1. Enhances creativity
Seemingly enough right?, what might not be obvious is that painting stimulates both the right and left side of the brain.
with arts like painting and drawing, we use the left side of the brain to tackle rational, logical challenges – how to structure the painting or drawing, for example – while the left side of the brain is used for more creative challenges, helping the artist visualize their work before they even set up their easel.
Painting is an all-brain exercise, strengthening the mind and triggering dopamine activity in the brain. It’s basically aerobics for the brain!
2. Engages emotional growth
Painting can be a hugely cathartic experience, allowing you to access feelings buried deep within our subconscious.
Painting can also help us deal with those feelings by giving them a physical shape, helping release the anguish involved when keeping feelings hidden.
In fact, psychologists often prescribe art therapy for patients who have suffered psychological trauma: it helps release emotions in a safe, non-threatening environment.
3. Builds problem-solving skills
It is rare that paintings turn out as expected: changes in the light, the limitations of your palette, and just plain old lack of experience and technique mean that what you start out trying to achieve will most likely not happen.
Two benefits can come from this: for starters, you pretty quickly learn to deal with disappointment, and in time – often through repeated error – to release that when one door closes, another opens. For another, you quickly learn to adapt and come up with creative solutions to the problems the painting presents.
Thinking outside the box becomes second nature to the painter.
4. Improves memory and concentration
Painting boosts memory function and sharpens the mind. Just as a runner exercises their heart, so painters exercise the parts of their brain responsible for memory and concentration.
5. Relieves stress
Artists like painters enter a world of their own, and this allows them – albeit unconsciously – to separate themselves from the stresses and strains of everyday life. No mortgage, no office politics – just color and shade, and how on earth do I do justice to those incredible poppies and that terracotta rooftop, instead.