I have a new line of abstract paintings that I'm so thrilled with. I definitely plan to make more. They are 18x24 watercolor on watercolor paper. I made them during times of meditation...I would clear my mind and focus on music that had chimes in it (the sort of thing you might listen to while having a massage) and I would just sit. Then, I'd dip my brush in the paint that "spoke" to me and just let it work on the paper as it wanted. I would watch the water and the paint dance together as it flowed down the page. It was quite relaxing. I would introduce another color that called to me and see how it would work itself into the mix. It was a slow process but a deliberate one. It can be hard to sit and watch when you just want to get your brush in there and smoosh things around! The magic is in the stillness.
When I am feeling stressed it can be a trigger for my chronic depression. So, to be proactive, I try to dial down my stress level through calming meditation. The paint, paper, and water help my brain go silent (and take a nice break!) while I focus on the painting process. My mind becomes still and the chatter becomes silent. Let me tell you, it is a real life-saver for me. Does it replace my depression medication? No. But, it addresses my symptom of stress head-on when I need it to. It's good as gold.
If you suffer from anxiety or stress, I highly recommend you try a soothing activity that will keep your brain still...painting is one way. Adult coloring books have become popular for this reason. Knitting, sewing, embroidery are other things that soothe too! Quieting the chatter in your mind is essential to a productive and steady life. I hope you'll give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!