The flow in painting

A very nice thing happened in the studio recently.

I was painting a still life, when a woman walked in and said:

" I just wanted to say thank you, thank you very much! I've been sitting in my car for the past 10 minutes watching you paint, and I feel so relaxed! Thank you! "

3 Roses

I do hope she comes back and learns to paint, then she can get that feeling every time she picks up a brush!

This feeling is what Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi calls "Flow".

You can access it anytime you approach a task with focus and a strategy.

Here is Csikszentmihalyi's desciption of the process:

" Even the simplest physical act becomes enjoyable when it is transformed so as to produce flow.

The essential steps in this process are:

  1. Set an overall goal, and as many subgoals as are feasible
  2. find ways of measuring progress
  3. keep concentrating on what one is doing, and making finer and finer distinctions in the challenges
  4. develop the skills necessary to interact with the opportunities
  5. keep raising the stakes if the activity becomes boring

The Painting Masterclasses at Inglis Academy are designed to facilitate the flow state, and to teach you how to work as described above.