Fuelled by the recent pandemic, online painting has really taken off over the past couple of years. One would imagine that painting is something that lends itself entirely to a studio, but that is very much not the case! Typically, when you join an online painting class, you still get the same sharing and supportive environment that you would expect to experience in a studio. The online experience is enhanced by the ability to share your work with many others across the world and learn from that experience.
Typically, the classes are run on the likes of Zoom; everyone logs in and joins at the same time, so it really is similar to a real-life face-to-face class. A qualified tutor would then make sure that each student is given an appropriate amount of time and attention in order that they get the most out of the experience.
Painting has always been seen as therapeutic. Doing it online is a natural progression and adds a wider dimension. It’s about expressing your feelings with images rather than words. It can have a calming effect whilst working on issues that you wish to address. Essentially, painting therapy uses a combination of psychological approaches and principles to assist people to handle a large range of problems that they may encounter in life.
A painting therapist is highly skilled in both art and psychology; they put their skills and training to work in areas such as:
- Issues with clients experiencing and expressing feelings.
- Confidence – helping clients to gain and improve their personal confidence in both social and business situations.
- Employment – addressing issues that might be useful in gaining employment or, indeed, holding down a job.
- Problems – understanding ones one and other people’s problems.
- Coping – learning the skills needed to cope with difficult problems or situations.
- Daily Stress – dealing with this in a rational and sensible way. Learning to let go.
- Traumatic Experiences – learning to deal with the wounds left by these experiences.
Types of Painting Therapy
Here are some examples of painting therapy:
- Self Portraits.
- Painting family and / or family members. This is particularly applicable to children; what they paint reveals a lot about their inner thoughts and concerns that would perhaps not be evident in verbal or written presentations.
- Workplace. This can reveal very useful information to a painting therapist and guide them to a solution to work-based issues or problems.
- Community Centers
- The Home. This can help to identify problems at home.
Does it Work?
Studies have shown that painting therapy does have clear benefits for those who involve themselves in it. One study of ten-year-olds indicated that it helped them with emotions surrounding family issues and dealing with grief. Another study involving adults with personality disorders pointed towards a distinct improvement with regards to symptoms. Then there was a study of prisoners which demonstrated an improvement in both mood and behaviour.