5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge: Draw or Paint

Self Care Challenge Draw or Paint

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

I love all the challenges, but of course today’s challenge is my favorite, because I want to encourage you to get in touch with you inner artist.

Today is going to be a fun day. We’ve got some 5-minute art prompts for you to try now, and then tonight you can join the Finding Creative Freedom Webinar. We’ll be doing a series of exercises designed to help you free up your creative energies and explore art playfully. No art experience is necessary.

Click on the link to sign up for the Finding Creative Freedom webinar, tonight at 8:30 PM EST. If you’ve already RSVP’ed, there’s no need to do it again. You can submit your questions ahead of time on the Google + event page, or during the webinar.

Artist Child Needs to Be Fed

[bctt tweet=”The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. – Jackson Pollack”]

Art for Self Care

5 Minute Art Exercises for Relaxation

It might seem like there isn’t much you can do artistically in 5 minutes, but there’s actually quite a bit. Here’s a few ideas:

Doodling Exercises:

  1. Write a word or intention in the center of the page. Then scribble one continuous line around it. Keep twisting and turning in and out, left and right. Just explore where the line might like to go.
  2. Make a stone mandala, like the ones in this post.
  3. Doodle on the free printable meditative art grid in this post.

Drawing, Painting, Collage, and Sculpture Exercises:

  1. Create a messy background for your art journal or painting.
  2. Draw your breath, as it’s described at the bottom of this post.
  3. Pick up 2 -3 natural materials and string and create something in 5 minutes.
  4. Make art from office supplies. Use a hole punch, post its of 2 different colors, glue, and paper to create a collage of circles.
  5. Paint with tissue paper.
  6. Draw a flower mandala on small paper, perhaps 2×2.
  7. Try one of the ideas on this post on starting an art journal

Want more great ideas on making the most of your creative time? Sign up for free my art journaling and creativity class, here: 

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    Make More Art!

    Art Journaling 101 Online – the intuitive guide to intuitive art journaling in a self-paced video course with an online community.

    Starting Your Art Journal – the ultimate guide to starting an art journaling practice at the most affordable price. Includes an online community.

    Or talk to me about Creative Development Services, and see how I can personally guide you through your creative challenges.

    My Favorite Art Supplies:

    IMG_4393

    Strathmore tan paged art journal

    Gesso

    Acrylic paints

    Liquid acrylic paints

    White gel pens

    Pitt pens in black

    Colored Sharpie Markers

    Comment to Win!

    (This contest is now over, but you can still comment to share your ideas below!)

    Remember, you’ve got to comment for your chance to win Starting Your Art Journal or the portable art kit. What were you able to do in 5 minutes? Were you surprised at what came out? Frustrated with the short time? Or did you allow yourself to take more time?

    For official rules and more information, click here.

    Creatively Yours,

    Amy







    Image credit for painted hands: Jean Schweitzer, 123RF.

    Art for Relaxation

    49 Comments

    1. Sally Swain

      Sounds yummy, Amy. I predict I won’t be able to/want to stop after 5 mins.
      Thank you for all you are offering.
      love from Sally

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Sally:

        I predict you will not be able to stop after 5 minutes either! I set my timer for 5 minutes of writing today because I am SO busy with this challenge, and I had to do an extra 4 to finish my thoughts. It was so nice. Luckily, part of my job includes doing art and creating tutorials out of it, so there’s joy built into this job, as well as my work with art therapy clients.

        Thank you so much for making this challenge wonderful. Please do pass it on to anyone who might enjoy it.

        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
    2. Andrea

      For day 3, writing, I took a few minutes to reflect on this past month and made a list called “What’s working”… A reminder to myself of things I’ve enjoyed and make me feel good.

