This Keeps Me Sane

Okay so sometimes I just need a break! I am super hard on myself and sometimes I just need to BRAIN DUMP. One way I do that is through writing. BUT that's not what I'm talking to you guys about today. My favorite way to brain dump is painting. Not like the 5 year old me that water-colored 500 pages when I had pneumonia, although that could be where it started...... I'm talking paint to canvas. I like the BIG canvases. Not like the massive 6 ft tall canvases, but canvases bigger than a sheet of computer paper.

Aspen had a rough week last week and I just felt like I was imploding on myself. Do you ever feel like you have those days or weeks?? My brain was so fuzzy. She would cry every time I put her down and she doesn't like to nap unless she is laying on me. SO that means I have to make myself sit down so that she can fall asleep for a little while. If not, then lets just say she is a terror. Is that horrible? Ok so I was tired of being yelled at by a baby. I said it. So on Saturday I went to Hobby Lobby and got my canvases (and Junior Mints, let's be honest here) so that I could paint and just free my mind.

Sunday was the day I got the paint out. I fed Aspen, laid her down and got everything ready. WELL it wasn't 5 minutes before ole' mom had to come to the rescue. So I got my ring sling and we got to painting. Not exactly the relaxation I had pictured in my head, but I figured we could see where it took us. I always start by painting the canvas white. Yes, it's already white, but my high school art teacher taught me to do it that way so that the paint will go on smooth and evenly, and she knows what she is doing. That's pretty much all that I know about painting. So you can imagine that the end product isn't anything fancy, just literally my brain dumped onto a canvas. Sometimes it turns out great, and sometimes it turns out to be trash at best.

This time I used oil paints, I like using those because they take forever to dry, so if you don't like something that you've done you can just smear it into something else. I also don't use a paint brush when I use oil paint. I paint the canvas with white acrylic paint and a brush (obviously) and then when I start mixing and doing everything else with the oil and oil paint, I just use the palette knife (and my fingers, whoops).

I call these "brain dumps" because I don't go into it with any idea of what I might paint. Literally nothing. Not even a color scheme. I just start where I am and go from there. These are always abstract paintings. If you asked me to paint you a picture of a tree, it would look like a frog because I can't paint objects. I like abstract paintings better anyways because they are taken differently by each viewer. When I look at it I see something different than what you see, and it's 100% ok. That's one thing that is really neat about art. Each viewer comes from a different place in life which gives them a totally different point of view.

When you are choosing art for your home, remember that. Don't be so hard on yourself and stress about what to choose, because each person that sees it will see it differently. Choose a painting that speaks to you and that speaks well of your home. OR if you want to paint your own piece for your home, try it! Choose the colors that you want to use and set those out for your painting adventure. Put the others away so that you don't get tempted to use colors that don't go with the space. Even if you aren't going to display your painting, I would encourage you to just try it out and see how great you feel after a "brain dump". Maybe it's not your therapy, but it's worth a shot to find out!

If you want to give it a shot, here are the materials that I use:

1. Stretched canvas

2. White acrylic paint for the base layer

3. Oil paints

4. Linseed oil

5. Palette knife

Let me know if you give it a try! I'd love to hear about it and see what your "brain dump" looks like. Shoot me an email at