Getting Physical with Paint

by Julie Claire on February 20, 2015

liz painting adjusted smaller copy

Tired of thinking? Need a break from working on “yourself”? Feel like “moving your energy”?


Picking up a paintbrush with the intention of moving and being physical can be a wonderful way to enter into your creative process and leave thinking behind altogether.


One of the gifts of intuitive painting is that there is no formula, no one way to paint. We don’t have to always make “meaning”, or even images. Sometimes you may simply want to play with physical movement and experience the sensuality of paint and canvas.


The visceral experience of painting can include the act of smearing, scraping or brushing the paint. And then there is the smell of paint…and the sound of the palette knife against the canvas/through the layers of paint. And how the paint feels on your hands and fingers.

There can actually be a bit of bliss getting your hands wet with paint.

hand photo adjusted smaller copy 2

We can paint through the body and experience kinesthetic joy.


The body knows how to move, and paint knows how to flow. Sometimes you may find that by letting go of intentionality and understanding altogether you will be led through the world of color and into a mysterious kind of spontaneous play.


Into the woods you go…


Some tips for painting from your body:

  • Use a bigger brush (2”, 3”…..)
  • Choose your music, or your silence, with movement in mind
  • Give yourself a big enough canvas, no smaller than 30 x 30
  • Don’t worry about how much paint you’ve got on your plate, be willing to throw some out at the end
  • Have tools to scrape and/or smear with—pallette knife, rag, sponge..
  • Get your hips into your movement, awakening your lower body energies
  • Experiment with different kinds of movements and paces…from slow to fast…from flowing to staccato.


In the last week I have had the pleasure to work with several individuals who have declared their desire to paint from their body…allowing the physical act of painting to carry them through.


One woman dancing, moving her arms in large sweeping movements across the page as she painted, free from caution and “smart”.


One woman scraping into the canvas so that the noise itself created a feeling of freedom, release and sound…ahhh….


Another woman stayed with a big paint brush for the whole session, breaking free of her circular thinking and work-mind in such a way that she was physically tired at the end of the session…like a workout.

 I’m a big believer in expanding your creative choices. 

The physical act of painting can be so cathartic. If you’re someone who always works through emotion or ideas when you paint, try approaching painting differently for a session. Your body knows how to paint. See what your body has to say.




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Find your energy.  Follow the flow.

by Julie Claire on February 2, 2015

2 sunset w round ridgephoto credit David Coleman

As January 1st came and went I noticed that I had a lot of “shoulds” in the air around my business plans for 2015 and not a lot of genuine energy there.  Way too responsible.  Way too reasonable.


At the same time I discovered that when I spoke about my most recent personal creative dream–to complete a particular series of spontaneous colorful paintings–my energy spiked way up, my voice got louder and I swear the clouds parted.


But how can I focus on a whole new painting series when I have so much work to do on my business?  Work before play, right?


My business mind tells me that it’s always work before play, but I have SO MANY examples of how my Play has brought me the most energy, abundance, even new work.


I credit “following my energy” to leading me to the major structures of my life—work, love, art, my dog Sophie– (what doesn’t come this way in my life?)


If you’re looking for a renewed attitude or lease on life, reflect and see if you are ignoring a call in some unexamined area in your life. To re-engage with your life, find your energy and follow the flow.


Sometimes it’s not about being responsible, or strategic, it’s about allowing life to show you the way.


And life shows you the way by giving you urges, impulses to turn left, go right, pause for a minute, sign up for a class. These are direction instructions from the Muse:

  • Helping you get unstuck and build new momentum
  • Shifting your mood which allows for new possibilities
  • And if you are led to something practical, then you’re doing practical stuff you’re into versus drudgery
  • Bringing you enjoyment!

Your inspiration may be a small one, almost unnoticeable–like your route selection driving home from work.


Recently I took a different driving route into Santa Fe. It’s a route I haven’t driven for over a decade since they changed the on/off ramps. Not only did I enjoy driving through a set of streets now quite unfamiliar, but I also noticed that the rest of the morning I had a little more bounce and adventure in my steps.  A little more energy available…


And sometimes, one small “Yes” and your life is on another path.


This happened to me in 2005 when I followed an impulse to try something completely different.  I had heard of a painting class in my town and decided even though I had no real interest in painting that I would sign up–just to try something new and be on my own.


Who knew what would come of this?


By the end of the weekend, I was being encouraged by the teacher to “keep painting” and I felt like a whole new world had opened up for me.  This class was a transformational painting class offered by Majio and was the beginning of my life and work as an intuitive painter.


Not every “Yes” leads to a new career path, but I have story after story of how finding my energy and saying Yes to it has led to some unusual opening in some other aspect of my life.


My left-brain may tell me I need strategy while life itself is showing me the way.


Often we are being given the stimulus for new growth, for new possibilities but because it doesn’t seem practical we turn the other way.  We are literally sitting on our vital energy wondering why nothing is happening.


One thing to note:  When you follow your enthusiasm in this way you will probably hear a lot of backlash (I certainly do) from your conditioned mind.  You may momentarily think “You’re crazy”, “It’s unnecessary”, “It’s impractical”, “You don’t have time”–its’ just par for the course.


Yes, you still have to chop wood and carry water at times, but don’t underestimate the impact of saying Yes to what is coming your way.


 I’m here to tell you it’s much easier to find your energy and follow the flow than you THINK.


 If you’d like help finding your energy and following your flow in 2015, contact me for a complementary coaching session.

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You’re half way through your painting and you don’t like what it looks like, now what?

January 6, 2014

You’ve always wanted to express yourself creatively.  You decided to try intuitive painting.  You’re hoping something beautiful might somehow come out of you and become a painting. At first it’s a blast.  You’re using a big paint brush; You’re following your body’s rhythm; You’re painting! So much color, so much beauty.  It’s everything you thought […]

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                  Sometimes intuitive process painting is simply about having fun, putting color on a page; sometimes it is more about healing, self expression, or perhaps  an experience of jump-starting creativity.  It’s amazing at how many different experiences we can have when we invite our selves to a […]

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