It is well documented that making ART is good for you. For instance, studies show that exercising our creativity can reduce stress, build self-esteem and help to create a healthy state of mind. More about that ahead, but….

This is a personal story about how creating ART (and music, too) fills me with a range of positive emotions. Among them are a sense of accomplishment, pride, satisfaction, confidence and even serenity. Then there are the more potent feelings akin to intoxication, ecstacy, exuberance and sheer giddyness, that I collectively refer to as the “Sensation of Creation Elation”. Catchy, huh? Well, it not only sounds good, it FEELS GOOD!

A Case of “Creation Elation”

If you’re interested, dig deeper below:

 Make More Art: Healthy Creativity

For more info about Why Painting and Art Can Make You Happy

More of the Mental Health Benefits of Art 


The 5 Stages of Creation Elation occur throughout my art-making process. There’s nothing clinical or scientific about them. They are just the times during a project when I feel good, have fun and get happy. These are the best parts of my Amazing Art Adventure!

 The Idea


It could be while driving, reading, walking or even sleeping, when it comes to me. The “Aha!” moment. The idea that will surely lead to a brilliant masterpiece. I’m getting giddy just thinking about it now! It could be a shape, a technique, a process, a color palette, a point of view, or more likely a combination of these and many other things that form an approximate image in my MIND’S EYE. Eureka! I have found latent beauty in potential and now have the opportunity to reveal it. By the way, not all of these fantastic visions come to fruition. Some are abandoned early as too difficult, impractical, expensive or whatnot and some don’t turn out as expected. Other ideas are forgotten or supplanted by still newer ideas. It doesn’t matter. I still had the wondrous experience of “Creation Elation” and was reminded that there are many more creative ideas out there waiting for me.

Gathering Materials

My Tools of the Trade

If it goes beyond the idea stage, then I start to gather the materials. Do I need a certain size of canvas, new colors of paint, brushes or different art implements? My studio is well-stocked, but a trip to the art store may be on the agenda. During this hunting and gathering process, the idea continues to develop.  All through this stage the “Creation Elation” is building as I consider the awesome possibilities of the project.

Colossal Color Collection

The First Stroke

Am I really doing this now? Wow, let’s go! Of course the first stroke is exhilarating, but so are other steps in the initial phase. For instance, preparing the studio, laying out a palette of colors, transforming the canvas with a preliminary underpainting. Even unwrapping that clean, new canvas starts the paint (oops, I mean blood) pumping through my body. It must be “Preparation Elation”.

Unwrapping a New Canvas

The Process

Creation Elation Dance in Progress

The dynamic process of making ART involves work and time, ups and downs, give and take, mistakes and corrections thereof, adjustments and problem-solving. Each challenge met and overcome, each bypassed roadblock and every aesthetic battle won leads to satisfaction, fulfillment, and yes, “Creation Elation”. There are some especially ecstatic moments that make me begin to DANCE! It could be a magic color that appears as it mixes right there on the canvas or any number of “Happy Accidents” unfolding before my eyes. 

Stand Back and Dig It!

Now I can savor the results of my work. Just as I am the most enthusiastic consumer of my own original music compositions, I am compelled to study my painting intensely, over and over. Looking, looking and more looking. Did I really do that? What a great feeling!  There is a lot of looking, contemplating and deciding during the process of art-making, but this is different (and even better). Afterwards, when no longer in the frenzied flow-state of working, I can better analyze and appreciate my creation – and enjoy the sensation of “Creation Elation”.

Watch the Creation Elation Dance

You Can See MY GALLERIES here

Explore the Universe of ART

with Scott Steelman

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Thanks for coming along on my Art Adventure.

Feel free to send any comments, questions.  I look forward to hearing from you!