Update on Art Studio Remodel

sweeping walls of art studio

We’re back in Sedro Woolley and Greg and I have been working on my art studio remodel. I’m excited to say it’s almost done.

I loved my old studio and this one is similar and about the same size. Both are sheds turned into an art studio.

More Work to Do

We still need to paint the outside of it and put some molding around the floor but then I can start moving stuff in!

I can’t wait to start decorating it!

The photos below don’t show the laminate floor we put in but it came out really nice. I’m very pleased with the whole thing!

Working on the Studio

Here are some photos of Greg and I working.

lindy and greg working on studio

Greg working on drywall

art studio drywalling

Greg Gaskill

art studio remodel

I’ll be showing more photos of the finished studio soon.

What projects have you been working on?

Thanks for stopping by!

Feb. 8 – An Artist’s Day Notes

An Artist's Day Notes

I TAKE A MOMENT
to stretch to relieve the stress in my shoulders

I AM GRATEFUL
to be spending time in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

I AM FEELING
full from a healthy dinner

I CAN SEE
I’m staying up to late and should go to bed earlier

I AM HEARING
Bonnie Raitt on Spotify

I AM CREATING
a painting with two whales, a palm tree and the sea

I AM MISSING
having close friends near by to visit with

I AM HOPING
to make some new artist friends in Todos Santos

I AM PLANNING
to go on the Todos Santos Artist Studio Tour this weekend

PHOTO TO INSPIRE

Pink sky baja sunset

I never get tired of this view. Each sunset is a work of art and inspires me.

What inspires you?

Peace, Lindy

This 1964 International truck is inspiring me

1964 International Pickup

This truck is like a tank. It’s the hardiest vehicle I’ve ridden in. It’s our 1964 CL1100 Harvester International pickup.

I’ve been thinking of putting one in a painting. I’ve used other vintage vehicles in some of my paintings and this truck has been calling me.

This truck originally belonged to my late husband, Peter. The first time I rode in it I felt like I was in a tank because it’s so sturdy! It has 4 wheel drive and some special gears that make it jug, jug, jug a long if you want to go through tough, rugged territory. It’s an amazing vehicle!

It had a few mechanical problems over the years but last year Greg got it running! Yay!

We’ve had fun taking it to the beach. Belle likes riding in the back.

I like riding in the front.

International pickup at the beach

I’m inspired by it’s funkiness.

And it’s lines.

1964 International Pickup

I like the shape of the front end.

Some paintings I’ve made that were inspired by old vans (hippie vans) and cars (namely Bugs) were really fun to make so maybe a truck will be showing up soon.

I took a bunch of photos to refer to. I’m going to do some sketches from some of them.

What’s inspiring you lately?

Moody Black Clouds in My Paintings

Moody Black Clouds Palm Trees Sunset Photo

The other night when we were sitting and watching the sunset I realized where my moody black clouds come from in my work.

Moody black clouds sunset

I had never really thought about it before but there they were. The clouds that offered this inspiration. And here is an example of them in my art.

Blue is for River Dancing Cowboy Art

I’ve always said nature inspires me and here is the perfect example!

This cowboy print inspired by Darryl Purpose’s music is for sale in my Etsy Shop>

Hope you are enjoying awesome sunsets too!

Peace,

Lindy

 

I’m doing Flora Bowley’s Creative Revolution Challenge in Sept. #creativerevolutionchallenge

Creative Revolution Challenge

Flora Bowley, artist extraordinaire,  wrote in her email newsletter Need a (free) Creative Kick in the Pants? Join Me for the Creative Revolution Challenge in September!”

I said YES! I do need some inspiration! So I headed on over to Flora’s website and downloaded her free Creative Revolution Challenge for September.

I’ll be doing the challenge starting September 1st.

If you do too,  use the hashtag #creativerevolutionchallenge when you make a post.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

– Robert Collier

It will be an interesting challenge as I think I need a kick in the pants regarding creative activities as of late.

