Inspiration Fridays! Are You Painting in Flow?

Are You Painting in Flow?

As artists, we chase that perfect balance. The elusive state of being where time stands still, and our paintings seem to paint themselves.

“It is how we choose what we do, and how we approach it, that will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Dr. Csikszentmihalyi describes this “flow state” as a condition of optimal experience, where individuals are completely absorbed in their activities.

For us artists, this means losing ourselves in the act of painting. The distractions of our world fade away leaving only the creative act. This full pool of intensity and focus might drowned us if we allowed our inner critic to tag along. But fortunately for us, it’s exactly this state that causes the critical part of our brain to become less active. Judgment and failure are a wet towel lying on the floor, and we are skinny dipping.

We come up for air and are embraced by a rush of dopamine, urging us back in. The very act of painting is our springboard. Meditative brush strokes, visceral engagement with the materials, and the electricity of color and form keep us swimming.

Wheel Pose - 12"x12" - acrylic on panel - Gabriel Mark Lipper

Wheel Pose – 12″x12″ – acrylic on panel – Gabriel Mark Lipper

This is creation at the apex of our skill level, we’ve found that sweet spot. Our balance is crucial; if we take on too much we can freeze up and begin to doubt, but if we don’t lean in, we might end up walking away from the work altogether.

We’re all looking for that flow state in our art: emotions, stories, deep amplification of connection. Creativity realigns us with our essence.

The flow state is where the real you lives. It’s why you paint. You’re not just making art. When you let go of time to connect with the infinite, you’re tapping into something profound. You’ve rediscovered what it is to be human, or at least, your version of human, and that’s enough reason to keep coming back.

How do you find your way to the “zone”?

What sparks your creative joy?

Join the conversation and leave your thoughts in the comments!

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