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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Baker, MA

How is painting therapeutic?

Many people who take my acrylic painting class say “it is very therapeutic.” What can be therapeutic about a painting class?

First: painting and making art is present-centered. That is the goal when you meditate or do yoga; to be in the moment and truly present. Well, art does that naturally. You just can’t dissociate or be somewhere else when you are painting. It begs you to co-create with it. "What color should this be? Where do you want this to go?" It’s an engaging conversation between you and your art process.

Second: painting is a soothing activity. The smooth paint gliding across a canvas just feels good. Now, we can fill it with anxiety and stress if we focus too much on the product. (Humans can make anything not-fun). But the activity of paintbrushes running back and forth, back and forth across a canvas is soothing.

Third: painting is great “me-time”. It is a date with yourself each class. You spend time choosing colors, creating and finding your own voice within the art process. Every person makes art differently, so it’s great to find your way. Typically, people get in the flow while they are painting. The absorbed state of being where time and everything else fades away and it’s just you and your art process.

Lastly, when you have a good teacher, art is therapeutic because you are learning to express yourself. A good teacher supports your way of painting and helps you find your own style. This is empowering and supportive and fun! It’s like finding yourself in a way you may have never known before. If you haven’t experienced art in this way before…I invite you to my studio for a sampling :)

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