We came up to Washington in July and got down to work. You may not know it, but we have a real estate investment business and we needed to do some work on some of the properties. So that’s what we’ve been doing.

Then we sold our house in Maple Falls which is great! So now I’m working on other parts of the business and I also work online for a company called LoveToKnow.com as an image specialist. So I haven’t spent as much time as I’ve wanted to on my art.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

– William Arthur Ward

I find Flora Bowley to be such an inspiring teacher! I’ve taken her online class “The Bloom True e-Course” and found it to be full of inspiration and learning lessons!

It’s not just an e-Course it’s a creative experience! Hence, I highly recommend it! It’s for anyone wanting to loosen up their art style and start painting more intuitively as well as live a life of creative inspiration.

So that is why I’m excited to do Flora’s Challenge. I know it will be chalk full of inspiration just like all the other things Flora offers! So can’t wait to start! Thanks Flora!

 

Art for Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother's Day Gifts for Your Mom

Mother’s Day is almost here! Does your Mama love art?

I know you’ve got a wonderful Mom that deserves something really special for being the terrific person that she is. Someone who has made a big impact on your life, so I’ve got some great gift ideas for you!

I bet she’d love some new, colorful artwork to decorate her home or office, so I’ve rounded up the best Mother’s Day Art Prints that will make it easy for you to shop for her!

Treat your Mom to something personalized – a custom worded print for her walls to show her how much you love her.

Try a saying like:

Mothers are marvelous beings.
They love us with their whole soul.
Value us more than anyone else on the planet.
Bring us their strength with hugs and open hearts.
Mothers create memories and do for us more
than they do for themselves.
They matter more than our words can express.
We love you Mom!

custom art printOr use your own unique words to craft a personalized art piece she will treasure!

My popular print “She Wanted the Rainbow, So She Put Up with the Rain” is sure to inspire her.

She Wanted the Rainbow Print

I also like this print “They Were Like Beacons of Light” with it’s cheerful yellow birds and magical background.

Yellow Bird Print

Or if she’s a bike rider, she might enjoy this print “Peace Out.”

Bike and Raven Print

Another popular print is “Red Dog Sleeps by the Light of the Moon.” I love this curled up red doggie!

Red Dog art print

Use code “LOVEMOM” from MAY 4-7 for FREE SHIPPING ON ALL MY ETSY PRINTS.

And to go with her art print, I’m sure she would love a Hummingbird Happy Mother’s Day card.

Hummingbird Mother's Day Card

And don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list to get info on my upcoming original painting sale in July.

Enjoy!

30 reasons why we need art in our lives.

30 reasons why we need art in our lives

Art touches the soul and deepens the spirit and here are 30 reasons why we need art in our lives.

1. Art helps us feel emotion.

2. Art makes us feel alive.

3. Art can adorn our bodies and make us feel beautiful, peaceful, independent, playful, a rebel (you choose the noun/adjective/verb).

4. Art can take us to another world like a dream can.

5. Art can make us forget our troubles.

“Art is not a thing, it is a way.”

~Elbert Hubbard

6. Art can adorn our living space and give sparkling areas for our eyes to look at.

7. Art can make us think.

8. Art helps us to heal.

9. Art helps us make change in the world.

10. Art can bring people together.

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

~Steven Pressfield

11. Art can uplift the spirit.

12. Art can fill that empty space on the wall, on a shelf, on a door, in the garden…you name it.

13. Art offers forgiveness when we need it.

14. Art can bring peace.

15. Art can be a legacy.

16. Art can help us get in touch with our deeper/higher selves

17. Art can help us see the beauty around us or add beauty to our surroundings.

18. Art reminds us to slow down and be still.

19. Art can take us to our spiritual center.

20. Art can shift us in a new direction.

“The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.”

