Coming spring 2021: Soul Color is Emma Burleigh’s ten-week watercolor painting course to cultivate mindfulness and creativity.
We are delighted to unveil Emma Burleigh’s Soul Color! This beautiful book will teach you how to enjoy watercolour painting as a contemplative practice for self-discovery.
Emma Burleigh is an award-winning comics artist, a painter and an art teacher with a passion for the vibrant, glowing and mercurial qualities of watercolour. She has more than 15 years’ experience teaching classes and workshops that explore how art can support mindfulness, insight and well being.
Get a sneak peek at Soul Color by downloading Emma’s Watercolour for Self-Care exercises! (PDF download)
Soul Color in Emma’s own words:
Soul Color comes from my own personal journey with art. It’s a journey that’s involved ups and downs, twists and turns, times of exciting progress and some very long stretches of creative block. I was stuck in a rut for much of my early adult life, and it wasn’t until I turned to meditation as a stressed out school teacher in my mid-twenties that I rediscovered the feeling of freedom that drawing and painting had given me as a child.
Ironically, I’d been an art teacher for years but had lost the capacity to make my own art work. I could teach techniques easily enough, but I had lost touch with the more soulful part of me that longed to express something deeper. It took many more years before I was able to begin painting from own my personal depths, but over time meditation led me back there.
Mindfulness and spiritual practices inevitably led me to face my deepest longings and my buried fears. And I both feared and longed to paint.
What is that feeling that art gave me as a child?
You may also recall it: drawing stuff just ‘because’, having no idea what will arise on the page, making it up as you go along, becoming totally absorbed, until you have no sense of time passing, completely relaxed and in the moment. This can happen whether you are drawing from imagination or from observation.
The brilliant writer and art teacher, Betty Edwards, calls it being in ‘the right side of the brain’, by which she means we’re operating from the creative hemisphere… Others call it being in the zone, in a flow state, in mindful concentration, in creative absorbtion, or in deep play…
What will you learn to do?
You will learn painting exercises that develop your capacity for mindfulness, self care and self insight.
You will develop your skills in watercolour and nurture your creativity.
You will explore deeper reserves of heart, and passion, and creativity within yourself. You will find a path to connecting more deeply with your mind, body and soul.
You will also be encouraged to make terrible successes and wonderful failures!
Apparently Carl Jung used to greet people with the question “So tell me, have you had any terrible successes or wonderful failures lately?
Perhaps this isn’t something I should share about my practice, but most of my favourite pieces of work happened by accident! Watercolour can surprise and suggest imagery to me that I could never have consciously thought up and created by myself. This book encourages you to give yourself permission to make ‘wonderful failures’, to let go of attachment to outcomes, and to open up to the unexpected!
Soul Color isn’t a traditional ‘how to’ book.
This book is the outcome of several years of research, trial and error with students and friends who’ve come to my classes to explore this territory with me. Thanks to them, I’ve learned a lot that I’d like to share with you.
This book isn’t a traditional ‘how to’ book. Although there will be explanation of the techniques I consider essential for using watercolour, the emphasis falls on how to enjoy watercolour painting as a contemplative practice for greater self-discovery.
What’s included in the Ten-Week Course?
Week 1: Getting Started (can be hard to do!)
Week 2: “Wonderful Failures and Terrible Successes” (the three things you need to know about watercolor)
Week 3: The Beauty of Everyday Gestures
Week 4: Plunge into Colour
Week 5: Inner and Outer Space
Week 6: Selves, Real and Imaginal
Week 7: Relationships
Week 8: Interior Landscapes
Week 9: Dreams, Demons, Daemons and the Divine
Week 10: Ending … and Beginning Again
Soul Color will be available from all good bookshops and the Liminal 11 webshop in spring 2021! Sign up to our newsletter for updates.
More from Emma Burleigh:
Get the mini-course book: Space, A Mindful Art Guide