Terry Hearnshaw's 'joy of painting nothing' helps him to turn off, tune out, and nod off

London-based graphic designer Terry Hearnshaw turns to art when he needs to completely relax. In fact, he says the "joy of painting nothing" is something that helps him cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.

"Throughout my career, I have always used painting and drawing as a meditative outlet, a way to switch off in the evenings and decompress," he tells us. "This became all the more important as a healthy distraction during lockdown, as the general feeling of anxiety over pretty much every aspect of life could often become overwhelming."

He's just launched a new website to share some of his recent paintings – some of which we've revealed here. He originally created his site as a way to keep a visual reference for everything in one place. "The website itself is really simple and randomises on every page load as a way to stimulate my mind if I was ever feeling uninspired.

"But after lockdown and realising how important making art has been for my own mental health, I've begun adding some short pieces of writing to the site which try to articulate this. I'd love to encourage more people to take up painting as a form of meditation, highlighting that the process itself is often more important to me than the end product."

Working in exhibition design for Nissen Richards Studio in London, Terry previously lived in Cornwall and Manchester, where he spent a "good four years" working for Craig Oldham.

"Sure, I have paintings that I like the look of, and plenty more that I don't share but which have fulfilled their purpose of helping me relax. The same goes for adhering to a style or medium. I feel like these ideas throw up a barrier which discourages adults from making art, as they feel embarrassed to produce something that won't necessarily be going on the wall."

Have a look at his latest paintings on his website or follow Terry on Instagram.


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