Contrary to popular belief, getting emotional is not a bad thing. Which emotion, and, more importantly, what label you put on it when your brain decides what you are feeling, is what matters. The ability to identify, harness and express those feelings at the appropriate time, in the appropriate amount, to the appropriate person, constitutes emotional intelligence.
Some feelings are bad ones and it is healthy to tell somebody, for example, that you are angry and why. That hopefully opens up a conversation to clear the air. At the least it puts them on notice not to pull such a stunt again, and lets you move on. Some feelings are good and should be acknowledged, as they are helpful in building relationships, achieving goals and enhancing learning.
Which is how this all connects to my painting – something you were probably wondering by now! Appreciation can inspire you to persevere, according to a book review in Psychology Today. Compassion and caring, for yourself and others, leads to less stress, less judging and, if you are trying to achieve a goal, more practice. Pride in and praise for even minor progress has been shown to increase persistence and keep people focused. Giving myself permission to practice, to play with paintings and to not destroy older, “bad” efforts has improved my art.
While I’m not going to show you a really old painting here, LOL, keep an eye out for a studio clearance sale I’m contemplating. In the meantime, here’s a painting that benefited from practice and compassion. I have painted lots of colorful sunsets, which collectors love. That enabled me to focus on the beauty in this scene instead of the frustration of being stuck in traffic. It became my newest painting, which is featured in my current exhibit in Hartford.