Updated: Nov 13
Have you ever wanted to learn how to paint, but you just didn’t know where to begin? Or perhaps you used to enjoy painting at school, but you were told by a teacher that you had no artistic talent - so you never bothered again. Or maybe you have always wanted to try, but have just been too scared in case you won’t be any good?
These are just a few of the reasons I hear from people who are hesitant in picking up brush for the first time. And believe me, I know how it feels to be scared, to have those self-limiting beliefs. It took me nearly twenty years to get my confidence back after being told by a tutor at university that I was not good enough to make it in the art world. I’m pleased to say I finally found my way back to my creative path and now continue to enjoy the benefits that creating art can bring.
Let’s talks about why you should learn how to paint too!
1. It’s a good use of down time.
Instead of vegging out on the sofa in front of Netflix, why not learn how to paint? Get yourself some painting essentials and set aside some time to get creative. We all need rest and relaxation, and painting is a perfect way to unwind and forget about your day. Not only do you get enjoyment out of the painting process, but at the end of it you will have achieved something, maybe even have produced something you can be proud of. Which is far more satisfying than falling asleep in front of the tv!
2. Learning how to paint is good for your mental health.
It is well documented that painting has enormous benefits for your mental health. Painting is a great stress relief and does wonders for relieving anxiety. Over recent years painting has saved me time and time again when I have been in dark places with my mental health, battling depression and anxiety. While you are focused on painting, your mind stops thinking about the anxious thoughts and worries. It gives you some breathing space to escape. You get so absorbed in the process that you lose track of time, forgetting about everything else and giving your brain a much-needed rest.
3. It develops your creativity
Not every artist started out being able to paint or draw. Yes, some people have a natural flare or creative talent to begin with. But anyone can learn how to paint. It is a skill that can be taught and developed over time. Painting stimulates both the left and right side of your brain, strengthening the mind and increasing dopamine levels, which will make you feel happier. Creativity is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it will become.
We are always told its best to talk about our problems. But sometimes, we just might not have the right words. Have you ever felt completely miserable, but you just don’t know why? The times I have found myself throwing paint at a canvas for no other reason than I just ‘needed’ to. Without a plan or an idea. Just the freedom of being able to choose colours, making instinctive marks and shapes, without knowing what the outcome will be. As the saying goes ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ and I believe that to be true. Quite often in the process, because you have allowed your mind to be free, you will be able to process your thoughts feelings and get through the barrier to resolve your thoughts, just through the act of painting.
There is no better way to pass an hour or five than painting. I may be biased but it simply is my favourite pastime. To get myself ‘in flow’ I will crank up my eclectic playlist of classical and dramatic film scores. Painting to music really helps get you in your zone! So, whatever your taste in music, try putting some tunes on even if it’s just background noise. I make sure I have everything set up and all my paints and brushes out ready. Depending on the time of day, I might even pour myself a cheeky glass of vino to help get the creativity flowing just that little bit more! And then I settle into an enjoyable painting experience.
So there you have it! Five reasons why you need to learn how to paint!
If you are feeling inspired, you can download my free ‘
Beginners guide to Painting with acrylics’, which tells you some of the essentials you will need to purchase to get yourself up and running.
And once you have those, you can join me for my online classes , which are suitable for beginners and improvers. Click here to check out my website for the next available class. This month we are painting a snowy Christmas scene!