Peony and Parakeet

Why Paint Intuitively?

Returning to the Inner World, a watercolor painting with colored pencils, by Peony and Parakeet. Read more about why paint intuitively!
I have created this artwork using my intuitive painting methods. I had a busy week with many deadlines. Now, on Friday, when I stared at the blank watercolor paper, I felt that working in fast pace had disconnected me from my feelings. But then, this has happened many times before, so I just followed my tricks to get the painting on its way.

In most cases and especially when life gets busy, I choose to work intuitively, meaning that I do not plan the end result. My idea of fully experiencing art is to plan the process, but not sketch or otherwise pre-imagine the end result. I recommend this approach to everyone – at least once in a while. Why?

1) For once, you will let your creativity decide.

For many, this is rare: setting rationality aside. While living a busy life and organizing everyday chores, it is not so easy to suddenly start performing creatively. If your creativity never gets to decide, it might not have anything to say anymore.

Playing intuitively with watercolors by Peony and Parakeet

When you paint intuitively, you can do against all those dont’s and won’ts that you keep hearing when your rationality is speaking. I find this kind of disobedience and freedom refreshing. It also brings balance to life.

2) You will use colors more creatively.

I often hear people saying that they need to learn more about colors. I used to wonder what it would be – color theories? In the end, there’s not so much to learn to get some results, even if you studied the master of colors Josef Albers and his color theory. But after working with colors and teaching the use colors, I get it: many people use too little variation in color. Color areas look more alive when they are not even. They can also contain controversial and muddy tones; it just makes the bright tones pop.

The making of "Returning to the Inner World", a watercolor painting with colored pencils, by Peony and Parakeet

When you start painting intuitively and do not aim for a certain result, you will more likely get colors mixed together. At the certain point, like me when making this artwork, you might want to decide what your painting represents of. But then your grass will not be green, and your sky will not be blue. (Actually, here it’s vice versa!) Furthermore, there will be much more to look at than big even color areas or evenly spread, individual, same-sized elements that our rational side is so fond of.

3) You will find a fast route to your own style.

After you have practiced working intuitively, you will begin to see similarities in your work. You will get to know the little things your creative side loves. From those, you can start building your own style! Many people think that if they gather images that they are especially fond of, that will make them find their style. But 100 Pinterest boards is nothing compared to practicing intuitive painting. Why?

Returning to the Inner World, a watercolor painting with colored pencils, by Peony and Parakeet

Because your style is not defined by the things that you love at the moment. First, our desires are often affected by trends and general aesthetics, among other things. Second, we easily admire things that might have some resemblance to our style but tend to take it too literally. For example, I admire very simple graphic patterns. Still, my style is far from that. Someday, it might develop to that. But at the moment, the essence of my art is somewhere else. It might be my love for textiles that trigger the appeal for those graphic shapes.

Paint intuitively, paint naturally!

In the perspective of intuitive (meaning natural), it would be totally wrong to rationally copy the images and then be disappointed not being that good. When you paint starting from your inner world, you will find your own unique ways to self-expression. You will also be able to develop your style in line with the continuous changes that happen in your life.

The intuitive approach also makes painting fun and exciting. In the end, that’s what using creativity is essentially about!

Experiment by using a step-by-step process!
>> Buy Watercolor 101 for Intuitive Painting

19 thoughts on “Why Paint Intuitively?

  1. You have given me much to think about and 2 new quotes to keep in my art journal. I’ve reworded them for my use. 1. You can not practice intuitive painting by copying another person’s work and then be disappointed that it isn’t “natural” enough. 2. If your creativity never gets to decide anything, it may not have anything to say later on. These go hand in hand and remind me of another quote I often use – Let your muse out to play – she has so much fun to share. Thank you again, Paivi, and I LOVED your class. It was very worth my time and money!

  2. What you have expressed in this article is really what art is all about, in my opinion. It should be an expression of the unconscious!

  3. Dear Paivi,
    i love your art so much!!!
    And again i am asking myself, how can i paint the same way…
    what are your tricks “to get the painting on its way” ?
    Kind regards!
    Kristina

    1. Kristina, thank you! I present one method in my video “Watercolor 101 for intuitive painting”. I use that myself regularly. But I have also other methods and I am currently developing new products from them. I have also blogged a lot about this subject. You can find more comprehensive list on the page “Create”
      but here are two picks from the blog posts:
      http://www.peonyandparakeet.com/how-to-trust-yourself-when-creating-art/
      http://www.peonyandparakeet.com/from-fact-finding-to-quick-start/

  4. Thank you for all the work you put into the watercolour workhop and this blogpost. I have painted one page of beautiful flowers with the video and one without your video. Now, thanks to this blogpost, I’ll paint intuitively my next one. I do know that I’ll have to look back at your video for the techniques as I am a newbee to watercolour (and painting and drawing whatsoever 🙂
    So a big thank you from The Netherlands.

  5. What a wonderful lesson in letting go and painting. I agree with Mary W that there are a couple of memorable quotes here to take away and make our own. Always a pleasure to visit with you, Paivi.

  6. I saw your post after wondering around on…..Pinterest……..but it’s so true what you say……..why spending so much time on Pinterest and not taking out my colors , paints, pencils and just get starting!
    You always inspire me with your articles, thanks! Miranda

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