      Reply
    3. viktoria

      Five minutes was so hard. At first I had to sit and calm down, slow my breathing and focus on grounding. Then I picked up my grey lead pencil and traced my hand in the middle of the page. I drew a circle with flames around it in my palm, and a heart at the centre. That was five minutes. But each day will return and focus on five minutes, add something small until I feel it is completed.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Viktoria:

        You do such a nice job describing how sometimes, when we want to make art, our own internal experience gets in the way. It sounds like you did such a good job methodically listening to your needs and meeting them. Thanks for sharing this.
        Amy

        Reply
    4. Bunny

      Hi Amy! For me this whole challenge- not just today but all of the days-it has just been about dealing with resistance. Be it this challenge, meditation, or any number of other self care activities… the big block always seems to be a believed thought that there is not enough time. Feels silly sometimes to still be stuck in resistance, but that is just where I’m stuck. Wanting to be unstuck doesn’t necessarily make the stuckness go away. Anyway…hoping for more willingness some day-lol! Looking forward to your webinar! XO Bunny

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Bunny –

        I ABSOLUTELY know what you are talking about with the time myth, and I know a lot of other people do. I’m so glad folks are speaking to how hard it is to get started sometimes, because we all struggle with it at times. I’m definitely going to address this in a future post, but my hope is that the short time is one good step towards getting in self-care/ creativity, and I think I could offer some other ideas too.

        Thanks for adding so much to this discussion.
        Amy

        Reply
        • Bunny Sparkles

          So glad you are going to go into this in a blog post and offer suggestions on how to get unstuck from the time myth. Really looking forward to your ideas on this subject! Really great series btw! I am excited to print out my free jounral!! Sweet of you to offer everyone a journal-yay!! xo

          Reply
    5. Joy

      I had fully intended to spend time on a painting I’m in love with doing, but have been neglecting because of other projects. When the time came to sit with it though, my head was elsewhere and I couldn’t sit still to do it. I ended up boxing instead to get out the anxiety/energy , and doing some sewing (doodling with a sewing machine??). I did end up sitting down (too late at night my time) and painted+ using the leftover crustified paint for a journal page.
      Painting is my love. But sometimes lately I just can’t sit still with it, as much as I WANT to.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Hi Joy:

        it sounds like you did such a good job listening to your needs and going for it in every way! Thanks for the inspiration!
        Amy

        Reply
    6. Ime

      I love making art! this is my go to self care – I do it while having difficult conversations on the phone, to relax in the middle of the day or end of week, at the end of each clinic day I have a simple prompt: draw what you feel. It helps me go home centered. So this morning I got up and got out all my goodies and went to town! Starting the day with a smile. Thank you!

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Ime:

        Draw what you feel is such a simple and wonderful way to start or end a day and clear things out. Thanks for the idea.

        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
    7. Paulette gill

      I slept in this morning, so I am a bit late posting. My daily 5 minutes creative self-care painting is of a rose or the photo of the rose but from memory . So it more like an emotional response to the memory of the rose. It was hard to keep the professional from taking over or the highly trained critic from saying anything. But somehow I managed and got something that felt right.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Paulette:

        OOH, I love that you were able to ask the critic to step aside and allow you some unbridled expression. So lovely. Is it up on Creative Self-Care?

        Cheers
        Amy

        Reply
    8. Penny McDonald

      Thanks for this! I work a sometimes stressful day job, and I’ve found if I take a few minutes at lunch time to just draw a little, it relaxes me and helps me get through the rest of the afternoon.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Hi Penny:

        Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! I’m so happy that you found the exercises and suggestion of 5 minutes helpful. It’s amazing how pausing just a few minutes makes a difference, isn’t it? Your website and art are lovely. I hope to have your contributions here more.

        Cheers,

        Amy

        Reply
    9. Kaylee Hoeger

      I tried the “draw your breathing” exercise and really liked it! Adding the deep breathing element was awesome and really forced me to slow down for some self care today. I passed the activity on to another client today (a child) who then got really creative and started to visualize some creative images in his drawing and expand on those artistically. It was great!

