February: A window into yourself

08:00 01 February in On-Line Journal


Wowzers, here we are in February! What a loving month, with cupid in the air and all.

Though the weather in Amsterdam has been fairly mild, we have still have the shorter days of winter. . . .and now we are enjoying how each day is getting longer once again. This brings about this exciting feeling for me that Spring is just around the corner (of course, depending on your location, you may be experiencing exactly the opposite sensation: moving from Summer to Autumn).

So with this tingling of change in the air, what would it feel like to take this time to awaken your creativity to a next level?

On that note, in January, I created a Smart Vision Board for what I will create in 2016. Note: Check out my January Blog to create a board for yourself. As a matter of fact, as I am sitting here typing away, my colorful board sits right in front of me. Really, take the time to make one for yourself!

Now, in flow with my board, I am being reminded of my desire to simplify the meaning of paintings as a window into our inner workings. Of course my book SMART goes all into this in depth, however what if I were to simplify it to the next notch? This is the perfect topic for a video series! Yes! So, as you know me well by now, that’s exactly what I’ll do!

Therefore, my tip this month offers a glimpse into the discovery of how art can offer a window to look inward. Really, like a window looking right into your space. You get to look in from outside. Not unlike having x-ray vision. See what makes us tick as individuals.

. . .and you could see this window as the window that you filter the world through. In other words, you are in your space and looking out at the world through your own perspective. Mmmmm two ways of window voyeuring. . .

So on this note of looking at your painting as a window in, or out, what can we notice about our paintings? What in particular do the strokes, colors, fluidity, forms, composition, intensity and gestures have to say in relation to the topic of a window?

Simply said, what can see in our painting, when we start to notice one dominant element prevailing over others? Of course we all have a mix of these elements, it’s a matter of what stands out most.

Maybe the dominant elements are lines and structure. What might this say about how we handle boundaries and structure in general? Do we rely on thinking rather than feeling things through? Are we flexible, or do we thrive when things are rigidly defined? How do we organise our thoughts?

Maybe the dominant element is lots of flow and fluidity. Here colors blend in with each other beyond boundaries. What might that look like within teamwork? What can be said here about the expression, “going with the flow”?

Maybe the dominant element is expression. Strong marks like an explosion on the canvas. What might this say about communication? Impulsiveness? Management style? Listening? Instinctual? Contrasts in opinions?

Maybe the dominant element is the working though of the painting resulting in a certain insight within the whole composition. What does this say about the degree of self, external reflecton? Conveying of ideas? Making plans? Dealing with change?

Note: looking at paintings from the perspective of these perspectives, shouldn’t be mistaken as having any qualities of judgement. Really far from it. There is no right and wrong. Rather you can see where you might excel and discover unique qualities about yourself that will help make decisions.

During one of my recent corporate Smart Team Sessions, a manager, who had understood that we were going to do something with painting and qualities came into the session with a painting idea fixed in his mind. The idea was fixed even before the assignment and topic were given. This pre-thinking certainly influences and can really freeze creativity to a halt. Needless to say this served as a learning point for all.

Needless to say, observing paintings can give us great insight. Why not look at your paintings hanging in your space and see what you notice. See if you can identify these elements and then go further if you can see what the dominant element might be. You may find that, two elements carry the same weight.

Go ahead and make a doodle, sketch or painting on your own in a non-objective way. Just have fun with it, and only after observe it.

This blog may wet your appetite in a simple way of reading your paintings in relation to looking inside, or outside. What’s next is a video series coming soon!

Since pictures speak more than a thousand words, videos go a step further! In order to not miss these videos, you can sign up below, and then the videos will be sent to your inbox as they come out! They are going to be insightful, short and practical.


Look over at the EVENT column to the right to see what workshops and retreats are going on! February 22nd is the date for the next Intuitive Painting Retreat in Amsterdam! Such a retreat offers the perfect space and time to dedicate to your own creativity. . .

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