~Pablo Casals

21. Create! Art can give us something to do.

22. Art can compel us to act.

23. Art exposes us to new ways of thinking/viewing the world.

24. Art entertains us.

25. Art can bring color into our lives.

I love art

26. Art can bring us back to our childhood.

27. Art speaks a universal language.

28. Art can be a teaching tool.

29. Art can connect people.

30. Art inspires!

Why do you think we need art?

Peace,

Lindy

100 Things My Heart Loves

100 Things My Heart Loves

This is sort of a take off on 100 Things About Me. This time I did 100 Things My Heart Loves. It’s a good way to feel grateful for the things you love. Here are some of mine:

100 Things My Heart Loves

1. Ancient Tapestries
2. Petroglyphs
3. Lavender Oil
4. A sliver of moon
5. Spending time in my art studio painting
6. Sand Dollars
7. The smell of a puppy
8. Daisy Chains
9. Vivid Color
10. Skipping stones on the water
11. Hiking a trail
12. Outdoor showers
13. Spiral shapes
14. Border Collies
15. Hanging Art Mobiles
16. Smell of cookies baking
17. Fresh, clean sheets
18. Foot Massages
19. Geodesic Domes
20. Watching ocean waves crash
21. Watching a sunset
22. Licking an ice cream cone
23. Warm wool mittens
24. Lighting incense
25. Bangles and dangly earrings
26. Boots from Australia
27. Frothy, hot mocha
28. Game of Billiards
29. Beatrix Potter Drawings
30. Ravens
31. Watching a sloth move
32. Laughing until tears run down my face
33. Solar lanterns
34. Picking black berries
35. Camp fires
36. Watching horses play
37. Tall palm trees
38. Laying on a rock in the sun
39. Bubble baths
40. Peanut butter chocolate fudge milkshake
41. Twilight
42. Handmade sandals
43. Hanging out with family / friends
44. Peace Signs
45. The golden hour with long shadows
46. Smell of fresh cut grass
47. Delta blues music
48. Double rainbows
49. Maps
50. Handwritten letter
51. Finger painting
52. Lazing around in the Sea of Cortez
53. A down pour of rain
54. Scented candles
55. Walking a labyrinth
56. Watching an inspiring movie
57. Listening to Christmas carols
58. Kayaking a flat lake
59. Star gazing
60. Remembering a dream
61. Good ole rock ‘n roll
62. Yoga outside in the a.m.
63. Travel to new areas
64. Visiting an art gallery
65. Mountain bike riding
66. Painted toe nails
67. Mosaic stepping stones
68. Reading The Power of Flow
68. Writing a poem
69. Trying new foods
70. Eating organic
71. Growing our own food
72. Van Morrison music
73. Camping on the beach
74. Green Smoothies
75. Reading my horoscope
76. Birthday week celebrations
77. Hosting visitors
78. White puffy clouds and blue, blue sky
79. Flying a kite
80. Hot springs
81. Reading Rumi
82. Taking the dogs for a walk
83. A nap in the afternoon
84. Teepee
85. Dream catcher
86. Learning, remembering and using a new spanish word
87. DIY Projects
88. My gratitude journal
89. Fresh cut flower bouquet
90. Intricate Henna Tattoos
91. Finding a four leaf clover
92. Irish accents
93. Cold beer with a slice of lime and pinch of salt
94. Dark chocolate
95. Playing Frisbee
96. Walking through the forest
97. A wink from a stranger
98. Old pickup trucks
99. Planting seeds
100. Wind mills

Number 7 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

This is post 7 in my 10 post blog series on Beth Kempton’s PDF titled “Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” You can check back here to see 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and the first post here. The Steps and journal prompts are taken from the PDF.

STEP 7: WALK (BAREFOOT)

Journal prompts: What big things have you achieved in your life so far? (Big thing = something you are proud of, not necessarily to do with work) If you trace it all the way back, what was the very first step you took towards that? Do you remember how you felt? If you could go back in time and speak to yourself back then, what would you say?

