What's up guys!?

It's been exactly a month since I started this new hobby which I also call 'art therapy'. After spending less than 24 hours at my hometown last February, I went straight to National Bookstore to get some art materials. I've been wanting to try painting for a long time. However, with my current financial status, I couldn't afford to enroll at a painting workshop or art class. I got way too many bills to pay and I can't find a way to squeeze in this thing since it falls under the category of "not necessary". But I always get what I want. If there's one thing I've learned about myself for three decades, it is the fact that if I want something, I will do whatever it takes to make it happen!

I've been checking out YouTube videos about watercolor painting since last year, but I only had the balls to actually do it last month. 

So, with a slightly recharged battery from spending several hours away from the city, I was in for a new adventure! Let me share with you some of my amateur-ish work from last month!

Purchasing my first painting set turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made! 

Aside from blogging and writing on my journal, I finally found a way to express my hidden angst without putting anyone's life in danger. As you know, I'm constantly having this vicious cycle of self-doubt, unnecessary worrying about the future, physical discomfort (Probably signs of aging!) and addiction to having things in perfect order - THE CYNDREL WAY! And I know, I know it is shitty, but I can't always find the will to control my whirlwind of emotions. After my Grandpa's death late last year, I've been feeling unstable most of the time. I miss him terribly, but I have to live my life as normal as possible. No one would really understand how I am feeling and I'm just done trying to let people understand how hard it is to lose someone who taught you almost everything you know. So, in attempt to reclaim my fluctuating sanity, enter - art therapy!

And it's working really well for me! I got a few artist friends as well and they are very supportive of what I am doing. They are actually happy about the fact that I am finally experiencing that soothing feeling that they also feel when they are painting or doing any work of art. But the best compliments are definitely from my siblings. Now those two are the real artists! (Not me!) If you share a roof with people like them, you can't help having a little bit of their talent rub off on you, or at least hone whatever it is that you have inside you. You know I've always loved sketching. I wrote a blog post about what I usually do when I'm not blogging, and sketching is definitely one of my favorites! 

But as for painting, now this is a different story. It's just plain magical and at first, I didn't know why. All I know is that I picked up a paintbrush and BAM! It's like a whole new different level of Cyndrel.

In my attempt to crack the mystery behind this art therapy, I tried reading articles about how painting affects not just the physical but mental health of a person. While I was browsing through these articles, I just remembered two of my favorite protagonists from Nicholas Sparks books that were turned into movies. You guys know about The Notebook? Yup! Love that scene when Allie was painting at the balcony. And how about The Longest Ride? Yeah, I wish I can have a collection like Ruth Levinson's! Haha! 

So, it turns out, I'm not the only one having a great time learning something golden about painting. The good feeling that I've been feeling could actually happen to anyone, as long as they give painting a chance!

Well, to sum up what I've been learning about painting, I made a short list right here:

1. It's a stress reliever!

I'm not even kidding! The first week I tried painting, I somehow compared it to about an hour of body massage. It felt THAT good! After coming home (I always mean DORM!) from work especially during the weekends (when most of my roommates are back in their hometowns), I'd try to paint just for about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes, I don't even know what I'm about to paint but I just let my hand work and BAM! Stress is gone! And call me narcissistic but I feel really good looking at my finished work. It's a bonus when people tell me they also like my work!

2. It increases EQ!

You know what they say about people with high IQ? Yup! Most of the time they kinda suck with EQ. I'm not saying I have an incredibly high IQ (like my sister), but last time I checked I'm still a little above average. And it's good to have a high IQ; you can't take having good genes for granted. However, I also know that I kinda suck at people-ing. This inborn introversion is making everyone believe that I'm a horrible person. Pair that with my resting bitch face and I'll have a special place in this world - the corner! Well, I'm hoping that would change. I am slowly learning that letting your emotions out through art is a good way to communicate. Maybe not verbally but it can lead to it. I like it when people hit me up on Facebook just to tell me they are 'happy' to see my paintings on FB wall. And it gives me a very good reason to talk to them. Also, once I have already expressed (read: vent out) my feelings using my paintbrush, all of a sudden I become calm and relaxed. I get to play with my own emotions; I'm gradually learning how to control my anger (read: rage!). The next step to mastering your own emotions would be being sensitive enough to deal with other people's emotions. I guess the saying is true "You can't give what you don't have". If you are not aware of your own emotions or if you have no control over it, then dealing with people would be like taming a dragon. 

3. It helps you to maintain focus or single-task

In a time when multi-tasking is a such a vital thing especially for our careers, it's just nice to know that there's still a way to practice focusing on just one thing. Don't get me wrong, I love multi-tasking. I've been trained to do that since my very first job when I was 21. However, like any other good thing, there's still a downside to this octopus-induced working style. As for me, I feel like the quality of my work tends to go a few notches down when I try to multi-task. So, once I log off from work, I try to stay away from anything that I normally do at my desk. I try to spend less time in front of the computer (if I could!) to take a break from radiation, I try not to talk to anyone over the phone and I try to pull off something 'manual' like writing on my journal or reading a real book. Well, painting is definitely an additional thing to my mandatory digital sabbatical. When I am painting, my mind does not wander; I tend to just think about the palette, the paintbrush and my watercolor pad. How often do you do that? For an over-thinker, that's like free therapy!

4. It enhances your creativity and problem-solving skills

This is a no-brainer. If you are an artist, you are definitely creative! It doesn't matter if you are just a hobbyist, an amateur or a professional. When you do art, it means you pay attention to that part of your brain that most logical people tend to shut down. If you do art on a regular basis, you tend to sharpen this part of your brain even more. I've read somewhere that painting is like aerobics for your brain, and I totally agree! I've also noticed that when I make mistakes while I'm painting, like when I used too much pressure on my brush when I shouldn't, I tend to act fast (but not furious!) in resolving them. Too much water? I got a paper towel or tissue right next to me. The color's too dark? I try to smudge it a little bit to the side and I end up creating a better design in the end. It's fun you guys! I'm actually becoming more calm (and mature!) when I'm painting. 

5. It could improve your mobility or motor skills

Ever since I started playing guitar, I realized I have developed shaky hands. Haha! My Grandmother and I both have shaky hands now! Could I feel much older?! This is pretty challenging at first. Sometimes, I can't even get a decent shot using my phone or digital camera because of my unsteady hands. How do I manage to paint properly? It's still a mystery to me! Haha! But seriously, in time, you would learn how to control the way you move your hands. Remember that painting is like aerobics for your brain. Your brain controls the movement of your body. If you can control your brain, you can control the way you move your body and all of it's parts (except maybe your ears?!). That's the simplest way I can explain this. I hope it makes sense.

Have you ever tried painting before? How does it make you feel? Is there any way I can see your art work if you are already painting or sketching? Hit me up in the comments' section below, like always, I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading this post! 


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