Inspiration and Dedication
Every artist finds inspiration in a different way. For some, their creativity is as essential as breathing. It is an absolute necessity to life and frequently an unconscious but burning desire, part of their psyche and their persona. But this creativity simply has to be expressed and they come to know this yearning and hunger early on in life.
Theirs is a gift that brings great joy and also a deeper understanding of the world around them. That understanding is one we can all share when we communicate through the art we create.
Others, of course, come to art and its healing powers from a very different perspective. Personal tragedy, trauma and bereavement are every bit as much part of the human condition as triumph, hope and good luck. Few of us are blessed enough to avoid the bad things in life and the path out of the despair and misery caused by life traumas can often seem too dark and terrifying to travel alone. Imagine your joy then if, just as you feel life is too bleak to go on, you find a way to the light through art.
Nurtured by Nature
Nature is the most wondrous of inspirations – think of those magnificent landscapes created by the likes of Turner and Thomas Cole. Immerse yourself in Monet’s extraordinary water lilies and drink in the vivid colour of Van Gogh’s sunflowers. All around us are quite magnificent vistas, the smallest of flowers and the tallest of trees anchoring us to the earth and sparking our imagination and our desire to create. Nature has a magic, an aura that has the capacity to move us to tears but also to catapult us into another world. Such a world is a blissful alternative to what might be a painful reality and it is a world in which the only boundaries are the limits of your imagination.
Continuation of a Family Healed by Art
I love nature and use it for inspiration when I’m creating my art. Yesterday I was telling you some thoughts on how I’m a big believer in the power of art to heal. I believe nature and art both have healing powers and when you put the two together to create an image, it can be transformative.
I was telling you about how I received an email from a woman who found my art and used it to heal herself and her family.
My “Peace Tree” paintings of which you can see two below are some of my favorite images to create. As said above, Nature has magic in it, and I wanted to capture some of that magic in my art.
Left: The Trees Sing to the River: Right: The Trees Sparkle and Sing
The woman who found my art, watched some of my youtube videos, and on the suggestion of a therapist tried her hand at painting her own “Peace Trees.” She put herself and her family under the trees, dancing under the healing light of the moon with starlight and magic and swirls of positive energy surrounding them. I love this painting!
Although she may not call herself an artist, I would say she definitely is! And although it was her first painting, one would never know it because it tugs at the heart strings and I know that is how great artists paint, affecting the emotions of their viewers!
The artist wrote me about her process of making the painting, how she was using positive thinking and how the art she created felt healing. She wrote,
…”I thought of what I wanted, to hear the news that this nightmare was over. I felt the joy, I pictured us dancing with absolute joy amongst the Peace Trees, free at last and happy and whole.
And so I painted it. With every brushstroke, I let the joy ooze into the canvas. I danced in the twilight with my husband and my son, among the trees, the fireflies and the stars. Joyous and free like children in nature. The painting that resulted was my first. I love it and what it represents. It gave me peace as we battled for those two years to prove my husband’s innocence. It gave me hope.”
She goes on to tell me what happened in her community and the injustice of the police investigating the accident and the rumors that were spread that took advantage of her husband’s memory loss. It was tragic and I admire this woman’s strength and courage to stay the course, having faith that things are going to turn out okay.
Eliminating the Negative
Here is one of the most wondrous things about art: talent isn’t everything. That’s right, you don’t “have” to have the extraordinary ability of a Michelangelo or a Picasso to become at one with art. What matters when you come to art as a way of healing is that you are willing to embrace and accept your emotions, your strengths and, yes, your failings. For art to help in the healing process, you must be willing instinctively to commit to the process as the best way of expressing your pain and hurt – and ultimately of letting it go, all that negativity washed away like sand on the beach.
More on This Family’s Story
“…We will file complaints about how poorly it was investigated and how so much evidence was not collected. They will never care nor be made accountable for the suffering caused. But at least it was over.
When we got the news, we screamed, we cried and we danced. My painting now symbolizes the joy we felt after the struggle. All things are possible. Miracles really do happen. We got through this very difficult time in our lives and we came out dancing. Things can still be tough, as dealing with an acquired brain injury is difficult for all involved, but we will get through it.
I just needed to let you know how much your art has impacted our lives and has become an inspiration for me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating that magical place that was my escape for so long. Your art became my lifeline and the act of painting became the prayer of my soul. There is no way to say a big enough thank-you to really truly compensate for what you have done. I realize this letter is extremely long and probably borders on too-much-information, but I really need you to understand the depth of the darkness I was facing so that you can see just how much you helped.
With overflowing, heartfelt gratitude”
And my heart is overflowing with gratitude and good energy for this woman and her family! I am so happy it all turned out well and although they have challenges ahead of them, they are dancing!
Parts of this article on art + healing were written by Lisa Jones.