Hello Soul, Hello Mantras: Using intentions while painting

Painting intentions can have many variations. In this watercolor and colored pencil painting of red Indian corn, I am focused on rendering the textures.

I find that painting intentions work best when they relate to the subject at hand–in this case, detailed rendering of an ear of Indian corn.

One of the key aspects of Kelly Rae Roberts’ Hello Soul, Hello Mantras e-course is the notion of working with intention. Kelly Rae encourages her students to put stickies with their intention for the painting session before they begin to work. The idea is to create a guide for how you want to feel while working on your painting, and a goal for things to learn about yourself while in the act of painting. Some examples might be: “Cut loose!” “Dance with the paint.” “There are no ugly colors!’

In other words, the focus of the intentions is on the act of painting and the painting session itself.

For me, this has been difficult. I really like to set my focus on the work of art. In the case of the mantra paintings I prefer to think about the mantra itself. Certain phrases suggest certain textures or colors. Maybe a mantra about flying would have a blue and white color scheme or fluffy, feathery textures in the background?

When I’m working on a botanical art painting, my intention is to render the subject with its textures and colors.

Currently, I’m working a watercolor and colored pencil portrait of an ear of Indian corn.

My intentions while painting are some key words about the two halves of the vegetable.

While working on the leaves, I think, “Crispy. Brittle. Ribbons.” For this ear of corn, I think of the leaves as “Wild-haired.”

My intentions for the kernels are, “Juicy.” “Glass.” “Jelly.” “Glow.”

These intentions influence how I apply the colors, the shape of the marks I make, the color combinations I choose.

You can use intentions while you work in so many different ways!

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