If you are not familiar with art therapy you might be wondering what to expect from a Paint it Out workshop, and – understandably – how it compares to art classes.
Besides the fact that both utilize paints and canvases, and that they both have a positive effect on the person’s wellbeing, there is not much more in common. Art classes typically focus on teaching the various drawing and painting mediums and techniques through a structured program that moves the student through various levels of skill, that can eventually lead a few talented people to pursuing a career in visual arts. That said, for children, although their purpose is primarily training of fundamental art skills, it also has positive effects in their development of spatial reasoning and fine motor skills, visualization abilities, and self-discipline, having a positive impact on their overall academic performance.
Paint it Out art workshops also teach painting techniques but at a more basic level, so participants know how to handle the paint mediums we use, but the focus is on teaching to use colors and shapes to express feelings and emotions. Workshop participants are not asked to follow any rules about how to create their art, or what to paint, but instead are encouraged to explore their feelings and emotions and express themselves freely without having to worry about the aesthetics of their resulting artwork. We emphasize abstract art so that children – and adults – can let their emotions out on the canvas without having to worry about anyone judging their paintings.
The purpose of PaintItOut workshops focus on the process instead of the end result, meaning that the goal is not to make a “pretty” painting but a meaningful one. Every resulting artwork from a workshop is different in that it represents the feelings of the person who created it, and therefore is very meaningful to them. This means of expression is very effective, especially for children, because it is difficult for them to talk about what’s on their minds, and painting gives them a perfect outlet to let their stress out, in a way that they not only feel comfortable with, but also enjoy.
Children are naturally artistic and creative, and given the freedom to choose colors as they please, they tend to grab them all and mix them together, so after starting out with some light blues, yellows, pinks, purples and reds, and mixing them, they end up with a muddy looking canvas, or even mostly black. These dark paintings are sometimes concerning to parents at first, but it shouldn’t be at all, since there is no obscure reason. It’s the result of not having to follow any “stay inside the lines” type of rules.
In conclusion, art classes and Paint it Out workshops each have a very distinct and different purpose, both very valuable. The purpose of art classes is learning to produce something aesthetically pleasing, whereas with Paint it Out therapeutic workshops, it is to help identify both positive and negative emotions and thoughts and deal with them in a healthy way, helping to develop self confidence and self esteem.
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