Using art for healing….

Aaahh! The earthy aroma of clay… the scratchy feel of a quill pen on paper… the happy anticipation of planning a new watercolor painting. Art has been a source of much happiness and satisfaction for me since childhood. Okay, so I studied art at college-level, went on to teaching it, and I did sell a couple of my paintings over the years. But I say that I am not a professional artist. I simply find that the most soul-satisfying emotional release for me comes during the MAKING of the art, the creative process, and not from the final results! And I also have to say that the times when I found the most comfort and solace from doing artwork was during the bad times in my life, including times of grief.  I would like to share with you through this space how healing artwork has helped me.

“But I’m not an artist!”, you might say. Well, all the better. You won’t have any preconceived notions of how to create or rules of design to follow. You’ll more easily “create from your soul” than a trained artist will. It doesn’t matter if your creations are simple stick-figure drawings, or colorful and intricate abstracts, or even realistic landscapes. The value of healing artwork for you is in the doing, not the final product.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what your drawing looks like if you benefited by creating it. This is such a liberating way to look at the creative arts. And you’ll be surprised at how good it feels, once you get started. Just remember… the goal is not to make great art, but to express yourself greatly.

Creating artwork following a tragic loss can be very therapeutic, helping you to express and release your own painful, stressful emotions. Accessing these emotions is not always easy by talking, by using words. You may try to talk it all out, get it off your chest, yell and scream out in your anger and grief. But in the end, the feelings still sit there.

Why? Because your left brain’s verbal language is limited in its vocabulary, leaving your true emotions literally unexpressed. To access and release your real feelings, you have to use the right brain’s language of imagery… through artwork. Open your mind to this and you will find much comfort.


To be continued……

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