Art Therapy - Getting Started
I was in my late 30’s when I first started to paint. Prior to this time I had no intentions of becoming an artist nor did it ever occur to me that I could even paint! All I knew was that I loved being creative and I loved to be surrounded by colour.
One day it happened! The hands of fate took over and I was introduced to the world of art. It was a Tuesday evening and I had decided to go for an evening stroll. Just as I was walking past a local community space, I saw a group of people painting together. My eye caught this image like nothing else. In that instant, my entire body simply started to walk towards the front door of that space. For a few minutes my mind stopped thinking and my body and intuition took over. As I stepped into the community center a kind and smiling person approached me and asked me if I was interested to join the group for a bit of painting. I said yes and two years later I became an Art Therapist.
My first painting was anything but “pretty” (see picture below), not that art is ever about “good/bad”. I realized straight away that copying someone else’s work was not for me. I felt an instant need to to express myself in whatever shape and form. I needed to feel free in my painting process. For me this has been crucial in order to fully embrace myself from within. Ever since I can recall, life has felt somwhat restricted: going through an education system that was all about order, discipline and following rules followed by working in organisations and offices that mirrored those similar principles. I was no longer interested in drinking or partying my way into a false sense of “freedom”. My soul started to create authenticity and truth. Art Therapy and intuitive painting helped me disover just that. From the moment I started to create, by feeling my way across the canvas, building a relationship with my intuition and playing with colors and shapes, images and patterns would somehow present themselves to me.
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life.” (Pablo Picasso)
What matters most is not what you are creating nor the goal of finishing a painting but rather to enjoy the journey and allow yourself to be present as you behind to create a deeper connection with yourself. The key with art therapy and intuitive painting is to practice letting go of judgement, urgency, fear of not being good enough, comparison and expectations over and over again. In the words of Pablo Picasso “Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life”. The key in pursuing anything your heart desires lies in taking small daily actions, one step at a time and letting of of the outcome.
“As I create and listen I will be led. As I listen to my creativity I am led to my creator. I am willing to learn to let myself create. I am willing to experience my creative energy. My creativity always leads me to truth and love”
Sarah is a Psychotherapist, Mental Health Social Worker, Art Therapist, Artist and Writer. She is also the Practice Manager at Mental Awakening.