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What Used to Stop Me from Playing

Video finger painting a peacock colored background in an art journal with Carolyn DubeWhat used to get in my way and keep me from starting, the most important step of play? The left side of my brain, that control freak type A part of me.

Lefty starts with just a few questions like, “What are you going to make?”, “Will you have time to finish it now?”, “Why do you think you get to have fun?”, “Do you think it will be good enough?” and on and on.

Watch Finger Painting an Art Journal Background on YouTube.

All those questions used to stop me from starting to play but it doesn’t any more. I still have Lefty asking me questions but I handle it differently now. I respond to those questions with a bit of attitude. Finger painting seems to really irritate my controlling left brain and yes, I chose this just to irritate Lefty on purpose.

arrow-purplesWhat are you going to make? Why do I have to make anything in particular? Why can’t I just play around and have fun finger painting? If you want me to make something, I can finger paint the walls if you want. Didn’t think so.

arrow-purplesWill you have time to finish it now? Why can’t I start it now and finish it whenever I darn well please? Is this perishable? Is it unrefrigerated mayonnaise? Didn’t think so.

arrow-purplesDo you think it will be good enough? It’s finger painting. Small children do it with ease and IT’S FINGER PAINTING. Do you think a museum curator will be stopping by to evaluate it? Didn’t think so.

After a while, Lefty faces the reality that I am playing and the ridiculous questions slow down.

What fun I had with these peacock colors on my fingers. In the photo you can see how all 3 paints behaved a little differently even though they were all Dylusions paints. This is because one was a fresh jar, one was almost out, and one was somewhere in between those two. I adore when paints get thicker!

Video finger painting a peacock colored background in an art journal with Carolyn Dube

Now you’ve seen my play, let’s see yours! Share what you’re creating with us all in the Facebook group and be inspired by what others are creating! And be sure to leave a comment here to get entered in the monthly $50 gift certificate giveaway!

Specific ways to rediscover play by Carolyn Dube

Want to see more Let’s Play videos? You can find all the weekly posts here.

What is Let’s Play? It’s all about rediscovering the ability to play and each month I share a specific strategy that helped me recapture the freedom and fun of play. You can see more of the Let’s Play series here. Be sure to get entered in the $50 Dick Blick giveaway by leaving a comment below.

Sharing your play: I, and a whole bunch of others, would love to see what you’re creating! We’re sharing it in the Facebook group called A Colorful Place to Play. Why Facebook? I’ve listened to your feedback about how and where you’d like to share your play instead of the link parties.

Monthly giveaways: Leave comment on any (and all for more chances) of the weekly Let’s Play blog posts to be entered and one winner each month will be chosen by random.org. Want more chances to win a $50 gift certificate to DickBlick.com? Pin any of the images from the page or share about it on Facebook- then come back and leave a comment telling me what you did and you can have more chances to win! Giveaway closes the Sunday, December 4th at 11 pm EST and the winner will announced on the blog the following Monday.

Congrats to Ann, last month’s winner!

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  • Susan Skipper November 22, 2016, 7:30 am

    And also you used the purple – Dyan admits that the purple acts a bit differently to her other colours and that it turns colour mixes to mud quite quickly… and we all know how you feel about brown!

  • Charity V November 22, 2016, 5:28 pm

    That looks like so much fun! 🙂

  • Jodi November 22, 2016, 7:45 pm

    Love this! Lefty bombards me with questions too.

  • Ginny November 22, 2016, 8:29 pm

    You know Carolyn, I have been following you for quite awhile and so enjoy your fresh and enthusiastic ideas. But I REALLY do not like you to be painting with your fingers. You could put on a plastic glove and paint with your fingers. But you REALLY REALLY should not be painting with your fingers. The pigments in acrylic paint (and all paints for that matter) can actually absorb into your skin. I would NEVER suggest finger painting to any of my students. Really…it’s a bad idea for you to be promoting this. Am I the only one to suggest this to you?

    • Carolyn Dube November 23, 2016, 12:17 pm

      Hi Ginny- Dylusions are non toxic and just like kids will finger paint with non toxic paints, I am comfortable doing that too. Obviously, with a toxic paint it is different. Thanks for wanting everyone to be safe.

  • Corrine November 23, 2016, 6:38 am

    So, so funny how the brain trips us up with our internal critic. Sad how it mostly works every time too. Onward finger paintng yeah! Xox

  • Melinda November 23, 2016, 12:21 pm

    Unrefrigerated mayonnaise… now that made me really smile. Thank you for the permission to simply play and realize its not life threatening.

  • Stacy November 26, 2016, 12:41 pm

    Beautiful colors to play with. I love finger painting..

  • kathy brazil November 27, 2016, 5:43 pm

    what paint is that? I like the paint on the video.

  • Julie Ousley November 27, 2016, 5:58 pm

    My brain’s right side must be a real bully because my left side of my brain lets out nary a peep as far as “You must FINISH!” goes….. in my house only sewn garments have to be finished, and even then, it’s kind of Iffy…

  • Sandra November 28, 2016, 1:38 am

    Oh how I can relate to that. I always feel like I have to have an end product, and can’t just play. Slowly I’m learning to ignore lefty since I have come across you and your inspirational permission to play. Thank you ?

  • Celeste B November 28, 2016, 7:14 am

    Love the idea of just playing….don’t let that left part of the brain overtake all the time.

  • Mary Coffey November 28, 2016, 8:48 am

    Love the way you address the inner critic. For me, my lefty always wants to know where is this going? What’s it going to look like when you are finished? How will you know when you are finished? My inner critic totally gets in my way when I try to create intuitively! Your kind, but firm way of taking the wind out of the inner critic’s sails will be quite helpful for me! refrigerated mayo…hehe

  • Barbara McLachlan November 28, 2016, 10:47 am

    Hi Carolyn,. I do love your videos and I am learning to just play and not worry about what shall I do with all these prints!! I havent joined in much so far. Ive made a few Christmas cards using Gelli prints as background papers, I will put a photo of one or two on FB soon. I’ m in the process of moving my craft stash from my bedroom to a new extension. So far I have a new desk and some plastic storage drawer towers. I’m waiting for two more storage items, then I can really get organised. Its cold over here in uk now so long evenings in which to play.

  • Janice Weiser November 28, 2016, 3:39 pm

    Fun background! I just bought my first jar of Dylusions paint!
    Thanks!

  • Theresa Sim November 29, 2016, 12:57 am

    Rainbow is now my favorite color. 🙂 I really enjoy all the lessons.

  • Marilyn November 29, 2016, 4:19 pm

    Love this!

  • Amanda Walden December 1, 2016, 8:04 pm

    “Trust the play,” I love that quote! I need to remind myself that that IS what it’s all about. Thank you for the continual reminder. It’s comforting to know that your inner critic still rears its ugly head. I struggle with that. Mine says, “What’s the point? Why are you doing this?” Because it’s fun! Because I feel like it! Just because!