Inspired Art ~ not just fun

by Shea Bell
inspired art

Inspired art is not just a fun way to spend some time, it’s full of clues. It provides the opening for our everyday busy minds to set aside the daily grind and access intuition. It opens the door. Bored with routine? Need some inspiration? Doing inspired art has helped me on several occasions reveal insightful and unexpected thoughts. Something I didn’t know I needed to know.

I’d like to show you an example of what’s possible when you sit down with a pencil and a blank piece of paper then engage your imagination. You’ll need to send your left brain and all the critics on vacation, and be prepared to allow your body’s subtle impulses to move the pencil across the page. Patience is required and you’ll know when to begin and when stop. It’s as simple as setting aside some time, finding a congenial space, and then waiting patiently for the impulse.

If I’m feeling stuck, bored, or am having a repeated issue, I hit my art corner with the intention of doing some excavation. Thankfully talent is not required. In fact if you have a realistic drawing style, letting go of rules is not automatic. You’re not setting out to draw anything in particular, and perfection is not the goal. All you need to bring to the table is an open mind and willingness to have a little fun. In fact trying defeats the purpose and shuts down the flow.

Little kids do it naturally. My 6 year old granddaughter recently drew a sweet picture of me, and what jumped out was the flying heart on my sweater. I’m sure she didn’t set out to create this whimsical design, but the love was there. She also drew me laughing! One of our favorite pastimes is making up jokes then cracking up, uproariously, and at length. She is a happy little girl and a dear heart and kindred spirit.

In a professional setting, Art Therapy is used to provide insight into a client’s state of mind for both adults and kids. If you’re curious and have six minutes here is a great video from Soul Pancake to illustrate an adult session.

I’d like to share with you my latest deep dive into inspired drawing. First, the setting was spectacular and conducive; clear skies, a wooden picnic table, an old growth forest, and a like-minded buddy. A tall umbrella of trees diffused the sun’s rays to create a misty effect, giving me a sense I was in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood somewhere about.

She journaled, I drew and then wrote, in the silence, and to the beat of our own hearts.

My drawing started as a simple circle. Then my hand, with a mind of its own, continued until the drawing felt complete. Color was next, and without thinking, off I went. Yet it still seemed unfinished and I found myself reaching for a red felt. After adding several juicy drops of bright red blood falling from my right hand, I drew three links of rusty chain from my neck. These last two additions took me aback, but I didn’t second guess. Surely it would all make sense at some point.

I peered at the goofy being looking up at me from the page, and had a sense it was me. Was I a clown, an inmate? My red face had a somewhat maniacal grin. Was it embarrassment, high blood pressure, frustration? Was I crazy? What the heck!

Then in my head I heard,

“You’ve broken from the chains of the past and are free.”

Right behind I heard the title of the piece.

“Bleed, then be free.”

Dramatic, I know, and at first I was reluctant to write it down. But the truth is, sometimes I’ve needed a knock on the head to get the message, so it made me laugh, or more accurately, choke. Indeed life has been big, with quite a bit of metaphorical bleeding, but this told me it’s over now and time to move on. The perfect message for right here, right now, and not at all what I expected when I started out that day.

To my amazement the fun wasn’t over. Without thinking, my hand moved itself over to the adjacent page and I started to write. One full page.

It was intoxicating.

Here it is, unedited (except for punctuation).

To begin, out of my head popped,

“What do you mean you don’t know what to do?” Hah! Like I had asked a question.

Somewhat bewildered, I thought, of course I do. Then these words tumbled out.


A vast canopy 
of muscular branches,
rustling leaves,
else silence.

Begin the release.
Open the space
and receive
who knows how
what or when,
playing all the time
with the past
wrapped around my 
heart strings.

An old package
with loving thoughts,
and thanks.
Complete, no regret.
Tired of clinging
but wanting new,
my own way.
The path of love,
myself and others.

Are you waiting for inspiration, an opening, a little gem, a whisper, a hint, something to ponder? Are you stuck? Maybe you love being creative and you’ve never heard of using inspired art as a personal tool. Go ahead and give it a try. You’ll have some fun in the process.

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I’d love to hear from you with any thoughts or experiences you’ve had with inspired art, or anything at all.

(Click comment just below the post, then scroll down to the bottom of the page to view all comments.)

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Checking Post Submission October 8, 2021 - 10:20 am

Great post

MM October 8, 2021 - 10:22 am

What a post

Michael October 8, 2021 - 10:23 am

Just checking post submission on this page for Recent Posts

bgbellinwa October 9, 2021 - 4:57 pm

Intriguing post. It seems our physical brains are becoming better mapped/understood/manipulated all the time, but the more subtle behaviors that organ manifests remain largely a mystery – subconscious, at it were.
I wonder what such a drawing/writing hand might record if a chocolate brownie were to be waved under the nose of the body to which its arm is attached?

Shea Bell October 10, 2021 - 9:20 am

Brian, an intriguing suggestion, the smell then the taste buds? It would need to be eaten of course. Could be a lot of fun. It is exploration of the mystery that I find so compelling.

Donna October 10, 2021 - 12:03 pm

Thank you for sharing your art therapy process, which is obviously brilliant. Muscular branches, and the path of love. I think that red face is blushing! Beautiful post, full of insight. xo

Shea Bell October 10, 2021 - 2:37 pm

To you as an artist, high praise, as you know how that feels. Going into the mystical side of living is joyful for me, and glad you enjoyed the post. Of course inspired art is only one way to do that.


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