Skip to main content

Where does your art come from?


From “The Mindful Artist Arcana: Creative Alchemy and Mindful Art Practices” 2019 – A series of articles by Roseline de Thelin, Multi Media Artist, Creativity Coach & Mentor, Expressive Arts Teacher & Art Therapist.

“If you forget yourself you become the universe”
Artist Zen Master Hakuin (1686-1769) 

We humans have found natural joy in dancing, acting, painting, sculpting, singing and making music since the dawn of our civilization. We have engaged in art infused rituals to celebrate the cycles of life, conjure healing and pray to the Gods. Art making is an integral part of our culture and artistic expression is our human way to tell the story of our relationship with the world.

When wanting to awaken the artist within we need to come back to the essence of art, which is our natural human response to beauty, mystery and the aesthetic dimension of life. This exhilarating connection is our well of vitality, meaning and inspiration. The way of the mindful artist resides in the cultivation of an embodied and curious presence to life that opens a direct connection to the universal creative source.

Cave paintings 1 & 2 – Chauvet Cave 20.000 bc, 3 – Lascaux Cave 15.000 bc

Many aspiring artists believe that the first thing they must learn is manual skills. Does the quality of a work of art only rely on the perfection of its manual execution? The answer is of course, “no”. We know that outstanding art depends before anything on the sensitive connection of the artists with their subject and medium and on their ability to produce work that will deeply resonate in some way with our shared human experience. Manual skills are there to serve the artist and the art, not direct them. And like all skills, they develop naturally with practice.

The first and essential skill of the artist is to be highly sensitive to the aesthetic dimension of life and all the subtle qualities of that experience.

 Beijing, Ibiza, Venice … photos Roseline de Thélin

Aesthetic experience is naturally available to all of us, artist or not, at any time, if we make ourselves available to it. When occurring, aesthetic experience triggers a transformative shift from our usual utilitarian functioning into a heighten state of sensitivity and receptivity.

In order to create meaningful art, the artist needs to cultivate an acute and detailed sensitivity, a state of heighten presence, an attentiveness and open curiosity towards the subject and the medium of creation. Being fully present starts with bodily senses, the whole self is involved to pierce through the veil of our conditioned perceptions and see the world with the eyes and senses of the artist.

Hong Kong, Saas Fee, Beijing … photos Roseline de Thélin

Your artist’s practice begins with becoming more acutely receptive to your senses’ perceptions of objects, forms, shapes, textures, colors, movements, sounds and words; letting go of your habitual way of seeing and categorizing to re-discover what surrounds you with a refreshed innocence.

Open curiosity, wonder and awe are the guides of your creative process. It is this explorative quality that will fill your art practice with unexpected discovery and metaphoric meaning in the form of insights, inspiration and synchronicity.

Hong Kong, Venice, Saas Fee … photos Roseline de Thélin

Now I invite you to experiment with 3 simple exercises to nourish your art practice. They will help you awaken your sensitivity, shift your perceptions and reconnect with your source of inspiration.

Material needed:
A white pages note book to start your creative journal
Your favorite pens & pencils 
A camera or smart phone


Stay inspired and connected to the source with a list of my favorite inspirational videos, documentaries & articles.
My gift to you.



Subscribe to the "Art & Consciousness" newsletter