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Kaylee:

        Wow – this sounds so amazing! The drawing the breath is so fabulous, isn’t it? Kids are great in their ability to take a prompt and let the imagination run too! Thank you so much for sharing this special moment with us!
        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
    10. Sarah

      It looks like I am not alone in struggling with this challenge, not so much in getting started, but in containing it to five minutes! I must say, it is a pleasant place to be, to feel like there is more to play with outside of 5 minutes, to feel bountiful in creativity rather than scarce. I am just enjoying that and letting myself self care for a tad longer than expected. Thank you!!

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Sarah:

        It’s true. Some of us are struggling to get started, while others are struggling to keep it to 5 minutes. I agree yours is a good problem! “To feel bountiful in creativity,” I love that. It sounds sacred. May you feel that now and on your wedding day too! I’m psyched you’ll join in again tonight for the Finding Creative Freedom webinar. Can’t wait to get started.

        🙂 Amy

        Reply
    11. Hillary Shidfar

      This art challenge was so fun! I picked one where you place a word in the middle and let your hand just go haywire haha! I think I’m going to do this activity more often because as I was letting my hand travel around the paper my mind was still.
      It was neat to see how it turned out.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Hilary – I love that quote – “as I was letting my hand travel around the paper my mind was still.” It perfectly describes what some of these techniques can do for us.

        Thank you so much,
        Amy

        Reply
    12. Amber

      My first art journal page ever. Loved the YES glue! The added pieces were my smile. They are up and down and sideways. That’s always how I feel when my kiddos go back to school. A mixed bag of emotions. It was fun to articulate that in an art journal tho!

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Amber:

        I am BEYOND excited to hear that you completed your first art journal page! Isn’t the YES paste an amazing substance? It is a great material for higher quality art. It can be a bit difficult to deal with at times if you get it on your hands, and it certainly does not spread as easily as craft glue, but it’s strong and you can move things for a little while if you aren’t sure where you want them. Keep us posted on your art explorations!
        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
    13. Kristina Sumpthin

      Hello Everyone! I had been really excited about todays challenge although my health held me back on my intentions. I just got my markers out and brought them to bed so that I could make this. I decided to go with the one word in the middle. “Emerge” Which is an word of intention to me, I wish to emerge into a healthier and a more creative state with my health and the motivation to do so with my art and writing. I am working hard at this and it’s a a daily up hill battle…All the challenges this week have been very inspiring in the ways in that I really hope to incorporate into my daily/nightly life as much and as soon as possible.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Kristina:

        YOU are inspiring. I’m sorry that you are struggling with your health, AND I’m so grateful that you have found ways to adapt and push through. I’m glad too that you are finding this challenge and the Creative Self Care community to be fulfilling. You add so much.

        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
        • Kristina Sumpthin

          That means a lot to Amy! This was the right time and the perfect challenges to show me what I need to work on and open up too. I’m grateful to have found the group and your blog a few months ago. It’s helped me in so many different arenas in my life. Your blogs and links are so inspirational… I wish I could take them all in at once! LOL I look forward to watching the webinar I missed last night. 😀 Thank You for All that you do and share! YOU ROCK AMY!!!!

          Reply
          • Amy Johnson Maricle

            HI Kristina:

            Aw, thank you for your kind words. I’m really heartened to know that my posts and offerings are hitting the mark for you. I put a lot of heart into it all, so it’s very satisfying to know. Keep up the good work, Kristina.
            Amy

            Reply
    14. Tayla

      Just finished watching your webinar! Thank you for sharing those techniques. My all time favorite has always been finger painting!

      For today’s challenge I tried out the flower mandala tutorial you provided a link to. My mandala turned out lop-sided by the time I was done but I went ahead and colored it in anyway! I kind of like the asymmetrical look, now that it is all finished. 🙂

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Tayla:
        Thank you so much for attending the webinar! Wasn’t the paint smearing fun? I was surprised at how much I liked my piece! Ha! I think it’s great that you hung in with your asymmetrical mandala and loved it in the end. That’s transformation and letting it flow.
        Creatively Yours,
        Amy

        Reply
    15. Barbara Shelton

      🙁 Pain too great since yesterday morning to participate today. My best self care today is to tell myself tomorrow will be better. Sorry to miss the webinar, too. Enjoying the posts in the FB group to see what others are doing every time I make it out of bed for a spell.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Aw, Barbara, I’m so sorry to hear it. I too hope tomorrow is better. Many healing vibes to you.

