The Expressive Arts Experience - Yvette Lyons, Ph.D., Expressive Arts Therapist

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Intuitive Art: What Is The Main Ingredient?
By: Yvette Lyons, Ph.D., Director of the Expressive Arts Therapy Dept. at the San Diego University for Integrative Studies
Aug. 19, 2014
There are many terms out there labeling the process of intuitive art.  But, no matter which label you give this process, the main ingredient is the same ~~ Self Trust!
Yes, I know, you thought I was going to talk about some new art-making method.  The process is the same across the board for all, trained and novel artists alike.  When you sit in front of a blank piece of paper, or canvas there is a momentary feeling of anticipation and anxiety.  Fear of what may emerge.  This is also when  your inner critic emerges and tells you, “You are not can artist.”  And “You can’t, don’t even try.” It is the battle with or the surrender to this inner critic that disrupts the flow of your creativity. 
  In this moment that you must tap into yourself, remove the inner critic from the process, and allow that color, that image to emerge, uncensored. Soften your eyes, take a few deep breaths, go within and FEEL (don’t think) FEEL the color that is fighting to be the first to emerge onto this open spacious void.  Then one moment to the next, you allow the colors to capture your attention and you go for that one and then the next and the next.  This is the process of intuitive art.  You ALLOW your intuition to lead you.  Your feelings to tell you what will come next.  Then you become the observer of your experience, the observer of your painting, which now seems to be creating itself. 
This process requires you to trust yourself and trust your process.  Through this process, you open the doors within your creative spirit, which guides your painting to unfold.  Fear, criticism, doubt are all the things which will block your creative process.
I know many ‘trained’ artists may not like my next comment, or maybe even disagree with it, but “WE ARE ALL ARTISTS.”  We are all born with the ability to feel color and choose the colors that fit our current feelings.  We all have the ability to visualize and allow internal images to emerge from deep within us and put them on paper.  We are all born with the desire to create or be creative in some form.
So, I challenge you to sit quietly in front of a blank piece of paper, board or canvas and allow color and shape and image to emerge from within you.  I challenge you to put your doubt,  fear and inner critic aside for they have no place in the creative process, and free yourself to create.
This creative process once tapped and practiced can be a wonderful tool to release pain, express joy, love, playfulness, and peace.  This can be a place to sort out inner conflicts and struggles, or identify future goals and desires.



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