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Discovering Beauty in the Unplanned: Lessons from Teaching with a Japanese Hake Brush Art Therapy

Updated: Mar 19

As I stood in front of my watercolor class, Japanese hake brush in hand, my aim was simple: to demonstrate various brush techniques.

Little did I anticipate that this brush, dipped in shades of the night sky, would teach me a profound lesson in the allure of spontaneity. Discovering beauty in the unplanned, art therapy.

Aurora Borealis Watercolor

It all began with a stroke, a fusion of blues and purples meeting the textured paper, intended to showcase the potential of a single tool.

However, with each movement, a landscape started to take shape, as if the brush itself was imparting secrets of a scene it yearned to reveal.

In those moments, I wasn't just an artist or a teacher; I became a student of the present, witnessing as an artwork unfolded not from intention, but from instinct.

This encounter served as a gentle reminder of life's serendipity.

As the watercolor flowed and formed, I recognized that we, too, are often molded by the unforeseen brushstrokes of life.

We plan, we strategize, but ultimately, it's the unplanned events that paint the most vivid colors of our existence.

In art, as in life, I've come to understand that the most beautiful things can arise from letting go.

We are taught to strive for perfection, to meticulously control every outcome. However, this painting, born from a simple demonstration, revealed to me that there's a different approach—a path of harmony, of embracing the fluid interplay between taking control and letting be.

As I shared this piece with my class, I aimed to impart more than just a technique. I sought to convey a philosophy: Embrace the unexpected. Trust the process. And sometimes, let the brush lead the way.

Through this spontaneous creation, I unearthed a beautiful truth—art isn't solely about the finished piece. It's about the process, the exploration, and the unexpected surprises that arise when you grant yourself the freedom to venture beyond the boundaries.

And in these moments, I felt the colors, textures, and movements come alive in a way that transcended the mere act of painting.

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