Art interview with Rita Loyd

Rita Loyd Art - Seeking Comfort

I’ve been an admirer of Rita Loyd’s art for quite some time. Her paintings healing messages touch me. She uses images of women which symbolically represent different aspects of all women’s lives and this really draws me in.

I love the whimsical imagery and color and I’m a big fan of symbolism so this is just my kind of art!

I put together some questions for Rita to learn more about her art and creative process. Read her artist interview below. And you can find some of my other artist interviews on my blog here>>

Artist Rita Loyd, nurturingart.com
Rita Loyd

Rita, will you tell us a little bit about your journey to creating your art and being an artist?
I began painting my art in 1996 as a way to cope with chronic illness. I wanted to create art that was uplifting for me to look at and that would give me hope of recovery. I painted myself as I was or how I wished to be.


How long did it take you to develop your own style and when did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I developed my own style within a year I think of painting in my early 30’s. At first my painted women looked similar to an Asian artist’s style that I had admired. They were jeweled, tall and thin women. But then I decided to paint my women with a more realistic appearance and who were plainly dressed to put more emphasis on the message of the painting rather than on the details of what they were wearing.


I knew I wanted to create healing art from the first painting that I did in my early 30’s. I named this first painting Hearts Touching. It was while painting this image that a message came into my mind that said, “You will continue to paint and the art that you paint will help you and others to heal.”

Foundation of Inner Strength by Rita Loyd
Foundation of Inner Strength by Rita Loyd


What drives you to come up with ideas for your work, what are your sources of inspiration?
My art is my therapy. It helps me to look for my answers in life and to share the advice that helps me the most. Its also a reflection of my self-love journey and what I think can happen when we love ourselves.


Can you explain your creative process?
The way I decide on what to paint next is that I ask myself the question, “What’s bothering me?” And, then I reflect upon my spiritual studies and personal wisdom to find advice on how to best handle this problem. Next, I think of the symbolism I can use to get that message across and that is what I paint.


Do you throw much work away? Do you ever paint over a painting you aren’t happy with?
I recently threw a painting away because I painted another one that I thought conveyed its message more clearly. But then an on-line magazine wanted to share the one I threw away and it made me regret tossing it. Luckily they were able to use the image of it that I shared on Facebook a while back.


Other paintings I have thrown away were because they were not coming from my heart and from my deep authentic process. They were painted just to paint. So I didn’t have a heart connection with them.

Love Yourself Unconditionally by Rita Loyd
Love Yourself Unconditionally by Rita Loyd


What has been a turning point in your art career and why?
A huge turning point came years after I began painting. It was when I discovered that my art and creative process were teaching me how to unconditionally love myself. I had known that my art was healing and nurturing but I didn’t know what it was healing or what it was nurturing. Turns out it was nurturing self-love and healing self-hate.


Knowing what my art was about gave me direction in life and from there I wrote a book about self-love and my book is just about to sell out so I am working on its 2nd edition. This book is even being used in domestic violence centers to help survivors of abuse find self-love and I am very happy about that. My dream is to one day get my book into more domestic violence shelters and centers and it become the gold standard in teaching self-love to survivors.


How do you want someone to feel when he or she views your work?
I would love for people to walk away from my art having a deeper sense of how to connect with unconditional self love.


How important is the title of a painting to you and when and how do you title a piece?
My titles are very important because they convey the message of the painting. The title is based on the advice I am trying to convey. So I know the title or the basis of the title first.


When you feel self-criticism setting in or feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do to get back on track?
When I feel unfocused or blocked I walk away from the drawing and rest. Sometimes taking a walk will help clear my head if I have the energy to take a walk. My inspiration comes in slowly and I can’t hurry the process. It might take months to visualize what I want to paint. I only paint about 3 paintings a year.


Fill in the blank: In the last five years, I’ve become better at __________.
Loving myself. Self-love is a gradual awakening and I am learning to take better care of myself.

