Ever Feel “Runners High” When You’re Creating?

I originally wrote a post about this topic in January 31, 2013, Ever Feel “Runners High” When You’re Creating? mainly because the subject fascinated me and I was convinced no matter what a persons method of creativity – sculpture, photographer, writer, artist of painters or drawing, etc. – the concept must resonate to some extent.

I wrote about the many similarities of what runners experience and creative types, Ever Feel “Runners High” When You’re Creating?.Β  There was a large discussion w/the post back in 2013 and after commenting with a fellow blogger and incredible artist, Janet Weight Reed yesterday along the same lines of thought it seemed like a great opportunity to open it up again.

Here is one of my seascape paintings, An Open Wave, where I had such an experience ~

An Open Wave

Do you ever feel a runner’s high when you create?



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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101 Responses to Ever Feel “Runners High” When You’re Creating?

  1. pizzuti says:

    I think it’s better than a runner’s high, it’s just pure exhilarating bliss sometimes πŸ™‚

  2. viladev says:

    The painting is beautiful :). Love that blue color. It looks like really moving

  3. 365dniwobiektywielg says:

    Great and very realistic

  4. Madhu says:

    Oh my! If i could come up with that translucent blue I would feel a marathoner’s high Mary!! πŸ™‚

    • Mary says:

      Ha, great comment Madhu! It was while I was working the translucent area of the wave and standing back realizing the frothy sea-foam worked – the magic happened. I’ll bet you feel the same when taking photographs, there are some shots that are real stunners. Thanks so much ~

  5. OH yes. Nothing like that meditative state which can be elusive.Wonderful waves, Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Oh Elena, I so know that you connect in such an extraordinary way with your subjects – you describe it perfectly, “elusive.” Thanks so much!!

  6. Ralph says:

    Wow ! This is my favourite painting of yours Mary. The wave is almost transparent. Brilliant ! πŸ˜€ ❀

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much Ralph for your generous comment about the wave – nothing like following a great wave into shore, the sheer power and awesomeness.

  7. Oh wow, Mary! Such a beautiful painting. It’s really impressive actually. πŸ˜€
    And I totally relate. Because I’m a very enthusiastic person but it gets worse when I’m in a creative phase!

    • Mary says:

      Hey Cha – thank so much!! It doesn’t surprise me that you feel the rush when painting certain scenes or characters, you connect so well with your subjects. Here’s to artists endorphin rushes!

  8. LOVE! I can almost feel the breeze as the power of the wave washes in. Such beautiful depth and peacefulness. Each of your creations have it. This one I can look at and feel myself being lost in reverie.
    Totally understand a high feeling… but it doesn’t happen all the time. The Frilly Tulips that I have been working on have definitely been my ‘high’. It’s a wonderful feeling.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks for your beautiful feedback on the painting bbs! It doesn’t surprise me that you feel the high your work is of an incredible quality, but there is also a feel to it. It’s true as artists we don’t get the high every time, but when it does come with a piece we feel connected there is nothing quite like it.

  9. Resa says:

    I totally feel Runner’s High during & after designing the costumes for a movie or TV show!

    • Mary says:

      Why doesn’t this surprise me Resa – that you would experience the endorphin rush. It seems to me that in order to design and create a costume, you have to develop a deep connection with the character to fully absorb and understand, and then to create the costume for the character as well as the actor. Very interesting, just love it!

      • Resa says:

        Thank you, Mary! You understand the creative process I go through. I’ve always known I am an artist, but have felt marginalized by the art world. I suppose that is why I began my other blog artgowns.com
        You are special!

        • Mary says:

          Hello Resa, I just had a good time spending a bit browsing your other blog and website – very simply a lot of fun and in awe of your incredible gown/costume work. Awesome! Such a shame that your work, which are all works of art, is marginalized by the art world – the art world at times is a bit too stuffy!

          • Resa says:

            Oh Mary!
            What a wonderful comment this is to come home to! My Art Gowns mean a lot to me, and I would love their promotion of valued charities to become more meaningful.
            I started work at 6:00 this morning & at 8:15 at night , I am still working.
            I have to process my fitting pics from today, and mail them to the director, as well as I am dying 2 jackets… then it’s up at 5:00 to get back to work by 6:30.
            Your beautiful comment is food for my soul!
            You are so amazing.
            Much love,

  10. What a beautiful painting. I would be feeling awesome if I painted that well xx

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely feedback – I really appreciate it! You are so dedicated in your daily paintings, which are wonderful – the discipline shows as you have a tremendous control over detail, of which I can’t get at that level in my smaller oil pastels. Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. restlessjo says:

    After creating a painting like that you absolutely deserve to have a high, Mary. It’s fabulous! High? I get very involved when I’m writing and there’s definitely a feel-good factor. πŸ™‚

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Jo – this was one of my earlier paintings and is one of those scenes that I think fascinate people when they are close and can feel the spray. I can definitely understand how you would be able to feel the energy and high when you’re totally absorbed in what you’re writing about. It’s the connection of one, while tuning everything else out ~ yes, I can see this happening for you. Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. This is one of my favorites of yours Mary! It was good to see it again.~Rita

  13. Mary says:

    If you are interested in reading Janet Weight Reed’s fascinating discussion on this subject you can read her response here at the original post ~ Ever Feel Runner’s High When Creating?

  14. Yes, always! Guess that’s why I love to create so often. πŸ™‚ This piece is simply stunning, by the way… Your talent never ceases to amaze me, my friend. ❀

  15. Wendy Kate says:

    Yes, absolutely. I know just what you mean 😊 great picture x

    • Mary says:

      Awesome Wendy – it’s something that not everyone achieves, but when I guess when we get so totally focused on what we are doing and all click is when the endorphin rush explodes. Thanks also – it’s great to meet you!!

  16. Jackie says:

    First of all, that’s a beautiful painting! Secondly, yes I totally get a “high” when I’m in a creative zone – so to speak. πŸ™‚

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much Jackie! I totally understand and is great to hear that you achieve this whether through photography or an artistic endeavor – it happens. Makes the whole experience physically and mentally worth it, don’t you think?!

  17. Marick says:

    Absolutely! Slip into “the zone”, whether it be through writing, music, painting, or actual running. It’s an intense feeling, and I’d feel sorry for any person who didn’t experience this sort of high.

    • Mary says:

      So right Pauline – it is exactly as you wrote, an intense feeling of exuberance. The high that is hard to explain, but when it hits (and doesn’t always happen) it is why we do what we do.

  18. Angie Mc says:

    Mary, I don’t even feel a runner’s high when I’m running, darn it! Some day… some day ❀

  19. When I write something that I like, I feel this way! This picture is gorgeous! I need to learn your technique!

    • Mary says:

      Very cool Michelle! It’s truly wonderful to read how so many writers experience this high while writing – could it be the pitch of concentration and absorption into the subject/character? Thank you so much for your feedback on the painting!

  20. Gallivanta says:

    Should one also ask the question, do runners get an artist’s high? πŸ˜‰ I haven’t been in the zone like that for a long time. Occasionally it would happen when I was swimming for exercise.

    • Mary says:

      Great question Gallivanta, very cool in deed!! Oh yes, I think we could very much turn the table and ask, does the runner ever experience the artists high! I hope the zone comes back to you so that you can not only experience the feeling, but that of a certain freedom as well.

    • this made me laugh! good question- do runners get an artist’s high?” after chucking, i reflected on what a runner might be like if they had an artist’s high.. and i thought about myself, when i ran when i was younger..on the beach in costa rica at low tide, i often ran in great big figure 8’s, as if i were riding a horse and going thru a practice drill.. i paid attention to ‘changing leads’ and at times i also pretended to do the ‘pole bending’ race.. ha, can you tell that i once competed in rodeo speed events? but yes, i definitely had artistic highs when running.. or if i were running with friends, i often ran circles around them.. i ran faster than they…

      thanks for giving me a creative outlet.. i am feeling much better, and the brain is finally starting to process again!

  21. elisa ruland says:

    On the right day, I feel a runner’s high doing many things. I’ve always wanted to be a runner, though, so I could feel the real thing. I love your painting, it’s beautiful and beachy. Perfect!

    • Mary says:

      Very cool Elisa, we don’t have to be a runner to experience this – when everything lines up perfectly the runner’s high touches us. Thank you also for your feedback on the Open Wave!!

  22. If I’d done this painting, I’d be feeling that too! It’s a stunner! I’ve had a similar feeling with a few of my portraits. When I feel I’ve captured the person…it doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, I feel like I connected to my subject’s soul. It’s quite an incredible thing.

  23. It is nice when it happens whatever we are creating!

  24. The euphoria of runner’s high- to me it’s the extreme joy of creativity. This painting of yours, Mary, it’s hard to believe it’s a painting…it is so very perfect!! Amazing creation… take a bow… πŸ™‚

  25. Oh yes, definitely get that high when I complete a scene that I’ve struggled with.
    I LOVE the painting, Mary. It looks so real…I wanted to sink my toes in that sand! Great job!

