Paint Yourself Calm
eBook - ePub

Paint Yourself Calm

Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour

Jean Haines

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  1. 128 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Paint Yourself Calm

Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour

Jean Haines

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About This Book

Discover the happiness benefits of putting brush to paper with a guide that puts judgment aside and "encourages simple enjoyment of painting" ( Library Journal ). Meditative, peaceful, and calming, watercolour painting offers a sense of control and self-worth to everyone, with no judgment or goal beyond the joy of painting itself. This book shows you how to calm and enhance your outlook through the movement of brush on paper. Master artist Jean Haines leads you through the journey, putting the emphasis on the joy of play rather than on pressure to perform or produce—and showing you how to wipe away your worries with the soothing, gentle strokes of watercolour paint. "Starting from the premise that everyone can paint, Haines frees readers of the goals and expectations of end results, and encourages simple enjoyment of painting. Open-ended, detailed exercises guide readers through experimenting with paint to gain a sense of control; to relieve stress; to escape; or to be in a better mood. The emotional and psychological properties of color are discussed as are obstacles to creativity and happiness.... [a] unique blend of self-care and expression." — Library Journal

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The peaceful zone

Imagine a peaceful setting, and peace in your heart, in your mind and soul.
It is a haven, to which you can escape whenever you wish – simply by painting and using fl owing colour.
This section is for quiet painting time. A place to relax, unwind and enjoy colour.
‘Alone. In peace.’

What is the peaceful zone?

‘The process of painting in a certain way with the sole intent of using colour to calm ourselves can be a powerful discovery.’
Artists who paint professionally understand that there are times during painting when the whole world around them seems to disappear. It is possible to become one with what is happening during a creative process to such a point that nothing else exists – no problems, no stress; just a peaceful zone that aids switching off the mind to anything else that is happening. A connection forms which is almost indescribable. It is a feeling of inner peace. When I am in this calm, peaceful zone I almost feel as though I am living on a different planet, one where only beauty and harmony exist. This state of being keeps me feeling young, healthy and so very much alive. I feel rested after I have entered this zone. We can easily underestimate the power of colour and how using it when painting can affect us.
At times, painting is like reaching the highest of highs, as a feeling of euphoric happiness can overwhelm you. The peaceful zone is a calm state that is difficult for some to reach, because for many people, relaxing is not easy. I am someone who enjoys being on the go all the time and yet painting can calm me down and make me rest. Not only my body, but my soul at the same time. I believe painting can easily be compared to meditation. We can become our own mentors by learning which colours calm us the most and which flowing brushwork techniques we prefer to change our mood or how we feel.
The process of painting with the sole intent of using colour to calm ourselves can be a powerful discovery. However, we need to set a few goals before we begin painting, so that reaching them becomes possible and the journey into doing so remains calming and enjoyable. Before we move on, let’s look at the value of simplicity.

The value of simplicity

In life it is far too easy to overcomplicate things, and in painting there is a huge possibility of doing exactly the same thing. Imagine packing a suitcase to go on holiday. The case will only hold so much. Before we start packing we have to decide what we really need and what we do not. The same is true of painting.
When painting we need materials – but they can be few, as discussed earlier in the book. We need time to paint; good quality time, without interruptions. We all deserve this, even if it is for only a few minutes every day or an hour a week.
This time is important and should not be something to race just for the sake of saying ‘I painted today’. We need space: an area to create in that is quiet and set up with the purpose of allowing the quality time taken to be peaceful and relaxing.

Simple rules

Learning to simplify is such a valuable lesson. I love the saying that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Learn to listen to sounds around you, and learn to see. Observe beauty and try to aim to achieve this in your painting time. It can be something simple like soft flowing colour or even simple subjects, but do not try to do too much in one session. Set the goal of painting only to relax during your painting time. Choose colours, simple techniques and subjects – if you choose them at all – that you enjoy.
38 × 57cm (15 × 22½in)
Know When To Stop
33 × 57cm (13 × 22½in)
No matter what is happening on your paper during the creative process, know when to stop. Stop when you are feeling good. Stop on a high. Even when a painting or exercise is looking fabulous, put your brush down at a moment when you feel really happy about what you are achieving and carry that feeling with you until you pick up your brushes again. Next time you paint, remember how great you felt and start painting with the aim of feeling exactly the same way. The creative process explained over the next few pages is about how you feel when you paint. It is not about what you create. When you are not painting, you should be able to imagine this feeling and bring yourself right back to that calm state of being, whenever you wish.
Avoid Complicated Confusion
38 × 57cm (15 × 22½in)
Don’t over-do things. Sometimes when we start doing something new, the temptation is to go crazy and consistently repeat the same thing over and over again. This can eventually turn the once new and exciting experience into something more boring, seen as a chore. Paint frequently but try not to over-do it – a little in moderation is a great tip in life. Take breaks so that each new session is something to look forward to, not to avoid or put off to another day.
Do not complicate or confuse things. For example, do not add too many colours or too many shapes when creating. There are limits in all things we do. If we overwork we become tired, and if we put too much into a painting it can lose its beauty, becoming too fussy. Instead of being a simple journey, the creative process becomes one where every step is hard work, full of complicated decision-making which is what we are trying to avoid.
To reach a quiet, peaceful painting zone we need no fuss. We just need clean fresh colour applied with a beautiful flow so that our painting time helps us reach an enjoyable and calm mental state.
Painting to change our mood should be relaxing – minus any stress. Paint purely to escape, just for a while, to somewhere only we know. Our own world. One we can invent, reinvent, leave or return to. We have that power and that choice.
It is that simple.

Lifting the mood

‘Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I ?’
The ballad Over the Rainbow, by E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen, has been sung by many artists and all over the world by people of all ages and nationalities. The lyrics about wishing upon a star to make all your dreams come true, with your troubles melting away, are wonderful.
When we paint, our troubles can also seem to temporarily disappear. There are times in our lives when painting can offer a much needed haven. I am not suggesting that running away from a p...

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