Evolving Creatively Means Letting Go In Art, Letting Go In Life! 

Maybe you’re like me and in need of some fresh ideas on keeping your art alive and exciting?   

Over the years, I have lived such a routine, structured, and organized life that my default setting seems to take me to my safe zone when things get off. It’s reflected in my drawing, painting, my life. There appears to be no freedom in it. It’s no fun to paint myself into a box. 

Hopefully, I can help you with your painting by challenging you in creative ways to step out of the norm for something fun!

As for our schedules, maybe you are home on vacation or counting the days until your summer holidays begin. Whatever the case…my routine gets scattered, and so does my brain. Oh no, what do I do? I think. I grab at straws for some control.

I’ve learned where this comes from for me. Much of my life has been around our family, running our businesses, myself, and other family members serving in our community. If you know anything about juggling all of these or similar plates, you know life can get very structured, even rigid and routine.

I’m not saying that discipline is our enemy as they have their place in life. But could you imagine if everything were without order? We’d have chaos.

BUT the creative life is about balance…LIVING. We all need to relax, have fun, do what we love, and break free of rules for a while. There is freedom in learning to let go some more.

What is it that are we “letting go” of?

Letting go means different things for each of us. Painting is a gentle, non-invasive tool that has taught me how to let go. For you, it could be:

  •  fear, control
  • Routine – old ideas and opinions
  • the anxiety of blank canvas, need for a plan
  • Expectations and demands that are greater than anything I can accomplish on my own 
  • The need to succeed
  • that little voice that says it’s not good enough, no one will want that, that it’s ugly.

What letting go of is.

It is choosing to step into a space of freedom and embracing yourself, and whatever that means. Letting your creative facet of you step forward and have a voice through your body and gestural movements.

  • Loosen up the brush strokes, breathe – exhale
  • splatter water, 
  • paint with my fingers engage viscerally
  • choose colors that I feel best to go great together
  • Step outside your comfort zone a bit 
  • explore

Let me remind you that your painting experience allows you space to live by letting it flow.  Are you ready to take risks? The emotional risks to step outside your comfort zone, and try something new and watch what comes out of it?

Stuck in Repetition or Less Interesting?

You don’t realize how rigid or narrow-minded one is until you let go and feel it—free of the expectations and demands you may have on yourself and your dependency on the mundane habits. 

Maybe you are stuck in the repetition in your art. Perhaps you lack motivation or an idea of what to create next. If you need further inspiration, I will share 6 Techniques to Keeping your Art Fresh later this month.

The first step may be as simple as letting go and picking up your paintbrush. Breathe. Let your body speak, your inner guide. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a plan. It’s the journey (painting experience), not the destination or outcome.

I just completed a three-day virtual painting experience and realized how much I still try to control rather than letting go. All was well with home, yet I was always worried. This worry came from the fear of not having control of the outcome. How can I enjoy myself while taking time to refuel my marriage and refresh myself if I’m worrying?

To let go of what I think and know and have faith things were going to be okay. Of course, this time proved a great lesson or opportunity for me just to let go. 

What happens when we let go?

I genuinely believe our art, creative work is a reflection of our life. Creating art in this atmosphere – free of control, of rigid lines, plans, routine, and structure, AND just let my hands paint ~ beauty emerges.

Beauty Emerges Messages from our unconscious emerge. We learn more – as we listen with no expectations, demands, or plans. We even let go of what we might consider ‘ugly’ or muddy paintings emerge with life lessons. The messages our unconscious provides eventually seep out into other aspects of my life, as I had mentioned above. When I am worried, it stems from a fear of losing control.

But if the situation is satisfactory in reality, and I did everything I could as directed by my intuition, instead of running to routine and structure to feel better, I now accept to let go of control and be.

As for my paintings, letting go has been the way I’ve created some of my most favorite pieces. Proof that as we let go of expectations that hinder us, we can do great creative work. It’s like life. There are times to hang on, and other times we intentionally let go as we feel led.

Letting Go Of The Reins Naturally Frees Up Space For New Growth. Our artwork is a continuous learning process. Like many creatives, our artwork provides a continuous learning and growing process. Saying no to ourselves and unknown pathways we wish to explore hinder us from possibly being our true selves. Each day we must let go of this control by saying YES to new possibilities and change!

We Say YES to exploring other tools and techniques. Letting go requires risk-taking—another lesson in my experience. I’ve always been a “research-AHOLIC,” wanting to know as much as possible about something before trying something new. Playing it safe is and has been the root of my biggest creative blocks.

In our artwork, we may get used to using specific techniques, mediums, or tools. Let me remind you that letting go is YOU saying YES to explore other tools and techniques. How are you to grow if you don’t try new things outside your comfort zone outside playing it safe with your creative work? 

It may work out great, or on the other hand, you’ll maybe you won’t do it again, like that.

Out of the box – anything goes. Unleash your “bold and brave” by trying a new tool to make marks on your canvas or paint a section with your hands or fingertips, loosen your grip on the brush, or work with a new palette of colors.

Some of these things can be scary to some and not to others. What do you have to lose? What is it going to hurt? You can always paint over it. Until next time – Be Brave!

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