Art means different things to different people.
To all of us though, without question, it is a healing medium in some form or another.
Music for example, has incredible inspirational powers, yet it is still so mysterious that psychologists don’t know exactly why that style of art, music, impacts us at such a deep emotional level – it even awakens Alzheimer’s patients. Thankfully, music is an art form that makes it easy to see how art affects us. Quite literally, when you play a song you know and like, you get happy! It works like that for everyone, from the most successful corporate executive to a patient lying in a hospital bed, and even for babies.
Art makes us happy, it gives us hope regardless of whether it is a song, photo, painting, or sculpture. It connects us to each other and to ourselves.
I’ve known this intrinsically all my life, and at some level it impacts every piece I’ve ever created, although I have to admit that I appreciate the concept more the longer I am on this planet.
When I first started painting I wasn’t as in-tune with myself as I am today. I think it’s a natural evolution that many artists strive to grow through. As my work began to develop and take on more sophistication, I started to realize that unconsciously, I was creating art that made people happy, or at the very least, caused them to be reflective.
I never set out to do that, and reluctantly admit I was like a lot of artists who are in it for purely selfish reasons – it made ME feel good. It was therapeutic, and cathartic, and I mistakenly felt that in order to stay true to myself as an artist, in a world that daily tries to take a piece of you, I had to do only what made me happy. If someone recognized something in my art, great! If they didn’t, I didn’t care. I realized I was becoming introverted and a little sociopathic, which isn’t me in the least.
It was a selfish perspective that has been romanticized for centuries by an immature society, and of course mostly by artists who are scared to be judged. They pretend that what others think doesn’t matter. I can see now that it’s misplaced denial and a passive-aggressive projection of their fears.
Sometimes a theme for a painting chooses me, in fact that seems to happen quite often because I keep my senses open, but once I do start to form a premise I then very consciously choose colours and form that reflect my holistic and positive attitude to life.
As I create – sometimes it explodes out of me very quickly, I visualize that my painting will be seen by someone who gets the same joy looking at it as I did creating it. I don’t visualize thousands of people reacting that way, but I do hold in my mind as I create, a vision of someone who needs emotionally what I need, what we all need, a bridge of connection with humanity and spirituality. If I’m going to inspire you, it has to be at an innate level, both mine and yours.
It is hard to describe in words how I feel when someone tells me that one of my paintings made their day brighter, and that it either inspired them to be creative, or to find hope. There are no words to describe the feelings that rush through me when I receive this feedback.
I’ve been blessed, and incredibly fortunate to have been able to place my work in front of thousands of people who appreciate art and the impact it has on their lives. My work hangs in galleries and public institutions where all ages of people are able to see my abstract paintings, and I get to eavesdrop to hear what “they” think my art reflects. Sometimes, they see exactly what I visualized as I was painting, and at other times my abstract realism means something to them that I hadn’t even remotely considered.
My paintings are currently hanging in a beautiful gallery in White Rock, at Art Couture, and even in this prestigious setting people are moved to emotion. It’s uncanny how one’s barriers fall away when we are moved, and when we connect with an entity that is larger and outside of ourselves.
Art has intrinsic healing and motivational properties that we don’t fully understand, but we do know that if you want to connect with people in a meaningful way, art is a natural and holistic way to reach into someone’s soul.