Art and Healing
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is a symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature–the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world…are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life.”
~Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
Healers healing artists … artists healing the world. Why do healers heal and why do artists paint? Empathic calling perhaps, a need for expression for the good of humankind.
Healers and artists share an affinity with beauty, and a desire for truth and happiness. Beauty is necessary to every culture, and in every culture is defined differently. Beauty inspires. Beauty heals.
“ART & HEALING
… are One and the Same …”
Treating mind, body, and spirit holistically to achieve harmony is the goal of the healer. In the artist’s work, such harmony exists in the essence of the art, it’s elements of freshness in its originality. Unique expressions living entirely in the moment, aspects of a larger knowing. No two snowflakes, flower petals or tree trunk the same. Yet all are living organisms joined by a common thread, part of a larger plan.
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Imagination is the ability to form mental images, and the source of creative mind power. It is all about images … images … images. Inspiration and the stuff that dreams are made of, come from the imagination. On occasion, I have mentioned my experience of seeing images on the big screen in my mind’s eye.
Puzzled, some had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently this is not the experience of all. Georgia O’Keeffe, has been noted to say she remembers seeing images, as a tiny child in her crib, pictures in the shadows on the wall, shapes, colours, shadows, light. Where does this come from?
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What are the stages of the creative process? Many models exist to illustrate the process which goes on during the act of creativity.
The one I am most familiar with is the Wallas Model.
Another model which expands further on the process is by Robert Fritz.
Adjust, learn, evaluate, adjust
Living with your creation
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Gardening is therapy. I love the smell of fresh dark earth, after a rain, as I inspect seedlings for any sign of growth. When I am in the garden, time does not exist. Fortunate to live in a quiet neighborhood, conscious only of my connection with nature, gardening is like a form of meditation. As an artist, I find being in touch with the natural rhythms of nature crucial to my creativity.
In the paper towel, I am soaking morning glory seeds, which shall go into the ground tomorrow. I have planted many things already, and some are sprouting. Sometimes I dry flowers with my microwave dryer from Lee Valley Tools, which is a wonderful place for all sorts of unique items for home and garden. I like to follow the Farmer’s Almanac, as a guideline for planting.
Gardening in the foothills presents it’s own special challenges. Sometimes the length of time between frosts can be as few as ninety days, or we may see as many as 150 frost free days. Our altitude is approximately 1050 meters or 3500 feet above sea level. Combine that with dry Chinook winds, semi arid climate, and our proximity to the mountains, you have a shorter growing season. Yet with our long days of light, rapid growth is seen. Twilight lasts until well after 10pm.
My herb garden, and pots will be next, just as soon as I get some bedding plants. I have some herbs up already, which were planted last year. Then in the warm heat of summer, I shall sit on my patio, with a good book, and a huge glass of homemade lemonade, to enjoy the fruits of my efforts. Now that’s heaven!
When is a painting finished? That is a subject most artists could debate for hours. I have pondered this question for ages now. My tendancy for the quest of perfection, sometimes causes me to overwork things, and do more than is necessary. This can ruin the freshness of a composition, creating remorse, for my not having stopped sooner.
Up until now, I could not rest until I felt I had poured every bit of heart and soul into a piece. Now it seems that can be too much. Perhaps I need to save something for the next piece. Maybe that is why I like to have the next piece setup before I finish the one I am working on.
I went in search of what others had to say about finishing a painting.I would be interested to know what your thoughts are about completing a painting. Here are some of my favorite quotes of interest to inspire you.
“Finishing a painting demands a heart of steel: everything requires a decision, and I find difficulties where I least expect
them… It is at
such moments that one fully realizes one’s own weaknesses.”
“One always has to soil a picture a little in order to finish it. The last touches, which are given to
bring the different parts into harmony, take away from the freshness. It has to appear in public
shorn of all those happy negligences which an artist delights in.”
Delacroix(1798-1863)French Romantic Painter
“Conversation in real life is full of half-finished sentences and overlapping talk. Why shouldn’t painting be too?”
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), French Impressionist.
A painting is finished when the artist says it is finished.
“I am always at work, but not in order to arrive at that finish which arouses the admiration of idiots.”
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), French Post-Impressionist
“A painting is never finished. It simply stops in interesting places.”
All’s well that ends well.