Deep philosophical life lessons you learn while painting

Tonight, instead of binge watching MTV’s Catfish like I often do, I finished a painting I started at the weekend. I’m not technically trained in fine art, so it’s messy and not as good as it could be, if I knew where to put light and shadow.

But I loved the process. It helped to focus and calm my mind, which keeps wanting to settle on all the negative things in my life right now. For me, painting a picture is a rollercoaster of a journey. I never know how it’s going to turn out. I paint layer upon layer of colour until it looks okay, or until I get bored. I’ve realised there are a few parallels between painting a picture and being alive, so I thought I’d list them here:

Forget perfection – the joy of painting (and life) is in expressing yourself. Being free and brave to make those brush strokes (or decisions); to commit colour to paper and see what happens.

Keep going. Keep painting, keep layering until it starts to look good. Painting, like life, is trial, error and persistence. Eventually you’ll get somewhere.

Failure is necessary. It is the best teacher you’ll ever have in life.

You don’t always have to follow the rules. The art world is full of mavericks because it’s a place to be free.

Patience will be rewarded.

Sometimes you need to step back and get some perspective to see how beautiful your painting (or life) really is.

You will inevitably make a mess of things. But don’t worry. Your mistakes might be surprisingly beautiful. The good thing is, you can always get another bit of paper and start again.

Not everyone will like your art but that doesn’t matter. The unique formation of paint you applied to your canvas will never be replicated by any other human being on planet earth. That’s pretty special, isn’t it?

Uh…that’s all. I’m all out of ideas and energy.

Time for sleep now. Thanks for reading my rambles.

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