Raven Art Kindred Spirits

© Lindy Gaskill, Kindred Spirits, 8″ x 8″, acrylic on wood

These are big questions. It made me sit back and think awhile. It made me look forward to the future and look back at my past.

I would have to say one thing that was big was moving to Prescott, Arizona from Bend, Oregon in 2011!

I remember how it felt. It seemed overwhelming! Having to pack up all our stuff, sell our house, find a new one in Prescott and then move! We had to break the steps down or I don’t think we would be where we are today. We made lots of lists too which helped stay organized.

But first it took visualizing where we wanted to live in Prescott. Once we decided we were going to move there we had to start looking for a house to buy.

I recently rediscovered a notebook I had written in before we found our place. It was a list of all the things we wanted in a house and property in Prescott. It was a list of 30 items. The place we bought has 25 of those items. I love that we found a place so close to what we were looking for. And what wasn’t there when we first bought it, is now as we have turned it into “our” place and transformed it to what it is now.

If I could go back in time and speak to myself back then, what would I say?

I would say, “I hold no worry.”

That sure would have relieved a lot of stress! Everything turned out and we really didn’t need to worry about anything. Looking back it is so easy to see. But when I’m in the midst of a stressful situation I tend to be a worrier. It’s something I’m working on for sure. Here’s a good story about those lessons.

What about you? Any big things happening in your life and how are you feeling about where you are now?

Number 5 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 5.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Courage-Along-the-Path-gaskill

Courage Along the Path by Lindy Gaskill

Step 5:  FOCUS

For focusing, Beth suggests listing the things you want to accomplish and then categorizing them under a theme and focusing on one theme a week, immersing yourself in that theme and seeing what comes from that. I like that idea.

Journal prompt: Now you have considered this particular theme intensely for a week, ask yourself the following questions:
How do I feel about this theme now?
Do I want to move forward with it?
If not, why not? If so, what do I need to do next?

Focus has been my word for 2013. During the year I’ve been writing in the morning my 3 things I want to accomplish each day. I’ve been mostly good and accomplishing my goals.

I have a few areas of interest in running my business that I am focusing on.

They are:

1. Promotion and art marketing, including my monthly newsletters, emails to my Collector’s Circle and PR including social media, press releases and finding new collectors

2. Invoicing and financial tracking

3. Production, painting and studio time.

4. Keeping my supplies stocked

5. Growing as an artist with community and taking art classes for inspiration

6. Website maintenance and inventory

7. Licensing my art,  printing giclees and greeting cards

8. Online shops such as Etsy and Zazzle

9. Working with my existing clients, private art classes, working with my art galleries

In other areas of my life, I’m also trying to be focused. For example, I’ve been on a health kick and have been doing yoga everyday. It is starting to become routine and something I look forward to. I’ve also been focused on eating healthy foods and taking good care of my mental as well as physical health.

One can compare one’s life to doing yoga. When you fall off the mat, all you can do is get back on.

Focus

How’s your Focus?

Number 4 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 4.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

 

She Knew Peace Lived Within Painting by Lindy Gaskill

 

Step 4:  OPEN YOUR EYES

Journal prompt: When you take the time to look, listen and seek, what are you drawn to? What do you notice? What patterns do you see in what interests you?

Although this step is to open your eyes, I added an image showing the eyes closed. That is because I don’t think you literally have to have your eyes open to see. Sometimes, it is in seeing with other senses that one “sees.”

I like to listen, smell, feel and see with my eyes closed. The smell of Fall is in the air right now. The crisp mornings. It just feels like Autumn is here.

I like to “see” by writing in my gratitude journal. I can look back in it and see where I have been, and what has been important in my life. I like to write 5 things I am grateful for in my journal. I would love to say I write in it everyday but I haven’t. But I have kept it going for years now and I’m on my 3rd journal.

What do you see?

