Paint how you feel, not how you think.

Earlier today, a fellow artist friend posted on Facebook about how she just couldn’t seem to lift herself out of a funk caused my her SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which many people suffer from to different degrees. My reply to her was based on something that you, my blog followers have taught me over the past 2 years. I will edit my post here only to remove her name.

I know I already said a lot but you touched my heart with this post and as I sat here writing, I thought of something else. I write a mental health blog and almost all of my articles are about how to improve your life, take care of yourself better, get through hard times, grieving, positive thoughts and kindness. Then every once in awhile I am just so out of sorts that my blog ends up being about me and a rough time that I am having. I just end up throwing my guts on the page and paying I lose all my followers for it.
You know something though… those are the blogs that get the most response and are so often met with “I thought I was alone.”, “It is so nice to know someone else understands.”, “You have no idea how much I needed to hear this.”, I’ve even had some say that I saved their life because I showed that someone who looks like they have it all together can really fall apart.
It is in our most vulnerable that we touch someones heart. Perhaps you need to paint how you feel rather than paint what others expect. Maybe your paint needs to have a foggy, rainy, shitty day. Perhaps there are dark clouds and menacing looking skies. The houses might not look so bright and the boats may be nearly toppling over in stormy seas. Paint how you FEEL and not how you THINK.
I bet that you would really strike others in the heart and you could open a whole new style of painting.
Some days ARE beautiful, bright, green and gorgeous. Others aren’t. Why not do and sell both?
Love you bunches my friend and I am here for you. I’ve lived in those dark places for many years and I understand the struggles. I give you this advice based on what has worked in my own life.
Go ahead and paint how you feel. I’ll buy it.

It is YOU, my blog readers whom have taught me this lesson and I felt it was good not only to share this post with you but to also talk about the concept a wee bit more.

It is not only artists and writers that have these days. Red, orange, bright blue and green paint can symbolize any of our lives. There are days when everything is so beautiful and bright and then there are days when the blacks, browns and deep greys take over. That happy sunny yellow can suddenly turn to a gross murky baby poop green and our good mood is gone.
There are times in our lives where it may be much more than a day or a week, I had dark days for almost 2 decades before the sun shone on me again.
Very few people knew that about me though. I had the brightest smile and there was colour everywhere. Bright, cheerful, happy, fun colour. I used it to paint over the darkness that I felt and in the process, I found myself very alone because I did not allow others to see my struggle. I know many people that pull off an equally trustworthy and convincing ruse.

Who do we hurt when we hide our darkness? Ourselves? Well certainly ourselves but we hurt others as well. By not allowing our true colours to show, we do not often allow them to show their true colours either.
It is only when we allow others to see that our brightly painted and cheerful exterior actually has darkness behind it that we allow them to show their darkness too.

You’d think this would be depressing right? Actually is not.
Allowing others to see the real you and the real colours in your life at that time allows for others to feel heard and understood. This only benefits everyone around you. In my opinion, the ones that hush you and do not want to see your true colours are the ones that are still afraid of their own darkness.

It does not make you strong to be perfect or happy all the time. It takes far more strength to show others that you are not that way all the time. Rather than saying you are fine every single time someone asks, maybe a little truth wouldn’t hurt? I mean really, who is fine ALL the time?
And by being fine all the time? Who do you think will ever want to share their true feelings with you? They assume you could never understand a bad day. I rarely share anything real or under the surface with people whom never share with me.

So my friends…
Paint with yellows, bright blues, greens, reds and oranges on those bright, beautiful clear sky days and paint with those dark blues, deep purples, heavier shades of otherwise “perky” colours when the yucky days show themselves. Having both is not only human but it is what makes you real to others. It is also what turns you and your life in to a splendid rainbow for all of those around you to enjoy.

real-rainbow-rain-dark-clouds-wallpaper

6 responses to “Paint how you feel, not how you think.

  1. oh heather, how do you always know what to say that makes me really feel so not alone! I dont paint, but I do agree shwoing vulnerability is so important especially with those who share their struggles with you too. this post really touched me. thank you for being so authentic. XX

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its so true. We are not apt to show our darker places to people who seem to be endlessly sunny and smiling all the time.

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    • I know a few people like this and I love some of them to bits but I do not feel as though I can share anything but the good. It is a very surface relationship and I am not a huge fan of that. 🙂 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Heather, you really hit the nail on the head with me today! Maybe that’s why my art is so bright! I’m unconsciously dealing with the S.A.D. I never thought about that before and it really does make me feel good, painting bright colors. I always try to “put the best side out”, but those who know me well, know how much I hate winter and this year, not getting to Florida (for various reasons) takes away that break from our winter. Thanks so much for this! you certainly have a gift for sharing your innermost thoughts to inspire others to share theirs…….

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    • Thank you Eileen. Bright colours are also so “Newfoundland”. It is a happy place and we are fortunate to live here. I’ve seen darkness in your backgrounds at times though and I like that. No life/place/painting is sunny all the time. 🙂

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