The Sanctuary Byron Bay
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Interview with Paula - Art Recreation

Interview with Paula - Art Recreation

Interview with Paula - Art Recreation

Paula has been a professional artist for over 15 years with her work placed in important collections both in Australia and overseas. Paula can teach most areas of fine art and craft, ranging from oil painting to needle point and will work with you to tap into your own unique creative process.

“The creative process is not only therapeutic but also enjoyable. No experience is necessary to create art – everyone is an artist and I’ve never had a client who wasn’t able to produce a piece of artwork in one form or another”

1. What are some typical exercises or activities that you do in a class?

Usually in a painting class, I get the client to choose colours that appeal to them and then we do free painting. We work with whatever comes into their head: the subconscious mind takes over. It never fails, even if a person has no experience with art, they can always do free painting. Often people have a fear instilled in early education, where we get categorized as good or bad artists. It’s important even if we were told we were “bad” artists as children, we can find a way into our creativity through this free painting technique. If people come to us with more experience, we might do a more technical work. Everybody leaves with a painting they are proud of hanging on their walls.

2. How do you see your modality as helping in the integrated treatment of addictions/chronic disorders?

Art stimulates right brain activity, where creativity comes from. Painting seems to be really good for anxiety – there’s a meditative quality to art that allows us to switch off our anxieties and really get lost in the process. Some clients who have never considered themselves “artistic” have gone on to go to art school after leaving us, having had the chance to explore their creativity without being judged. The left brain is so developed, to the point where it can criticize the creative side so much, it paralyzes us from going forward. This is why free painting is such a good technique, we can avoid the inner critic as there is just no mistake to be made.

3. Could you give an example of a positive experience you've had working with a client?

If I had to think of just one, the most rewarding was working with someone who had been in the corporate sector his whole life, but always had a feeling that he would like to paint. Even at school, he only did academic subjects. In our very first class he painted a portrait that left me speechless. He went on to maintain his art practice, and wrote to me that “he hasn’t had a blue day since leaving The Sanctuary”. When someone does a painting that they didn’t believe they could do, you just see how much that opens up their perception of themselves. It is immensely rewarding to see.