Last week, I paid a visit to Tacoma’s Artful Dreamers Studio, which is located in the Glove Building along Center Street in Nalley Valley. The studio is an organic, DIY, fairy godmother’s parlor that has a feel of authenticity. It is unlike places that seem slick, glitzy and corporate. Artful Dreamers is a welcoming, comfortable and cozy space filled with colorful, free-form, non-digital art. A lamp made from oyster shells is set on an end table near a soft seating area where I enjoyed a cup of tea and a talk with Nadine Hamil, the proprietor of Artful Dreamers.
In existence since Dec. 2009, Artful Dreamers is a space where attendees at classes and workshops (geared mostly toward women) can explore art in a non-judgmental spirit of play and practice. “Mistakes” are not frowned upon; they are celebrated as steps forward. It is a place where people have the safety and freedom to get in touch with their creative side and begin to explore the fantastic world that exists within all of us.
Hamil is a comforter, a wise soul who has worked to create an artistic sanctuary where women can explore their ideas, dreams, wants and needs in a process called “intuitive painting.” Hamil is a transplant to the Pacific Northwest from Florida. She and her husband came to the area when their children moved to the region. She operated a similar studio in Florida after she became a certified Master Intuitive Painting and Expressive Arts Facilitator and Creative Spirit Coach.
Unlike related studios that host “sip and paint” events, in which participants drink wine and follow an instructor who guides everyone in painting the same picture, Artful Dreamers allows each person to seek out and explore images and colors that they are able to bring out through a variety of methods.
Studio-goers generally launch their artistic explorations with the use of large sheets of art paper that are fixed to the paint streaked walls. Working in tempera, folks try out whatever they wish, following whatever sequence of images and ideas that might come forward. Art is limitless.
Among upcoming offerings for January is an Intuitive painting session on Jan. 5.
Intuitive painting is defined as a spiritual and creative practice, which is designed to allow practitioners to tune in on their own intuition. Practitioners seek to hear the inner intuitive voice and to know when it is speaking. They seek to tell the difference between intuitive intelligence and the analytical/judging mind. It is that still, small voice that people have spoken about for all time.
Intuitive painting is the practice of freeing your creative self. At the sessions, participants seek to dig deeper with color, movement and meditation in order to make contact with inner intuition. It is akin to entering a dream state (hence the name Artful Dreamers Studio).
Hamil noted that artistic expression is a way of personal transformation that can hold the key to spiritual, emotional healing.
To sum up our discussion, Hamil invited would be participants to “Come make mistakes! Art heals,” said Hamil. “Art helps you find your true self.”