    • Mary says:

      Awesome Jill – as a writer I know you must experience this level of high during different aspects of creating and formulating. Thanks very much for your feedback on the painting – it was a neat seascape to explore with oil pastels, I loved working the frothy sand on this piece. Thanks again ~

  26. Wonderful painting, Mary. Such depth in the wave, I can almost smell the salt air. I never really thought about it, but i do get a “high” when I am creating. Actually, felt it today. I hadn’t felt up to painting for a few weeks and today I did got a lot done on a painting that has been coming along slowly.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Janell – so love it when one of my paintings has an affect on the viewer. That’s very cool that you experienced this today with finally feeling your paintings again – it’s when everything falls into place and clicks on a whole different level. So good Janell, have a great week.

  27. What a spectacular wave, Mary. And the depth is captured so very very well!!! Excellent work!!!! πŸ™‚

    • Mary says:

      Hi Marina – thanks very much. Two things attracted me to paint this scene – the frothy sea-foam in the foreground and the translucent portion of the wave. It was an awesome and energetic scene to paint. Have a wonderful Thursday.

  28. RMW says:

    Although I am a visual person I feel it more when I am writing than painting or photographing… when all the right words flow and I can’t type fast enough! Your painting is so expressive I can imagine you would feel that high painting it.

    • Mary says:

      Hello RMW, nice to meet you! Thank you for your thoughts – because it is just as you described – this joy, an experience difficult to put into words but it is there none-the-less. You get it – very cool!

  29. cmartzloff says:

    This is an outstanding painting! I can see why you feel the “runner’s high”. I can’t say I’ve experienced that with my painting. Although, I do have many moments where I feel at “home” in the process and tremendous joy. This is a different feeling for me than when I experience a running “high”.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much Catherine! Ah but you experience the joy and it’s how you are connecting with the piece – how extraordinary that we can feel our work at a very different level. Runners’ high, in the zone, sense of pure joy – we may each have a word for it, but we totally understand ~

  30. Amy says:

    So beautifully done, Mary! I can feel the motion.

  31. I guess I don’t call it runners high, because I’ve never been a runner, though I think I’ve known that feeling of flow, of becoming one with the universe, biking, skiing, walking, writing, drawing and painting…nowadays, when I am at work on a poem, I can suddenly find that two hours have gone by, though I thought I had just been working for a few minutes. It’s a wonderful “getting out of yourself” into what has been called “the zone.”

    • Mary says:

      I’m right with you Cynthia and knew you’d get it! “The zone” is what I’m talking about and often I’ll find three or four hours have passed while painting or drawing and I never realized that much time had passed. Also there is this feeling, I don’t get it with every painting, but when I do – it’s like all systems are on and I feel this rush because what I was painting I totally connected with and on a very different level.

      It’s a wonderful thing and aren’t we lucky to be able to experience this, I can’t imagine some professions ever reaching this level of exuberance in their line of work.

  32. ashokbhatia says:

    Yes, of course. That is the time when ideas swirling around in one’s mind get channelized into words and sentences in a torrent of sorts and one has forgotten even oneself, not to speak of one’s surroundings.
    Wonderful painting, as always!

    • Mary says:

      Exactly Ashok! The lost time is usually when we are the most creative, when we are connecting to that one thing thought, word, picture, paint, subject – whatever it may be we are connected to it and nothing else at that moment. Awesome ~

  33. Arts & Rhymes says:

    That is a beautiful painting Mary! The light is exquisite, the splash of the water, absolutely gorgeous!
    I have felt it sometimes – when I am particularly happy with my work, when it’s something that I really feel connected too and when it goes the way I want it like my painting “To love an animal”

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Bella for your lovely feedback on the painting! Love reading your comment on when and how you get the “felling” of knowing while you’re working – it does take us to an entirely different place mentally and physically when we are creating! Very cool ~

  34. I love this painting! And yes, I feel runner’s high when I’m out making photographs, and running around (literally!) when photographing wedding receptions. The ‘muscle aches & pains’ I feel are exactly the same as running πŸ™‚

    Best wishes,

    • Mary says:

      Hi Takami, thank you so much – appreciate it! The real question for you, because you take some incredible photographs – when you see something that you know this is it, that feeling of knowing can be extraordinary as an artist, photographer – sort of like when you are running and you experience the high and then you are kind of running w/o really realizing where you are or how far you’ve run. Like an out of body experience. Some of your photographs, like the recent of the tiger with blue eyes, had to have given you that feeling of “oh yes, this is it.”

  35. Lee says:

    Very beautiful, one of my favorites from you.

  36. Yep. I felt it this morning, but I pulled a calf muscle just ambling around the garden. And I know both from running.

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