Tapping Into the Right Side of the Brain for the Win

Tapping Into the Right Side of the Brain for the Win

Tapping Into the Right Side of the Brain for the Win

Writings about residential real estate, San Francisco, and all things home, by Shelly Sutherland, Kindred SF Homes Associate

I recently signed up for a "Painting and Prosecco" class in an attempt to tap into the right side of my brain. It was a small-group gathering that a friend recommended as my first-ever painting class. I told her I only do stick figures, but she assured me I could manage. At a minimum, I'd meet some people in a welcoming environment and enjoy some prosecco! 

The minimum was achieved, but I surely did not advance my skills. Learning the color wheel is complicated enough, but I was utterly at a loss when I was supposed to put paint to paper. First, there's a particular way to hold the brush. Then, there’s a method for applying the paint so as to create something recognizable. My first masterpiece turned into a greenish-purple blob.

(The teacher was sweet enough to encourage my continuation of the painting classes. She said I had potential. But I think my bank account had more potential for her!

It was indeed a humbling experience and a lesson. While my friend and the teacher were very encouraging – let’s be honest here – most people don’t have a natural talent for the arts and painting is really hard! We can all dabble in art, so long as we remember that it's the process, not the result, that matters. 

So what's the joy in the process? My only artistic endeavor was some years spent playing around with photography. The process of learning, being in the moment, seeing things from a different perspective, and not being attached to the outcome was so rewarding. I didn't care about the results, and those years of photography were genuinely joyful. 

From what I have read, balancing left and right brain activities is better for all of us. The times I am “more right brain,” I am more spontaneous and playful. Playing games is filling the gap between now and my next artistic endeavor. Cards, board games, charades…I love all of it for the silliness and the need to be quick on your feet. 

One of my favorite games is Telestrations, which requires drawing. But my prowess is limited by the inability to produce images more sophisticated than stick figures and this was perhaps the main motivator to learn more painterly skills. While I understand that, yes, painting and drawing is all about the process (not the result), the competitor in me enjoys the very satisfying result of WINNING at games! 

Photo credit: Gaspar Uhas

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