How Having a Painting Practice Can Save Your Life and Others

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but I do believe that having a painting practice can bring a stronger sense of peace, purpose, and control in our lives. I don’t often talk about the political dramas that are occurring in our country here in the United States. But that coupled with the Covid pandemic is exhausting. With strife, rage, and fear abounding it’s enough to make anyone go crazy and derail into anxiety and despair. Even the most balanced among us I’m sure has lost their shit at one point or another. 

So many of these things are out of our control, which makes us feel out of control triggering anxiety or depression. The only solution to that is to focus on what we can control. And put our energies and focus on activities that bring us peace of mind and purpose.  Purpose is the magical elixir here. If you can find something that gives you purpose and a sense of control you’re not as susceptible to stress and anxiety.  If you can also use your purpose to help others then…… 

An original oil painting of a still life titled Ginger Jar and Apples by Kelli Folsom

MIC DROP your sense of purpose doubles! 

On top of your purpose bringing a massive sense of control, creating is also good for our mental health. According to medical studies, painting is a meditative practice that releases happiness triggering dopamine. It also makes us smarter and helps prevent dementia as we age. We stay sharp, thinking, and observing as we paint. Contrary to popular belief we’re not using the right side of our brains when we paint. We’re actually using both the left and right sides of the brain during the painting process. There are logical step-by-step choices made as well as intuitive creative non-linear choices. 

When we combine the calming sense of control and increased mental health that we get from creating a positive community to belong to, we’re able to be at our most healthy and best.

This community has to be one where we have a shared purpose, common goals, with positive leadership. When you have these three things together it’s a triple threat to stress, anxiety, or depression!

Here’s some of what some of the artists in VITAL Art Sessions have to say about belonging to our community in 2020: 

“Your classes saved me from staying in the rut in time of Covid crisis. Thank you for being my awesome teacher.”  – H.M. 

“Focusing on positive self-improvement has been a great distraction. Also, genuine kindness and encouragement from this group have been such a respite. So grateful to have found VAS, and had the intuitive sense to join! It’s been such a blessing.”     -T.F. 

“It was a lifeline to a community with the same love of art. The teaching gave us something to think about to center us with the world in chaos around us. I am forever grateful. Bless you, Kelli. You are dear.” – D.N.

“Your classes are a Godsend. I enjoy the lessons, interaction with you and the group and my work has reached a new level. You inspire me to do better and keep going every day. Thank you!” – M.R. 

“Absolutely delighted I joined in and signed up for your lessons Kelli Folsom. I’ve never learned and painted so much. You have a great way of teaching and encouraging us all. Thanks so much I hardly noticed the lockdowns as I was so busy keeping up with you!” – M.M.

“Helped me to focus on the beautiful and start a habit of painting daily. Really improved my skill with the things I’ve learned in the demonstrations and practice.” T.T. 

“A month into 2020 and my already precarious “new” life as a single mature woman presented me with even more challenges. Thanks COVID Pandemic and other challenges. I’d been trying to convince myself for more than 30 years to get back to my art, to rebuild lost talent, to finally focus on ME! Kelli Folsom and this beautiful community have given me endless knowledge, support and courage to make my heart happy. THANK YOU!” – J.S. 

That’s why having a painting practice and a community can save your life and others as well. I’ve been running my online learning program, VITAL Art Sessions, for three years now, and never before have I seen how important it is then this last year. Our community has been a safe haven from politics, pain, and dramas. Inside everyone is focusing on making beautiful art, cheering each other on, and helping each other grow and improve. (We also have each other’s back in times of pain and loss.) 

Outside of the group, everyone is sharing their paintings with others. By focusing on our painting practice and flooding social media with this beauty and purpose, we are empowering ourselves. We’re also bringing a powerful healing force not only to ourselves but also to others. Beauty is a respite from the chaotic world. 

If you’re looking for a community like this and help in refocusing on your painting goals this year then I want to extend a special invitation to you. VITAL Art Sessions is open for enrollment until January 15th at midnight. We’d love for you to join us and help us heal the world through beauty. The cost is affordable at $39.95 a month and you can read more about what all you get and sign up here:

P.S. I’m wishing you all a safe, healthy, and creative 2021! If you’d like to join our safe haven of art and start the year off inspired, go here to sign up: The deadline is Friday.

A photo of an original oil sketch on panel of a still life painting of roses in a small copper vase by Kelli Folsom.
A photo of an original oil sketch on panel of a still life painting of Rainier cherries and a blue and white jar.
An original oil painting of a still life titled Japanese Jar and Peaches by Kelli Folsom
A photo of an original oil painting on panel of a still life painting of a teapot and pink roses by Kelli Folsom.

Love in Light, Kelli

One thought on “How Having a Painting Practice Can Save Your Life and Others

  1. You are right. Absolutely right. I am trying to get back into the swing of things. My time has not been mine in 2020 while caring for others. The worry, the stress of having 2 of my adult children back in their classrooms with weekly covid testing makes me proud as well as fearful. Sadly, we lost a close family friend last week to covid and another will be permanently on oxygen due to lung damage from covid. Even if I am painting pretty crappy right now, I’m still trying to get to the easel. And when I get over to the amazing group on FB, it cheers me to see so much beauty in all the works.

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