Make the Most of Your Next Painting Day

A woman in a pink shirt sits at an easel painting a flower with pastel oil paints

Complete Your Painting Day with the Perfect Audiobooks and Podcasts

Find inspiration at the easel with audiobooks about painters and painting

Painting is a great way to relax and engage your creative side. It can take your mind off things, clear your head and give you a creative challenge to tackle. Art has a healing power that makes it an extremely positive pastime whether or not you think you’re “good” at it. The important thing is you’re getting in touch with your creative instincts, enjoying some alone time and unwinding.

Kids know the joys of making stuff and they’re not too embarrassed to dive in and get messy. But as they grow up, adults feel like they either have to start taking art seriously or stop doing it altogether – and that’s a shame! Taking the time out to enjoy a painting day is a fantastic way to connect with a healthier you and express yourself creatively. It doesn’t matter if you’re using art for stress relief or hope to launch your own gallery show someday. Painting is a way to practice mindfulness and ground yourself in the present moment.

Whatever your skill level, there are a few things you’re going to need: space where you can create, inspiration for your next masterpiece and some great podcasts or audiobooks to listen to while you work.

Make Space for Your Creativity

It’s a lot easier to get into a creative mindset when you can put yourself in a space dedicated to art. It would be great to have a spare room or a studio in your home, but that’s not a luxury you really need.

You can start by setting up an easel in a bright corner of your home. Get your brushes ready, lay a drop cloth on the floor to avoid making a mess and you’ve got the temporary studio that you can fold up and put away when you’re finished. There’s a satisfying ritual that comes with setting up an easel and art supplies that will help you get in the right headspace to create.

Find Your Inspiration

Get inspired by learning about some of the ground-breaking painters who changed the art world. There’s more to an artist than their work. Dedicating your life to a creative pursuit is not something done lightly, and the stories of those who make it are often inspiring themselves. Get motivated by listening to biographies of artists who defied convention and changed art forever.

If you’re looking for compelling stories about artists who made their mark on the world, be sure to check out Ninth Street Women, a biography of five of the women who exhibited in 1951’s avant-garde Ninth Street Show. The Ninth Street Show set the stage for a new generation of artists known as the New York School.

Led by luminaries like Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler and Willem de Kooning, the New York School was known for bringing abstract expressionism to the art world. Ninth Street Women shines a light on the women involved in the New York School, some of whom were overshadowed by their more famous husbands, including Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning. It brings some much-deserved attention to women artists whose works and roles defined the postwar art scene in New York.

A view of the New York City Skyline at dawn with the Statue of Liberty in the foreground

Ninth Street Women tells the story of five artists who dared to burst into the male-dominated world of abstract painting in the mid-20th century and how they opened the doors for generations to come. This listen is bound to motivate you to challenge yourself and discover your inner genius.

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

It doesn’t matter if your painting isn’t exactly a work of art. Painting as a stress-relieving activity is another form of self-care that takes your mind off things and clears your head when you can’t stop ruminating. Even the smallest acts of creation can lift your mood.

Paralyzed by your fear of painting something bad? Art therapy isn’t about creating a masterpiece. Paint by numbers kits for adults are made for people who want to paint to relax but don’t know where to start. They provide a sketch outline and a palette that corresponds to numbered sections in the outline. It’s the perfect stepping stone for getting into painting if you’re not sure what you’d paint in the first place.

For artists who want to create original work, time spent painting isn’t always relaxing. A lot of anxiety comes with trying to make something new. When your inner critic gets too loud, it can turn into a creative block and get between you and your passion. Danielle Krysa’s Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk will shut that voice in your head up and give you the confidence you need to get your hands dirty again. If your creative endeavours feel stalled, this pick-me-up will get you back to the canvas.

Let Your Mind Wander

When you get really deep into an activity like painting, you can find yourself slipping into a “flow state.” It’s when your mind is so deeply engaged in what you’re doing that you forget about everything else and focus exclusively on the task at hand. Hours can disappear in this meditative state of mind. Everything clicks into place and you go with the flow.

A young woman in jeans sits on the floor of a bright art studio and is putting the first brush strokes onto a fresh canvas

One way to facilitate this effortless kind of concentration is to listen to something while you paint, preferably with a deep, melodic voice to fill the silence. Podcasts were made for the job. The presence of a voice makes for good company when you want to be alone, and the episodic format of a podcast also makes it easy to skip backward to listen to something you missed while your mind was elsewhere.

Right now, Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secret is a podcast we can’t get enough of. Fry takes listeners through the secret history of the Victorian era by digging into the weird, the debauched and the truly bizarre stories from the time. With the help of a few historical experts, Fry delves into all things strange in Victorian history. History buffs will love the unconventional angle while casual listeners might just find some unusual sources of inspiration.

Let Audible Complete Your Painting Day

Setting aside time to paint is a chance to do something for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring artist or painting by numbers as a way to relax, it’s time well spent because it’s all about you. Make it perfect with an audiobook or podcast that will motivate, inspire or simply set your mind free to wander. Share your art with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #AudibleAsks. We want to know what you got Done While Listening, whether it’s a painting, crafts or a fresh batch of cookies!

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