How Paint Pouring Helped Me Embrace My Individuality

How Paint Pouring Helped Me Embrace My Individuality

By Kellie Maloney

I walked into Leah Robinson’s acrylic paint pouring class simply wanting to make something beautiful. You can imagine my surprise when I was guided through a calming meditation and an exploration of colour psychology! 

While my intention was to try fluid art for the first time, what I experienced was so much more fulfilling and inspiring than I could have imagined.

1. It helped me express myself 

visual meditation

Throughout the class, I felt a newfound sense of artistic freedom – the permission to choose the colours that made the most sense to me and the ability and confidence to let my own creative intuition guide me. 

By instinctively selecting and pouring paints together on the canvas in front of me, I discovered that I already had all the tools I needed to express myself freely.

“When they’re young, people are taught [they] can’t draw unless [they] can do things that are realistic. So there’s a lot of healing that happens there when people come in and say they can’t draw, I’m not an artist, and I’m there to say “well, yes you are,” says Leah.  

Meet Leah Robinson

As I experimented with my artwork under Leah’s guidance – using a hairdryer to create colourful swirls and unique shapes – I was encouraged to reflect on my decisions. Leah told us all that we’d instinctually know when we were finished. And she was right!

“Leah’s passion is reflected through her artwork, and coming from a non-artistic background myself, she showed me that art can be used as a medium for self-expression!” - Mark Trinidad

2. It allowed me to overcome my inner perfectionist

Leah guiding Kellie through her artwork

Much like everyone else, the past few years have come with their own unique set of challenges and obstacles. I found myself seeking solace in my own creativity and DIY projects. I forced myself to learn how to cook more than just two-minute noodles, spent more time devoted to writing and journaling and started discovering new crafts. 

Leah believes the pandemic has led to a sort of “creative renaissance.” Forced to stay in our own homes for so long, many of us have become more open to trying new things and leading more balanced lives. 

"Art shifts people out of their stuckness”, says Leah, which allows them to experience the freedom of mindfulness and creation. Art is there to remind people that “they are creators, and that they are creative”, and I couldn’t agree more. 

Throughout the class, I felt anxious about applying my paint to the canvas. I was overly hesitant, afraid that I would make a mistake or create something I wasn’t proud of in the end. With Leah’s guidance, I made the conscious effort to go with the flow, and if I hadn’t, I would probably still have a blank canvas in front of me.

“The perfect class to get into your creative flow.” - Kait Williamson

3. It helped me trust my intuition

Kellie posing with her paint pouring artwork

I visit Leah’s studio a couple of days after the class to pick up my artwork, and as she brings out the final piece, I don’t immediately recognise it as mine. 

I’d felt a sense of deflation as I walked out of the class and thoughts had nagged at me all the way home; I should’ve done this, I could’ve done that. Now, as I look at my artwork with fresh eyes everything about it brings me joy.

I love the way that certain colours pop and the beautiful glints of gold and metallic spread out across the canvas. We talk about the Pearl colour card I pulled at the start of the workshop and how it's represented in my artwork. There is a reserved but hopeful theme to it — a perfect reflection of myself at the time. 

“Students are so happy and joyous and excited about the whole experience. That gives me that reassurance that what I’m doing is meaningful and that I am doing the right thing,” says Leah.

More than just a trendy art form, I discovered that paint pouring had the power to help me embrace and celebrate my individuality, flaws and all.

“Fearlessness encouraged!” - Gabriela Bermudez

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