Number 3 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 3.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Cosmic Garden Painting by Lindy Gaskill

Step 3:  CLOSE YOUR EYES

Journal prompt: How do you want to feel in your life? In your career? In your relationships? What environment will help you feel that way? What kind of people? What activities? What level of authority? What conversations? What flow of time? Think about each aspect of your life and journal how you could change things to help you feel the way you want to feel each and every day.

These are a lot of questions. So I took a couple to think about to apply to my life right now.  Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I can move more into the life I want to live. A life that brings me happiness each and every day.

I decided I want to start eating better, exercising and living a more sensory experienced life, with the clothes I wear, the things I eat, touch, taste, and smell every day.

To start, I’m taking daily walks, eating a diet based on the lovely cookbook called “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone and I’m doing more yoga.

I recently discovered Seane Corn and her yoga. I love everything I’ve been learning about this lady. I have been watching a lot of the videos about her on youtube and doing some of her classes from her website where she is teaching yoga.

I was listening to Seane talk on one of the videos about how every emotion we experience has a certain vibrational energy and our bodies keep this memory within us. I think our bodies are like a sponge in that way, absorbing the vibrational energy of things and people around us as well. So that is why it is important to me to keep an uncluttered living space and surround myself with the things that raise the vibrational level in a positive way.

I feel this way about handmade art. It affects our emotions, our spirit to have art around us that we enjoy. I love how color and pattern and imagery can do this. I want to have around me lovely art and color and pattern that bring me joy.

How do you want to feel in your life?

Number 2 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Where Dreams are Born painting by Lindy Gaskill

Step 2:  MAKE SPACE AND SIMPLIFY

Journal prompt: Where does your uncluttered mind wander when you give yourself time to daydream?
What could a simpler version of your life look like?

I have been simplying and uncluttering since we moved to Prescott, AZ about a year and a half ago. We had at least 5 garage sales before we moved. Yay! It feels so good to get rid of stuff!

I used to daydream about what it would be like to live in the Southwest. And now here we are. I do love daydreaming. I think it helps us to get to where we want to go.

Letting go of the things in my life that don’t nurture me, give me peace or beauty, help me or lift me up has been a valuable lesson. I’m learning to “let go” the longer I live on this planet.

I am learning to get rid of clothes that I don’t wear. I’m learning to let go of the “junk” that is sitting around and taking up space. I keep a constant bag sitting in my closet that holds things to give to the thrift store.

If I buy something like at the thrift store then something in my closet has to go to take it’s place.

I am making space to find the simple things in life that make my spirit feel happy, uplifted and joyful.

Greg and I were talking recently about what makes a luscious, rich life. I think living simply but with nice things around us, like a scented candle, handmade art, a luxurious lotion, organic food, flowering plants — the simple things yet joyful things that make our senses sing.

What could a simpler version of your life look like?

 

 

Art + Healing continued

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.

Peace-Trees

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!

Dancing People Under Peace Trees

 

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.

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.

 

An Artist’s Day Notes – 6/21/13

I AM GRATEFUL
that we finished painting
the outside of our house

I AM FEELING
like I need to drink more water

I CAN SEE
clouds covering the sky

I AM HEARING
my doggies heavy sigh as
she naps

I AM CREATING
a large abstract painting

I AM MISSING
calm days without the wind howling

I AM HOPING
to paint most of the day in the studio

I AM PLANNING
to work in the yard this weekend

I AM  READING
Following Atticus
by Tom Ryan

MY ART STUDIO

An Artist’s Day Notes – 6/14/13

I AM GRATEFUL
for fresh air and blue sky

I AM FEELING
glad it’s Friday

I CAN SEE
the wind rustling through the trees

I AM HEARING
Greg shoveling dirt in the backyard

I AM CREATING
a painting with two ravens reflecting

I AM MISSING
the ingredients to bake peach cobbler

I AM HOPING
to get to the store soon

I AM PLANNING
to have a root beer float later tonight

I AM  READING
Walking in This World
The Practical Art of Creativity
by Julia Cameron

IMAGE TO INSPIRE

Cactus Flower
© Lindy Gaskill, Cactus Flower in our yard.

