Painting the Subconscious

“Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.” – Jean Cocteau

Some secret unrest gnaws at the human condition. It causes confusion, worry, and discontent. It is The Unconscious- A repressed part of ourselves  that seeks to wreak havoc if left forgotten.

Remember it through  Art. Let your mind pour itself unto a canvas as a way of making the unconscious conscious.

If It sounds like whacky Freudian psychology, it’s because it is. Inspired by the idea that humans are subconsciously driven beings, Freud sought a way to bring his patient’s inner thoughts to surface via creative endeavors.

The theory is that complex ideas locked up deep within the psyche can be revealed through surrealist automatism, painting without conscious thought or intention.

Just as creativity that comes from the depths of the subconscious is more authentic than anything that is produced consciously, so is self-knowledge that is gained through art.

It’s a simple, fun and stress-relieving way to break through the confines of the rational mind. It worked for famous artists like Salvador Dali and it can work for you and me.

No worries, you don’t have to have any artistic talent for subconscious drawing. Just let your hands go on a frenzy with whatever medium you prefer–  pen, pencil, watercolor, crayon, there is no right or wrong. The only rule is to just go with it. Draw without censorship whatever comes to mind.

After you feel you are completely finished, return to consciousness in order to find meaning in your creative expression. Turn it around, upside down, sideways, look at it from all perspectives. Put it away for a few days, months, or even a year then look at it again. More than likely an idea will surface that otherwise you would not have been able to access.

Draw, paint, doodle or scribble, it is a great stress reliever and you might learn something about your dreams and goals. Believe it or not, there is some science behind it. Some really smart people out there have dedicated time to determining the meaning of reoccurring doodles which you can employ when analyzing your creative expressions. For example:

  • Rounded shapes and curves: indicates a need for harmony in your life.
  • Straight lines & square: indicates a down-to-earth personality
  • Arrows: signify some goal that you have in mind.
  • Intricate patterns: indicate an introverted and obsessive nature.

If you want to read more about the meaning of your doodles visit:

I’ve included some of  my subconscious paintings here. The fun part for me is trying to name each piece, it is while pondering about the perfect title that a meaning seems to surface. If you’re up for a little psychoanalysis, leave me a comment on what titles you would choose.


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Categories: Positive Psychology, The Arts


My name is Raimy, I’m a soul-searching writer and amateur photographer. Creative-guru is a by-product of a deep creative passion for personal and spiritual growth.

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11 Comments on “Painting the Subconscious”

  1. February 1, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Love your art, and what a thought to just draw. I am not a talented artist, but I am going to give this a try this weekend, because it seems like fun. I may need some help interpreting. When I look at your paintings I think I was struck by the contrast. I don’t know very much about art, but if I were naming them, the big one would be, Lillys on the water. I don’t know what type of flowers those are but they remind me of when I was a small boy, my grandmother would take my brothers and myself in a rowboat and we would collect water Lillys. A time before computers and internet. The next one powerful, God is mentioned, so I would call it “Connection”, because it reminds me that we are all connected through God, the Universe, whatever you want to call it. The next one I call The Dance because I see a contrast of male and female, that is just what I see and it makes me think of a dance. The last one I would call “Devastation” the left is beautiful and I think the right is the aftermath of some turmoil, inner or outer. That is my two cents and now I have spent enough time enjoying your art, and not working! Let me know how I did and what you call them. Thank you for the art and the thoughts! Love your blog.

    • February 1, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      Thank you Jonathan, I really like your interpretations especially “connection” I think that sums it up perfectly. I think you will have a blast this weekend, trust me is not a matter of talent its just you expressing you. Can’t wait to see what you create.

  2. February 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Beautiful paintings, Raimy. Jonathan and I are so alike. I too don’t consider myself an artist, but I will try some water color this weekend with my kids. Thank you so much for giving us the license to be artists, Raimy.
    As far as titiles, for some reason your large painting made me think of “birth.” “Souls Entwined” made me think of “Yin and Yang in Color.” And “Darkness Dwells” made me think of “Strive On.”
    Guess we could do some Rorschach test analysis here–I’m striving for balance to be born??
    Ha. Thanks for sharing.

    • February 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Rorschach test indeed, those are so much fun. I hope have you have a blast with with your kiddos this weekend, hope you share your creations too.

  3. Sea Play Photography
    February 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I nominated your blog for the Illuminating Blogger award.

    • February 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      I’m extremely flattered for the nomination! I’ll be uploading the award and following the rules as specified.Thank you very much for stopping by today. I look forward to getting to know you and your work better. 😉

  4. enrella
    February 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    hi, i saw this website because i visited jonathan’s and i am happy to see your paintings here. i am not an artist, not anything like that and cant interprete or analyzed such things but i would like to share what i saw intuitively and spontaneously on your bigger painting.. the large one:
    It has depth, Like a mother’s womb. It has confident energy and an ability to express. Are you all this? What do you think? Enrella

    • February 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      hmm interesting Enrella, this is the 2nd time someone has told me it reminds them of birth or a womb. It’s funny because I did not see this until it was pointed out to me. The flowers could be like what’s waiting to be born, like blooming sort of. Ability to express, sometimes i lack this but it is what I’m most interested in, especially with words. I’m not an artist either I just sorta picked up a brush and went with it. If you get a chance try it, some really cool stuff can come out of it. I’d be happy to give my intuitive sense of it.

  5. enrella
    February 6, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    thanks i will give it a try.. and would like to receive your comments on it. have a beautiful day

    • February 6, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      Just let me know! Have a great day.


  1. Words can’t do You justice | Creative-Guru - April 6, 2013

    […] 1. Painting the Subconscious  […]

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