Learning to Paint and to Write by Intuition

When I am painting and when I am writing, I consider it a great day when something within myself takes over and essentially completes my project for me. This gentle urging is intuition. It is the spark that helped Michelangelo release his sculptures from a piece of rock, and it is my writer’s voice and it is what has become my painter’s style.


When people comment on my paintings, they most often speak about my bold use of color and the bravery that they see within my marks.

Janis Joplin – Watercolor Painting by Jacki Kellum

When people comment upon the bravery that I exhibit when I paint, however, I must correct them. I am not the brave participant in my paintings.  My intuition is. When I am having a good painting day, an inward force literally takes control of my hand and it urges my hand to dip into a little more red and to slash it here or to place little pink there, or to blob more blue somewhere else. My only courage is to allow my intuition to take control. Often, even I am surprised by what my intuition has painted:


“I don’t know! I don’t know why I did it, I don’t know why I enjoyed it,
and I don’t know why I’ll do it again!”
– Bart Simpson –

While creating, a creator is often clueless about what drives him to make one mark here or another blotch there.  When I am having a good writing day, the same thing happens with my words–the words begin to write themselves. But in order for my intuition to take the wheel when I work, I must truly focus, and I must allow myself to become absolutely mindful and present.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about how mindfulness is necessary for me to create:


In about a year, my debut picture book will be released, and I must say that my intuition wrote that book which came to me as mental pictures. My intuition and I merely wrote the words that my mind saw.


A couple of years ago, I began another picture book that is similar to the one that is being published. I hope to finish that book soon, too.  Although the picture book is not ABOUT intuition, its title describes the way that I create by intuition. When my intuition is in control, “On Silver Sheets, I Sail.”

Perhaps bravery does have something to do with allowing my intuition to take over in my work. For years, I was afraid to paint and to draw. Fear is a cage. Tomorrow, I’ll say a few words about conquering fear in creation.