My orchid is in bloom

pink orchid in bloom
pink orchid in bloom

Two years ago for my birthday Greg gave me this beautiful orchid. I’d never owned an orchid before. I fell in love with it. It lasted a number of months and then the blooms faded away and only the leaves were left.

I cared for it and watered it once a week. Being sure to use ice cubes as the instructions said. I gave it plant food. I watched over it diligently and wondered when it would bloom again. Over two years it shed two large leaves and also grew two leaves.

I packed it carefully and brought it to Prescott with us. It was only one of about four plants that I brought with us. I made sure it was safe and sound. I put it in it’s new home in a semi-sunny spot in the kitchen.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed it wasn’t blooming again. I had fed it, watered it and waited for it to do something. But nothing.

Then for some reason I got the idea to scoot it next to the jade plant and let their leaves touch each other. Low and behold, my orchid started to very quickly grow some new roots and sprout blooms! It was a lovely blooming orchid again! I can’t help but wonder if it was the touch of the other plant that did it. Needless to say, I moved all my plants close to each other and let their leaves touch.

I’ve gathered a few more plants since we moved and they are all very happy and flourishing. I really think they like touching each other. Makes sense to me. I love a good hug and being touched. Why wouldn’t a plant like that too?

Be inspired – Secret to Life as an Artist series

What fuels your creativity? For me, it is nature, pattern, texture, color, swirling lines, symbolism, contrast, duality, energy, animals, flowers, forests, mountains, peacefulness, play, joy and….my list could go on and on.

This is my Secret to Life as an Artist series and one principal to live by is “be inspired .” Fuel your creativity with this inspiration.

We are all creative beings. We are all artists! Be inspired everyday. Here’s a little creative wording to remind you about fueling your creativity.

This is my latest original painting. It’s titled “Just Ride and Fly.” It was inspired by my mountain bike, by my love of swooping down a trail and feeling the energy of movement, by the mysterious, trickster raven, by the forest and the flowers and the rain clouds.

© Lindy Gaskill, “Just Ride and Fly”, 24″ x 30″, acrylic on wood.

And if you like to draw and sketch, fuel your creativity at these two sites> http://odosketch.com/ and http://www.mrdoob.com/#/120/harmony

Your Unique Painting Techniques – Secret to Life as an Artist Series

My last post in this series was about intuition, trust in the process and having faith all will turn out the way it is supposed to turn out. Yay! I truly believe in that.

Today’s post is about unique painting techniques that make up your style of painting. Or as Ariane Goodwin from http://smartistcareerblog.com/ says, your unique painting “fingerprint.”

Your fingerprint is what makes your painting unique to you. It’s what makes people able to recognize your work. It’s something I think artists need to develop as they continue to paint and progress in their career. Of course these techniques and the look of your work can develop and change.

The look of my paintings have changed over the years and I’m glad that they have. One of my goals is to see growth in my artwork and I think I’m accomplishing that.

It’s not been without some frustration though but I’ve kept at it. To develop my fingerprint, it took lots of experimenting and playing with different mediums until I found something that I liked.

For me, it’s using acrylics on paper, wood and canvas. I’ve found certain techniques that make my work recognizable as mine.

Foremost is the vivid color with black outline. This is one of my newest paintings below.

Colorful Aspen Tree Painting
© Lindy Gaskill, “Yellow Moon on the Rise”, 12″ x 12″, acrylic on wood, 1.5″ black painted sides, $345

I like to create pattern in the underpainting which looks like this.

The pattern may be in black or different colors like this green leaf pattern.

I also like to use thin cotton string dipped in red or black paint which I use to splatter squiggle marks over the painting. I like the texture it makes. And I’ve also been using white ink to create patterns in the background and in the trunks of the trees.

These are just a few painting techniques in my process. What makes up your fingerprint?