Can art and intuition work together? A Maple Ridge artist thinks so

Intuitive art is a form of therapy that helps reduce stress and helps Tannis Ross navigate her emotions especially through the pandemic

As someone passionate about art, I have spent years replicating works to perfect them. I have done a lot of still drawing and painting but never had the courage to let my hand and mind wander on the paper. 

I studied fine art. I was taught about all these measurements, rules and what counts as ‘good’ artwork so, how can I trust my intuition that will not let me draw a perfect circle? 

But, intuition art is exactly that. An art form, as the name suggests, to follow your intuition. By definition, intuition is to immediately understand something without conscious reasoning. 

So intuitive art sounds like an oxymoron. But Tannis Ross shared that it’s not. 

“I think it comes down to the teacher and really stressing the fact that when you’re painting you are not thinking of an outcome. You don’t have a preconceived idea of what your painting is going to look like. You paint with your intuition. You don’t go in thinking that you will draw a landscape,” she said. 

An artist and a host for women’s retreats, Ross, 49, stumbled on this art form through her art journal and started her work by the name of A Pinch of Creativity.

“I was introduced to it probably 10 years ago. It happened by me playing in my art journal, it moved to my canvas and then to a way to share it with others. I think I learnt [about intuitive art] two years after I started playing in my journal.”  

A free artform

A quick Google search for intuitive art resulted in a plethora of artworks that looked abstract to me. I asked Ross whether abstract art and intuitive art are the same. 

“I don’t think intuitive art falls into a style. If you look into intuitive art, some intuitive artists you might find are a bit abstract and others you might find [have] more detailed work. Within that, artists are going to have multiple styles they work with,” she said. 

Ross has been teaching intuitive art for almost 5 years and has seen people evolve and develop their own artistic styles. 

To her, it’s a form of therapy that helps reduce stress and helps her navigate her emotions. She has also taught the art form to her daughter who has a cognitive disability. 

Students who take these classes are taught to overcome their inhibitions by first drawing on a paper before they jump onto a canvas. 

“One thing that I say to my students is that when you’re a child and you want to draw, you learn things by copying. But, with my students I say ‘here are the flowers I draw and you might draw the same flower and you might feel like you’re copying, but you’re not because when you’ll draw five to seven times, you’ll see that you have your own style of drawing the same flowers, you’ll notice how the petal moves differently.” 

She is hoping to find a physical space to begin her in-person intuitive art classes that are $200 for five sessions with a limit of six students so everyone can get the feedback and attention they require. 

You can follow her work here. 

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