Many years ago I chose to put my skills as a painter into delivering peaceful imagery to the world.
I did not start that way.
In my early years I would paint and draw randomly, in as many directions as my pencil would take me. I guess the simple act of drawing was enough, in itself.
Most of the time, nature scenes were my favorites already, but I did not have an INTENTION, beyond making pretty images and enjoy myself doing it.
Years passed and in 2000 I relocated in California, due to a significant other at the time and I kept on painting even more.
A few years into my showing and selling small watercolors in local venues, something got my attention repeatedly: people were reacting to my work in words and in body language, with a very consistent feedback: it made them feel good, it was soothing and uplifting to them and it brought them joy.
Followed some very significant realizations on my part… (as in inner integration, not only an intellectual understanding).
Art in general is very powerful and can be a tool to heal the world.
My work touched people in a positive way.
It gave me incredible joy to understand that I could relieve stress, give some hope, or a swift boost of happiness with colors and scenes and even increase that effect by adding deliberate intention to each painting.
Our world is inundated with bad news, violent visuals and warnings, all well engineered to put in overdrive our amygdala (a part of our brain designed to be on the look out for danger) and produce a disabling amount of stress. Making the choice to use the power of positive visuals was an attempt to give my clients a virtual place to disengage and recoup.
To help people get back in touch with primal bliss and timeless happiness with which we come to this world.
This was definitely a shift, a re-framing of my work as a painter in a larger context.
A meta image became evident: the effect, the impact of any painting is a lot bigger than the painting itself, or its subject.. (duh!).
Peaceful paintings were my medium for a wider purpose.
Like any other uplifting practice or soothing medium, would it be meditative music, zen gardens, mandalas, meditations, yoga or contemplating sunsets, positive imagery is a support for wellness.
More and more studies on the subject show that we are extremely influenced by our visual environment and that any time we spend in a relaxed mental state is supporting our good health and ability to thrive emotionally… what a beautiful tool I have access to!
On my side of things, the journey into color, the coalescing of a desire into tangible form, there is not only intention, but delight in the process. Painting for me is a form of meditation, a place where my spirit can play, unbound and peaceful… and I believe that is powerfully healing as well, for me.
Of course Art has been written about for centuries, the writing never completely grasping the experience itself… and I still prefer making Art than talking about it to tell you the truth.
Still, there is a line I love in the beautiful book “Callings” by Gregg Levoy that I will share with you here: “When we become immersed in any creative activity we bring on ourselves a sense of rapt attention, of rapture, of departure from ego, from time and place. We see into the heart of things and get a glimpse of something that was previously hidden. In this way, the creative act is a mystical experience.”
May you have peace in your heart and joy in your soul…