Creative Fitness

25 Feb
blue & white leaf pattern

Mono print – background

ochre background with black tree

Mono print tree mask

green and white pattern

Mono print – green background

Painting is only one of many ways to exercise your brain.  Stuart Pink, in his article “Brainlifting – A Crash Course in Creative Fitness” (Sept ’13 issue of ToastMaster) tells us that “it is possible to group creative exercises under three broad headings (which overlap to some extent).

  1. Making connections
  2. Considering different perspectives
  3. Using imagination

He makes the point that using the imagination is perhaps the hardest creative category to do exercises for, but is what makes us truly special or unique.  Doing brain exercises is well worth the effort – it improves our creativity.

Other resources mention painting and learning a new language as two activities that will develop multiple regions of the brain due to how the exercises require coordination between different areas within the brain.

There are several different websites that sell their services to improve the brain, but why not grab a pencil, brush or paper to create a piece of art the low cost way?  Painting benefits us on several different levels, including increasing our creative abilities.

How does painting specifically help the brain?  Well, when you start a painting, you need to visualize to see the final painting in your mind (this is the right side of the brain working).  Then you will develop the painting, choose various elements and colors and where you will place the shadows, highlights ,etc (this is the right brain working again).  But at the same time, you need to look critically at what is developing (the left brain –analytical part) and use that information to help you place the elements, colors, etc.  Sometimes deliberately trying a different strategy than what you normally use to paint will create surprisingly different results for your painting.  So our right and left side of the brain work together as a team when it comes to creativity.

To learn more about creating and the brain, try reading the old classic: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, 1980.


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