        Cheers,

        Amy

        Reply
    16. Andrea

      I tried a mixture of art materials and ended up with a combination of colored pencils, crayon and marker. I made a mini mandala with an intention in the middle. I wrote the word ‘grow’ in the center and was thinking about a flower bud opening when I added color around it.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Andrea:

        What a great way to make a mandala. Thanks so much for sharing your insights here.
        Amy

        Reply
    17. Linda Ursin

      Those are great exercises. Creativity is so important and often the first thing to get dropped when we get too busy. Self-expression is a basic human need, according to some behavioral scientists.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Linda:

        Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! I was talking about this same idea last night in the Finding Creative Freedom Webinar – in older cultures everyone expresses themselves artistically. They participate in the dance, the song, the story telling, etc. I want to welcome people back to that. It’s so freeing.

        I’m so glad you enjoyed the exercises.
        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Wendy:

        And you DESERVE it too. Relish in the experience. You can also find the link to the webinar in case you missed it last night: Finding Creative Freedom

        Let me know how it goes?
        Amy

        Reply
    18. Stacey

      Most interesting blog ever

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Stacey:

        Thank you so much for your kind words! What kind of art are you interested in? There’s lots of tutorials in the side bar, as well as an upcoming free online workshop on tape transfers this Friday 10/2/15 at 1pm. You can also connect with other amazing folks in this community on our Facebook group, Creative Self-Care.

        I’d love to hear more about your art!
        Cheers, and thanks for stopping by!
        Amy

        Reply
    19. Nicole Kessler

      This is going to be amazing for me I have always looked at art as a relaxation method and I loved to draw when I was younger but something happens in my life 10 years ago in high school and when I came back home I ripped up all of my art work and didn’t draw much after that until I met the man that is my fiancé now and he encouraged me to start up again but I have been having a hard time find what I want to draw it used to just come natural to me but I believe this will help me find my touch again thank u 🙂

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Nicole:

        What an amazing story, Nicole, even without knowing the details, I can feel the power and so appreciate you taking the time to write about it. I am so happy to hear that I could provide some ideas for you as you get back into your art practice. I wonder if destruction and reconstruction/re-imagining will have any place in your art work now, or if you are on to other, different themes.
        Cheers, and welcome to Mindful Art Studio!
        Amy

        Reply
    20. Dana Jones

      This was so great. I just happened upon this page a week ago, and it has really made a difference in my life since. The wealth of info is staggering. I’m like a kid in a candy store. Lol. Once I got started on the little squares, I began doing bigger drawings. I now realize that art is what was missing from my daily self-care. It is so calming and meditative. I tune out the kids and just get lost for an hour or more. Thank u for this idea. I needed it.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Hi Dana:

        Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! Your words are such music to my ears. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to comment here, it really makes all the effort worthwhile. I’m thrilled to hear that drawing little squares was quieting and led you to bigger drawings. How wonderful. I hope you’ve signed up for the mailing list so that you don’t miss anything I share especially with folks on my list.

        Happy Creating!
        Amy

        Reply
    21. HAYDEE PAYER

      AWESOME !!! Can’t wait to start 🙂

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        HI Haydee:

        I am so psyched to have you start! Even though the challenge itself is over, you can challenge yourself today or any day. I’d love to hear which of the art tasks you most enjoy in 5 minute bursts.

        Creatively Yours,
        Amy

        Reply
    22. fahd

      Dearest Amy.
      I find all your ideas lovely. I hope to draw some thing like a mandala soon,

      thank you very much for your encouragement.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Hello Fahd!

        What a beautiful name you have. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and I’m thrilled you found encouragement here. XO Amy

        Reply

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