case may be) is just as valid as the other! The most important thing here is that, as we develop a piece of art, we keep "checking in" with ourselves and asking "does this feel good? Ok! Let's keep at it then."
This week we're going to start checking in with what feels good and exercising that intuition muscle. Like everything else, actively hearing your intuition is a practice that few people simply grow up with - it is a skill that can be developed. When I say "checking in" I think about stepping out of my own way and seeing what flows. If I'm in the studio, what I physically do is this: Let's say I'm trying to decide what color paint to squeeze onto my palette. I'll place one hand on my belly (because I swear, my intuition does not reside in my brain) and see, or really, feel in my body what color jumps out. It might be just the tiniest squawk of "viridian green" or it might be a shout that bellows "hansa yellow!" Either way, I don't over analyze if it's the "right" color, I just let it feel right.
Of course we can exercise our intuition pretty much anywhere we are, studio or no!
Week 2: Working with what feels good.
Your first home[play] of Week 2 will be to exercise that intuition! I'd like you to plan out some time this week - it'd be great if you can find an hour to dedicate to this, but even 10 minutes will do - and schedule yourself an artist date/ personal hour. While I find it helpful to have a place to start, past that, you will not be scheduling out every detail of where you'll go and what you'll do. Instead, you'll be checking in with yourself every time even a small decision arrises and really feeling out what just feels good. Bring your sketchbook and pencils, maybe your camera too, just to have them at the ready in case your intuition requires them!
Here are some ideas for your artist date:
- Start with a walk around your neighborhood, a local park or a trail system. Walk a little slower than normal, keeping your eyes open, and every time you reach an intersection or a junction in the path, check in. Which direction feels right? Is there a tiny tug in your belly to turn to the left or right? Do you want to stop and just sit under that tree or turn back and go really study those poppy pods? Do It!
- Head to your local coffee shop, wine bar, or cafe. Don't just autopilot when you order, check in and feel out what you really want. Does it feel right to stay there and write in your sketchbook or journal? Does it actually feel more right to get a beverage to go and then enjoy it someplace else?
- Visit your local art store (I know, danger! danger!) and head to the area that holds your favorite medium (paint, pencils, inks, etc.). Check in and feel out what individual color shouts out to you. Is it just barely a shade off of your favorite color back home? Is it a wild neon green that doesn't even "look" like you? Take that baby home. Your intuition wants to play with it.
- The above ideas are just a starting place - feel MORE than free to create your own artist date! The only rules here are (1) you must do something that feels good, (2) just give yourself a starting point or place - leave the rest open for listening to what feels right and (3) keep checking in with yourself, your body - remember that hand on the belly - and your intuition!
All we're doing here is raising awareness of our intuition because through awareness, we can develop trust. And when we begin trusting our intuition, so many of those small questions of doubt begin shrinking in size because we KNOW it feels right. Right in our bellies.
Get out there, don't over think it, and make it feel good!