Is Making Art Selfish?

At the end of this last intuitive painting workshop, one participant shared that someone said to her that making art was selfish, and she should focus on her other work in which she is giving to others. Is making art and giving your heart and soul the nourishment and attention it needs selfish?

Not everybody instantly understands what intuitive painting is all about. I can point in the direction of how to make art from your inner landscape, but ultimately it is up to you to img_2814find your way through the wreckage. Yes, wreckage. We bring to the blank paper so much emotional baggage from our pasts, our families and loved ones, and our cultural conditioning that it can be intimidating to dive into the creative process.

What’s going on inside must be acknowledged first and foremost. If not, the shadow aspects will intervene and cause lots of confusion. Once you let yourself know that you are going to listen to the Inner Voice, only then do you get cooperation from your creative spirit. It is safe to show up.

That is why we start each workshop with meditation so that people can get lined up with their true selves.  This is a very important step and helps participants to put their toes in the water first to test the temperature. Your intuition is your ally on the journey, and it is accessed through the depth of your being and knowing.

During the meditation we are gathering our scattered energies and bringing our emotional img_2810lives to the forefront. People think art is about how well you can represent something, but creativity is about giving your emotional life permission to express itself unconditionally. There is no need to suppress and repress our truth. Showing up as artists involves being vulnerable, telling our truth and exposing our emotional selves.

After I finish guiding the meditation, people are free to create. Even with the intention to use our intuition, doubt and hesitation still creep in. During this last workshop, I read this quote from Deepak Chopra as participants were starting to find their way with the materials.

Today I will factor in uncertainty as an essential ingredient of my experience. 
In my willingness to accept uncertainty, solutions will spontaneously emerge out of the problem, 
out of the confusion, disorder and chaos.

img_2822Being able to embrace uncertainty, an important skill when making art, is an invaluable life skill. It involves trusting whatever shows up and how it shows up. It teaches us how to trust ourselves.

Paying attention to our emotional well-being and taking the time to risk expressing our true selves is not indulgence. It is essential to our vitality

As you can see, participants dove right in and explored, experimented and allowed the art to happen. Making art is not selfish. Art is a exquisite interplay of making it happen and letting it happen, and, in the process, nurturing yourself and healing the world!


Needing a Play Date with your Artistic Soul?

Calling all Artists and Co-creators,

Are you in need of a play date with your artistic soul? There is still time to register for the last painting workshop in the Fall “Mix It Up!” series Sat. Nov. 5th.

Fall is a good time for shedding of the outer layers and letting our inner life shine. What better way than using art materials to let your soul self speak with images to be revealed. Come play with color, shape, line, and symbols, and explore what is wanting to be expressed.

Hope to see you there!


Mix It Up!

Ongoing acrylic painting workshops taught by Amy Sullivan. Last one for the Fall series. More classes beginning in Jan. 2017.

11 am – 2 pm. Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016

$75/class plus $5 materials fee.

To register:

Find out more and register at,

or download registration form from

This ongoing workshop introduces a variety of mixed media effects and techniques to satisfy your artistic soul. Texture, layering, paint dripping, stencils, and monoIMG_0811-printing allow you to experiment and play. Experience new levels of possibility as you loosen up your artistic style and bypass creative blocks with ease. As you get more comfortable taking risks with the paint, you will find it easier to express yourself spontaneously through the creative process. No previous art experience necessary!  Ages 15 and up.

What to bring:

  • A bag lunch and snacks to share
  • A smock, apron, or old clothes
  • A journal for writing

Where:  Sanchez Art Center, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica

Questions? Call 650.355.1894