Healing Art


Reflection PondArt is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favors no race, and it acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal, and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible.” Richard Kamler

As the one year mark of my first blog post, Octopus in the Ice Bucket,approaches I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. Its been a great year full of new and exciting adventures. Putting myself out there in the public eye; creating my website, starting my blog, selling my art,displaying my art publicly, creating merchandise from my art. Exciting times! Reflection is an important part of my journey; looking at where I was last year, noticing where I am currently, and projecting where I want to go.

Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing.” Julia Cameron

The last two months I have been fortunate to have my work displayed for Hillsborough’s Last Friday’s Art Walk at Carolina Wellness Institute. Paula Huffman, the owner of Carolina Wellness Institute, has been a gracious host. Being in this particular location for a second month brought my focus to my body of work as I selected and hung paintings for the first and then the second month. Knowing the paintings would remain hung throughout the month for patrons of the Wellness Institute to enjoy I had healing and wellness on my mind as I selected realizing all of my paintings are well suited for a wellness environment. My mission is and has always been to spread more light, love, and laughter in the world one painting at a time. Healing art. Judging by the wonderful feedback at these events I have been doing just that. It feels great to be true to my goal and authentic to myself, but it is an amazingly good feeling to see my paintings have a positive impact on viewers. Chatting with people when they come in to look at my art has been a gift for me. I love hearing which painting really resonates with an individual or what they like in particular about a painting. I love when someone says “your art makes me smile”, and I hear that a lot! Many people are drawn to the colors I use, I joke that I have a color addiction, but it feels true. The colors, compositions, and details are meant to inspire, lift spirits, bring joy, and sometimes to bring calm.

Throughout time, art has reached out to the human soul and touched the spirit of the beholder. Its ability to provide solace, inspiration, and hope makes it an indispensable element of the total health care environment.” The Use of Art in A Healthcare Setting by Kathy Hathorn

If you look on the internet, keep up in the news, or pay attention to the people around you, you have noticed coworkers, friends, and family, suffering from stress, anxiety, physical illness,and many other emotional disorders. No surprise a large number of people are seeking solutions to these problems beyond taking a pill. Thats a good thing. I’m not saying anyone should stop taking their medication, I’m saying its a good thing to look beyond a pill for more. This seeking has created an interest in the validity of alternative therapies, wellness activities, and art as a healing tool. Most people are familiar with Art Therapy but viewing Art as part of a healing environment is new to many. If you take some time to research this idea you will find groups studying the effects of art on healing in different settings; hospitals, clinics, alternative healing centers, and home environments. From my perspective I’m surprised this didn’t become obvious long ago. Think about how you feel every time you walk by a certain painting, drawing, photo, quilt, or other piece of artwork hung in your home, office, or out in public. I am intensely aware of the impact art has on my emotional well being, but I’m also aware that for some people it is subliminal. They haven’t made the connection between how they feel in certain environments and what role art is playing in those feelings.

Art has been used to enhance the quality of care by positively impacting patient, staff and family perceptions. Today, almost every hospital invests in Art programs, because we now have research to show that not only can Art improve the image of the hospital, but it can, in fact, aid in healing.” The Foundation For Photo/Art in Hospitals

You may be like me, very aware of how you are impacted by your visual surroundings, but if you aren’t I’d like to challenge you to start taking note throughout your day; what is on display around you and how does it make you feel. Because we don’t have to be under a doctor’s care to receive the benefits of healing from art. Maybe you are feeling stressed at work, or sad about a personal struggle ~ art can make a difference. And what a great noninvasive tool for healing! Hang art that resonates with you, you’ll know intuitively which piece. 

At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.” Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

I’m not posting new paintings today in my gallery. If you are a regular follower of my blog you will remember a few months back I mentioned a large project I had started. I’m very excited to have just completed 11 canvases and dropped them off at the printer! They are for that project, they will be the illustrations for a children’s book I am publishing in the next month. I’ll keep you posted on the progress, but I’ll also have new paintings in my gallery soon! In the meantime give some thought to art as a healing tool. You may have a loved one you would like to help in their healing but have no ideas how to help ~ think about art! You can also check out my upcoming locations as I’ll be in Durham and then back in Hillsborough again as summer closes and the new school year arrives.

Light, love, laughter,

Shannon

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