Art as Self-Care; A Spa for Your Brain (part I)
During my Autumn session of studio classes (watercolor sketchbook journaling - has just wrapped up), I found that I always get the most wonderful insights while teaching. Funny how that works, right?! In conversation one of my students commented that when “we were younger, (whether to purchase art, or even make it) art was an extravagance”. I agreed, I’d been in that position, too at one time. She went on, “Now I look at it as ‘self-care’. My heart really filled on this one - as I knew this was part of my purpose - helping people find this kind of joy in their lives.
Now I’m taking part in my own self-care. I’ve just completed the most intensive part of a mentorship that I’m continuing in, studying abstract art and acrylic painting. I’ve been wanting to do this for the past five years or so, but just wasn’t sure where to begin. And then the questions….”what will people think?”, “will I confuse my followers and collectors?” , “who do I think I am to do something so ‘out there’?”…and you can imagine, the questions go on and on. Perhaps you have asked yourself similar questions about something you’ve wanted to try in your life, that has been left undone, unattempted, unexplored, and not followed down that path.
As I explore these questions, it’s a natural thing for my work to follow suit. I am currently fascinated with all things water-media. All I know that is I must follow this path and explore this form of expression….of not painting a “thing” but “an experience”. My watercolor sketchbook classes will continue in January, and I’ll be adding a “Exploring Abstracts in Acrylics” series as well.
Painting the experiences of my life, I am bringing in those feelings and emotions. Upward, light, inspiring, fun-loving and hopeful. This is how these colors make me feel. And this is how I imagine God (or great Creator) would have me be. Helping others express their feelings via creativity is my calling.
Did you ever lay down in a bed of flowers? I hadn’t really done that either…until this:
I had some professional web-site photos made this year, and this shot was THE most fun! I realized right then, that that’s how I wanted to make people to feel - whether they bought my art, or learned to make art in my classes. This photo had me giddy with delight! The joy that comes from simply having fun (and not worrying about what anyone else thinks).
The next post, “Art as a Spa for Your Brain- Part 2” will be talking about watercolor meditation, and noticing new possibilities in your work.