See the world through youthful eyes – Andrea Gabriela Gaisa

Hand print paint

“If you’re feeling blue, try painting yourself a different colour.” Hannah Cheatem, Age 8.*

This quote fits very well with the theme of my current exhibition at the Cocoon Gallery at the Margaret River Library “Enchanted Child”.

It was my desire to explore the world as children see it, through magical themes, vibrant colours and the connection to nature.

Andrea GG selfie
Andrea Gabriela Garcia

Often children are naturally much better at utilising the arts in a playful manner to process their emotions.

As adults we get into a groove of ‘getting things done’ and leading with our minds, which actually makes it harder to tap into playfulness.

Everyone can use art as a tool to greater wellbeing.

It’s not about the finished product meeting anybody’s standard (not even your own).

It’s about the process of creation, what it brings up for us, what it reminds us of and letting go of these internalised feelings as we express them externally.

As a naive artist (without formal training), I’ve used art in a therapeutic way my whole life.

Over time, I realised I can create from different states.

It’s in this deep plunge into the subconscious depths of myself where deep healing, processing and elevation occurs.

There are different ways to get into this state of ‘inspired creation’ as I like to call it.

As adults we get into a groove of ‘getting things done’ and leading with our minds, which actually makes it harder to tap into playfulness.

– Andrea Gabriela Gaisa

I used to teach small workshops on this.

Some of the ideas I would share, are based on the senses.

These activities can help anyone to relax and get out of the thinking mind.

Any of these can be practiced before beginning a creative process (or anytime, really):

Auditory: Listening to something that has a calming effect, music or listening to the sounds of water flowing, waves crashing or birds singing, anything that helps to switch off, or perhaps making sounds and notes oneself.

Visual: Perhaps there is an existing artwork that creates a sense of calm when you look at it? Nature scenes are great for this. Also, drawing patterns like in mandalas are a great start to get in the flow for further creativity.

Olfactory: Close your eyes and really take in the smell of an essential oil or a flower for example. This can be very effective as our ‘reptile brain’ responds extra fast to smells and a sense of calm can be instantaneous.

Tactile: Giving oneself a massage, running a bath, or applying some soothing cream can be of assistance in switching off the thinking mind.

Vestibular: It often feels good to move one’s body and dance or stretch. Sometimes even just rolling our shoulders and moving our facial muscles can help.

Gustatory: A cup of tea enjoyed mindfully can certainly alter our state, hence the traditions of ancient tea and cacao ceremonies. It’s also interesting to try sucking on just one raisin and making it a mindfulness exercise, focusing entirely on this one sensation.

Mindfulness practices or meditation: There are many ways of engaging with these and it is a matter of finding your personal preference. We want to find a sense of inner calm from these practices, however it literally takes practice to get there, as the name suggests. Mindfulness and meditation is a powerful tool to a healthier life and highly recommended.

I invite you to remember what used to bring you joy as a child. Singing? Dancing? Painting? What was it for you?

And I would like to encourage you to engage with it again now, to find playfulness with it, to make time to fill your cup.

When we take time to relax, inspiration finds us and then life and art just flow.

Namaste, Andrea

Andrea Gabriela Gaisa is an Artist, Massage Therapist and Theta Healer and Educator. She has been living in Margaret River with her children and partner for 3 years and in the South West region for 15 years. You can hear Andrea speak further on her art, and experience an exercise in how to create “inspired art”, at the opening night of her exhibition on the 10th of February at 6pm at the Margaret River library.

First published Augusta Margaret River Mail 9 February 2022

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