You Are Bigger by Rita Loyd
You Are Bigger by Rita Loyd


If you could get a message out to millions or billions of people or even the entire world population — what would it say and why? 
Heal and empower your life through unconditional self-love. Believe in yourself and believe in what you have to offer. Now, more than ever, we need everyone to wake up to their abilities and to use their abilities to help save the planet and humanity.


What’s your current or next art project?
After I finish revising the 2nd edition of my unconditional self-love book I want to focus getting that book into more domestic violence centers.

I also want to create an interactive art exhibit teaching people how to nurture unconditional self-love. So I want to paint the main lessons that I teach about self-love. For example, one lesson is to slow down and take the time to listen to how you feel. So I have a painting to convey that message. Some messages are harder to paint than others and I am trying to visualize those concepts.


Anything else you want people to know about you?
My art and story will be in the mindfulness issue of Where Women Create Magazine in late November. It will not only feature my own art but some of the art from artists I have interviewed on my website. I can’t wait to see it!

Thank you Rita for sharing your journey with us!

I hope you all will visit Rita’s lovely website at NurturingArt.com

Namaste!

Art + Healing

I believe in art and healing. They go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. From way back, I’ve felt that art had healing powers. It is why when I was in my late 30’s I decided to go back to school to become an art therapist (that’s another story). Although I didn’t become an “actual” art therapist, I’ve used art as a tool for my own healing and I’ve seen it help others lives as well.

And with those words, I am honored to be the featured artist on the June 2013 issue of Arts & Health magazine.

Art&Health

 

Healed by the Power of Art
Art has an extraordinary power that inspires creativity piques curiosity and unleashes all kinds of emotions. Creating a simple pencil drawing can have an incredibly intense and positive effect on an individual, while viewing a powerful piece of work can give us that same intoxicating, almost spiritual experience.

Art is instantly accessible to all – all you need is pen and paper and, of course, your imagination. And as feelings and emotions are expressed through sketching, drawing or painting, the burden of pain and hurt can often be lifted.

Seeds of Hope in Depths of Despair
The power of art has been harnessed by psychotherapists who use every aspect of the genre, from the visual arts to music and dance, in a therapeutic environment to aid healing and treatment. Substance abusers and alcohol addicts are particularly helped by this type of therapy. Some treatments in Utah, for example, offer recovery programs that offer in-patient services where the individual can find hope for a sober and addiction-free future by expressing their fears and concerns through their creativity. Even if only for a fleeting moment, art has the power to remove the recovering addict from the grimness of their situation and can help to set their spirit free.

How Art Helped Heal a Family

A few months ago I received an email from one of my Facebook followers. It was a heartfelt letter about how my art and her family’s healing process were intertwined. I’m not going to say who the person was to protect her privacy but it was very touching!

I’ve received other correspondence such as this through the years but none as powerful as this one. It really touched me to my core. It began,

“I need to tell you how your artwork saved my life.

I know that sounds very dramatic and cliché but it’s the truth.

Nearly three years ago, my husband was in a horrible car accident that took the life of his friend and nearly took his life too. Because of his injuries, he has been forever changed and now lives with a brain injury.”

I was gripped by this letter. I read on with intense interest and concern plus the question, how did my art help this person and her family?

She went on to tell me her story about her husband, his loss of memory, the false accusations about the accident and how they prayed for healing and for things to get better. She wrote,

“I have no idea how I found your website. It was fate or Divine intervention. Your Peace Trees spoke to me. They reminded me of our cabin in the forest, surrounded by poplar and birch trees. They also seemed to have such a magical spirit to them. A magic I so desperately needed. I stared at them, willing myself to enter that forest and be sheltered by their magical tattooed branches. I cried so many tears under those branches, felt the breeze tame my fears and started to heal.”

I had goose bumps reading her story.

“I had started trying my hand at painting, at the suggestion of one of the therapists at the hospital. I have no training and very little talent but I saw your videos on youtube and thought I would try….”

To be continued….

Check back tomorrow for more of this inspiring story.

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Parts of this article on art + healing were written by Lisa Jones.