Creating for Self Care: How to Meditate Through Art

design team - theresa painting Jan 21, 2022
How to use art as meditation

Meditation is an excellent form of self care and an art-form all of its own, it requires you to slow down while you quite the thoughts in your head and focus on being present in the moment. Often meditation is practiced by laying down or sitting with your eyes closed. Sometimes “traditional meditation” is difficult for some. If you are looking for a way to incorporate the stillness of meditation into your self care practice, then art meditation is something that you should try. 


What is Art Meditation?

Art meditation incorporates the same focus and slowness that you are accustomed to with traditional meditation, it encourages you to be present with every mark that you make on the paper while not being concerned with the final project. How does the material feel in your hand, what do you feel when you put color on the page, what feels like a good next move? Art meditation allows you to step into your creation without the fear of being good enough because you are focused on the present moment. Don’t be concerned about technique or if you are doing things right, the point of art meditation is to let yourself go and create without that self judgement.

This is Theresa from the Design Team and I want to share something personal with you, I’ve been struggling with my creative practice. The self criticism of “not being good enough” has been taking its toll on my anxiety so I wanted to share a tool that has helped me remember why I started creating to begin with and that is art meditation.

This tutorial is a little different because I want to encourage you to use any supply that you have available to you, even if it is a piece of paper and a pencil. I opted to explore my watercolors because that is what felt good to me at the moment. So grab your supplies that are calling your name and let’s get started.


Wanna watch this lesson instead?



Step 1: Mark the Paper

Using your supplies, put a mark on your paper. Now this is important, don’t think about what your piece is going to look like when you are done. Right now you are focusing on how it feels when you use your materials on the page, what you see when you make that first stroke. Try to push away the thoughts of what you are going to do next - be in this moment and breathe.



If you're looking for some inspiration, grab Peggy's Guide to Nature Drawing & Watercolor.



Step 2: Continue to Fill the Page

Taking your time, continue to make marks on your page. Pick up different colors and see how they make you feel. Try moving your hand in different ways that feels good to you. Experiment with techniques without worry about if your attempt turns out how you expect. Celebrate the abstract shapes and marks that you are making.

Step 3: Admire Your Work

Once the page is filled take a moment to look at what you accomplished. Look at different sections of the page and find which stroke is your favorite or which color is calling your name. Allow yourself to be in your work while you explore the magic that you just made.



Step 4: (Optional) Add Extra Layers On a New Day

This part is completely up to you. After the page is filled with colors and you had stepped away for a day or so, you can go back inside your artwork and add extra layers of dimension and interest.

Here this is accomplished through outlining marks with ink and seeing what shapes or objects could form.

The purpose of this is to allow yourself more time in your work. Take your time and focus on one element at a time.


I hope this inspires you to incorporate Art Meditation as part of your creative self care. I would love to know what you thought of this practice and to see you the final piece that you created! Make sure to tag Peggy and I in your creation!

Here is another example of a piece that I created during a recent Art Meditation session.




Theresa is a wife and mama who is passionate about sharing the joy of making fun things through her craft subscription bo.  for kids, The Create Kit, and her virtual watercolor classes. When she's not sharing the freedom that creativity brings into our lives, you can find her experimenting with her own art pieces. Check out more of her tutorials here!