Tag Archives: art heals

When An Artist Dies…Their Lasting Impact

It was with great sadness that I saw that contemporary artist Rex Ray died yesterday.  I was in shock and then a wave of uncertainty came into my consciousness.  I’ve been following Ray’s work for a while and always been amazed by his use of shape, color, and proportion.  His art was identifiable and I’m sure his work inspired many artists that are working today.

It got me wondering about more than just the actual works of art living on beyond the life of the artist, but his inspiration on others.  What will be his legacy?  I know that he not only was a great artist, but lent his work to good causes in the community.  His impact goes far beyond the world of art.  As an artist, what will be left behind besides your physical works of art?

I know for me I love making art.  I feel compelled to create art and it’s more than just the physical piece you get to see, but for me it’s about the process.  I try and share my process about art making because I believe it’s more than about art, but about living.  For this reason I believe the PBS series “ART:21” was so important.  Watching an artist be interviewed while creating work inspired the body, mind, and spirit.  It gives the viewer a deeper understanding of more than just the art.  It provides each and every person a context for the work.  It allows us to share, what is often, a secret part of the artist’s life.  It’s a representation of the artist’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

The world is a crazy place physically, economically, socially, financially, and spiritually.  Art such as Ray’s gives us perspective about the world in which we live.  He provides an escape as well as an explanation.  His legacy on the world goes far beyond the colorful works he created.  His legacy is about how he lived and how he participated in our physical world!

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Are You “Happy”

I’m addicted to interviews. Interviews allow me to be a voyeur into someone’s life without having to know them. If the interview is good, the interviewer will gain the trust of the guest and be allowed to explore more than just the surface issues that the tabloids are interested in, and get to more of a soul level.

Yesterday I was watching Oprah Prime. Her guest was Pharrell who has been having a breakout year. If you didn’t know Pharrell before “Happy”; I’m assuming you may know him since the breakout song “Happy” took over the world. It’s a good thing he’s not an evil man because a song like “Happy” could have been used for world domination (hope you know I’m just kidding).

Oprah asked him about the song “Happy” and did he know it would explode into a global phenomenon. Pharrell shared that at the beginning he couldn’t get any airplay on the song. It was a struggle. Obviously that has changed and people around the globe are dancing to “Happy”.

They showed a clip, a montage of uploaded videos from people around the globe doing their “Happy” dance. I was watching the montage and started to cry, not because I was sad, but because something so simple as music has transcended to become a global anthem. When they panned back to Pharrell and Oprah both were crying. They both made it very clear that they were “Happy” tears because it tapped into the human need and desire for community and self-expression. The song broke down barriers between nationalities, age, race, and gender.

This is why creative expression is healing. Art doesn’t have any boundaries; it’s limitless. Our creative stories and expressions provide a backdrop for our humanity to shine. Art heals because we give our souls flight when we express ourselves so honestly and authentically.

If you haven’t seen the montage of global “Happy” go find it or simply watch some uploaded videos from people in countries you know nothing about and she how art and in this case “Happy” translates!

Infusing Your Art with You!

We create art because it allows us to tell a story. We can share with others our experience of amazement and beauty. Through art we release those experience that hinders our physical, emotional, or spiritual wellness. Our creativity is a treatment modality for many when facing adversity and that treatment provides us with a sense of peace. When we share ourselves with others we build community and that’s powerful.

Jude Law says, “What more is art that putting one’s personality onto a canvas or into a character or into a photograph!” That’s a powerful statement because it says that as spiritual beings have a physical experience; we are the art. Our lives are the most prominent form of ultimate self-expression. When we are seen, our voice heard, our essence shared we heal not only ourselves, but also those around us.

When someone sees your art, what do you think they see? Art is highly personal and revealing. The moments when we create we have an incredible sense of place. Being in our bodies gives us clues to how the body, mind, and spirit work together to create. Our creations are the way we speak without words. It’s our way of giving to the Universe as a way of paying rent on this planet.

What if you could enter the canvas, the photograph, or the sheet music, what would you see? Would you create differently if you were creating in reverse, the art creating you? We stand back to look at our art, but what are we looking for? It’s those moments when observing our art is like looking in a mirror. It’s a nonjudgmental, honest, and authentic reflection of you. Those pure moments are heal your soul.

How do you steep your soul in your art? What stories have you not told that are waiting to be expressed? What needs to be healed and how will that show up in your art?

Diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness and looking for education, support, and inspiration? Visit www.survivingstrong.com

Lessons From a Literary Icon

Those of us who engage in creative activities know first hand the power of making art. We create and share our work full of joy, inspiration, and narrative. The amazing thing about art is that even if you’re not trying to get your work in a museum or gallery, the experience alone is healing. Creating in any way, shape, or form releases chemicals in the brain that are better than any drug one can take. The question is how to spread that message.

When you have someone like Tolstoy on your side, spreading the message is much easier. Tolstoy, best known for his books, War and Peace, and Anna Karenina, spoke eloquently about art (not the written word specifically) when he said, “Art is a human activity, consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings, and also experience them.” (from John Butman’s book Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas)

The line about others being infected by the feelings and experience is palpable. We, as artists, disseminate thought provoking questions. Our healing journeys are on display every time we create. Our creative energies serve as role models and goal models. We bring to life feelings and experiences, and that’s contagious.

Ask an artist why they create and they’ll tell you, “I have to”. I did a piece years ago titled, “All I need is the Air that I Breathe”. I was clear when making the piece that it was about the one thing in all our lives we need to continue. For artists, that one thing is creativity. We all have that one thing that keeps us motivated, engaged, and inspired to live another day with meaning.

What is it you want to share with the world? How will your creative endeavors spread a message, a question, or an experience? These are the healing moments we get to experience every time a piece of work is created, no matter the medium!

Looking for education, support, and inspiration when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness?  Visit http://www.survivingstrong.com