Colors Keep the Darkness Away – Online artmaking group for people experiencing sadness

Cornfield painting by Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh, Cornfield, 1890

Why “Colors Keep The Darkness Away”?

I’ve been under treatment for depression for several years. I find that one of the things that is most helpful to me is my daily painting practice. Every morning, even before I have my oatmeal, I sit in front of the easel and cover a sheet of paper with color. It doesn’t matter what I create. I just need to get that paper covered. It could take me less than a minute. It could take me an hour. It could be a solid color. It could be an abstract. It could be something representational. The important thing is that I get that sheet of paper covered. By accomplishing this simple task first thing in the morning, it helps me to feel that I can conquer the other tasks that are before me for that day. I believe in the healing properties of color.
I recently had to speak publicly about my art. And my depression. As I was talking, the line “Colors keep the darkness away” came out. It struck a chord with both myself and my audience. It is one of the most succinct ways to describe the power of art to overcome our personal struggles.
While I initially envisioned this as being helpful to people with depression, I realized that I did not wish to label it as such for two reasons. Depression, like other mental illnesses, is still very much stigmatized in our society. I didn’t want anyone who might find the painting experience to be helpful to not come because of that label. I also realized that people who are not clinically depressed but are experiencing great sadness would find this beneficial. I wanted to include people who are undergoing difficult life experiences like illness, the loss of a loved one, homelessness, poverty, etc.

Ready to sign up?

There’s more info below. You can use the contact page on the website to connect or use this link to join my mailing list to see the schedule.


After your first session, a donation is required for each session. You can make your donation via Paypal. If Paypal is difficult, we can figure out another way. You choose the amount of the donation and that amount is not made public. It important is that every attendee donates. Paying for something makes one more emotionally invested in the experience and makes one an owner. We often feel, if only subconsciously, that if there is no cost, it is because something is worthless.


We start the session with an intro to the Artist of the Day. Quotes by the selected artist are read if available. There may be some brief biographical notes. Works by the artist are shown. Participants can base their artwork on the shown works, use them as inspiration or ignore them and create what they wish. We hope to include participating artists to come in as an Artist of the Day at some point. 5-10 minutes

Greetings & Introductions: We have an informal time to chat, introduce ourselves, and discuss things that help or hinder our creativity. We can also talk about the inspirational artwork or artist.
10-15 minutes

Artmaking: We turn off our microphones and get to work! We have an hour to make our art. You may make whatever art you want with whatever materials you have. Hands-on media as well as digital. All media are welcome. At the 50-minute mark, an announcement is made that there are 10 minutes left to finish up. There is no expectation that you will have created a finished piece when the time is up.
1 hours

Sharing/Debriefing Time: We all come back to our computers to share our experiences. You can show your artwork if you’d like to or not. You can also talk about your work or the feeling that you experienced for up to three minutes but you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to. We all do need to be respectful while someone is showing or talking about their work. If you still have more to say when the timer has run out, you are welcome to come back next time to talk and make more art. 

When the last person has finished, we thank each other for coming and participating. I will provide information on future sessions.
30 minutes

You’ll need:

Artmaking supplies and a space where you can make them. This is best for relatively unmessy artmaking. Painting, watercolors, alcohol ink, art journaling, collage, quilling, papercrafts, polymer clay, mosaic, pen & ink, small sculptures, needlework, etc. If you need help figuring out what would work, reach out. I’m here for you.Disclaimer:

This is a peer group art and social activity. This is not to replace qualified medical attention, counseling and/or medication. 

Can artmaking help depression?

I believe it can. It has helped me immensely. I think it may help you too. Again, I’m not a medical professional. Here’s an article that explains more!


Colors Keep the Darkness Away was created by Kymba Nijuck, ) and is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike (CC BY-NC-SA) license.  For more information on usage please visit

About Kymba

I’m all about helping neurodiverse folks to create as a coach for people with brains that work a little differently and who believe in Magick. My brain works a little differently, too. I’m on the spectrum, with ADHDCPTSD, mild chronic depression, and a soupçon of dyslexia

I’m also on a mission! I truly & deeply believe that you’ve got a thing to make that nobody else can! I also truly and deeply believe that you’ve got valuableradicallife-changing ideas that you need to bring to fruition. And that I can help.

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