Ever since I can remember I have loved to paint. It is my meditation to see colors merge on paper or trickle down the canvas. I have gotten to know how colors and brushes, pencil and paper, glitter and glue can help through difficult periods and have a healing effect on the soul tetra.
The inner critic
As a teenager and child I was always creating something. Draw, paint and write poems or texts. I had all kinds of little journals in which I wrote and drew. If I went on a trip, I always took watercolors and papers with me. When I got older I started painting with oil on canvas and I sometimes sold my works and many people liked them. Ever since I was a child, I had always wanted to be an artist. I applied to art school when I was old enough but didn't get in, which was very disappointing for a young woman. I was always going to try again and then maybe abroad.
I met my wonderful husband early on and started my own family. The attention naturally went to the children and they were wonderful years. Dreams of art school on foreign soil a week before other plans for university education in social work, buying an apartment and all that comes with family life with small children. But in retrospect, I also began to listen more and more to this voice inside me that said somewhere deep in the depths of my mind " who are you painting something?" "....or " what do you think you know? ” ... “ this is not good enough for you at all and you do not have what it takes”. I did go to art classes regularly, but I was terribly bored learning to draw and paint in the right proportions. It was like I was pretending to like it. Like I should like it because I wanted to be an artist. I also got tired of painting to order, tired of painting what I thought people liked, and that inner voice that I now call the inner critic was getting louder and louder.
I gradually stopped painting and began to focus on other things. I was always struggling with something. Whether it was some handicraft or making jewelry. I finished my studies in social work and focused on my work in that field and it gave me a lot and I learned a lot. It is also very creative to work with people and help them create a new life story. I also studied family therapy and took various courses related to therapeutic work. I still often felt like something was missing. Some part of me but I didn't know what it was. I forgot.
Life is sometimes such that when it shakes us up, we remember who we are. We wake up and start thinking about where we are in life. In my case, such a crash came into my life when both of my sisters who were also my closest friends in this life became seriously ill within a year of each other. My oldest sister died in 2017 at only 45 years old. Our middle sister had her own battle for seven years until she also died in the spring of 2021 just before she would have turned 47 years old. During these years when illness and death loomed over the family's life, I have had to do everything in my power to believe in life again. I had to reshuffle my faith and purpose in life. I needed more tools to power me through this.
With the brush in the hair
One day after my sisters had both been diagnosed with cancer, I was tidying up a room that had been my study when we first built our house. The downside was that I never painted anymore. The room was just a storage room. Something called me in there and I went there. I found old folders with my drawings. Drawings of all kinds of things. The ones that I had completely forgotten were drawings where I was just "dumbing" as it is called. Drawings that were incredibly simple and made on all kinds of scrap paper. Then I remembered again how soothing it was to sit with colors and paper and just paint something based on intuition. No requirement to show others, no requirement as to whether the film was "good enough" in the eyes of others. I found how much I missed creating this way and had completely forgotten the feeling. But the memory is there as soon as you remember. It's also kind of funny to report that I found an old diary. A diary that "young me" had written. There I had written this sentence "If I can't paint I can't breathe ".
There is nothing else! I thought it was a little funny to see this. I had forgotten that I myself had such a passion for creating. I had just completely forgotten about this girl who walked around with paints and papers in her bag and a brush in her hair and breathed the life force of creating. The girl who dreamed of sitting in foreign art gardens and painting. How could I forget her? At this moment, something inside of me that had been sleeping woke up and I wasn't going to let it go back to sleep.
Painted for the heart and soul
Luckily, I picked up the brush again. This time completely on my terms. I was filled with such enthusiasm again. I started painting like the wind, like when I was a child and a teenager. Bought myself lots of little sketchbooks and pens. I let myself go. I started to paint intuitively. Paint to paint. Painting for the process instead of the outcome, painting only what I liked instead of what others might like. Painted for me and my soul. Painting to heal and strengthen me. I switched from oil to acrylic and there I could paint much faster and over pictures again and again just to paint. Paint with cover colors, paint like a child. So I found again the lost joy in painting but also the healing power. I don't know how I would have gotten through this period of illness, fear and sadness if I didn't have this tool that is painting and drawing. Being able to express what I was experiencing with colors, writing and brushes completely saved me.
During this journey, I also learned about creating with intention or " Intentional Creativity ". I studied with Shilo Sophia who teaches this method and graduated with a teacher's license in IC (intentional creativity) in 2016. With IC I combine my interest in personal development and painting. I use this method to better connect with myself, set goals, remind myself of what I want out of life, and above all, I paint to make me happy, deal with stress and calm my mind. During the course, I made peace with my inner critic and that brought a lot of freedom. The reviewer still hangs around a lot, but I know how to silence him now if he gets too loud. I see him today as a friend who is trying to look out for me....just a little too much. He is no longer the bully he used to be. I also took a yoga teacher training during this period to nourish my spirit and soul and it was just as healing. Yoga, painting and an interest in mixing it all together with therapy work and courses have been on my mind ever since and was the trigger for founding Sálarlist.
Everyone can paint
For a while I had the inhibiting belief that painting was not for everyone, only those with a very special talent. Today I proceed from the fact that creativity resides in all of us. I have met so many people who have a similar story to mine. Who stopped painting even because they were told in kindergarten that they didn't have "talent". People who find it fascinating to sit down with colors but don't. People who miss creating.
That's why I created Soul Art. It is my dream to dedicate myself to this during my work as a therapist (and in the therapy work for those who are interested) to help people bring to life their own creativity with the brush in the air and get into a deeper connection with themselves, learn to work with one's inner critic, discover and water one's dreams, nourish the soul and unleash the power and strength within. I teach people to use soul art as a tool for mindfulness practice and to practice creativity regularly to never lose the spark of life that is creativity. In my teaching, I use intuitive painting, Intentional Creativity, yoga, along with everything I have learned in academic studies, from work and from life itself.
Everyone can paint!
It can bring immeasurable joy, peace of mind and fulfillment. I love to lead people into the wonderland of creativity and their inner wisdom and intuition.
You don't even need to have held a brush before!