In times of intense change, I’ve always turned to art. Whether an overt trauma or a major life shift, art making has helped me transform chaos into personal growth.
Sometimes, there are no words adequate to describe the tumult of emotions roiling around in our brains. I first began patterning with written words, effectively turning language into nonsense, after a cataclysmic car accident in my 20’s. I had no idea that this would become a major underlying theme in my practice.
Later, while I was preparing for the arrival of my first child and my body seemed to be taking center stage over my mind, I found comfort in exploring the physical qualities of paint in a way I hadn’t previously. It brought me more in touch with my favorite medium and provided a space for contemplation on my own body.
As a new mother, I met countless women who encouraged their children in art making, yet shied away from it themselves. And this was a demographic who surely would benefit from the therapeutic nature of painting! So, I began to develop methods of working that could be of benefit to anyone–very different from my classical training in art school.
Staring at a blank white page can be more than daunting for anyone and inspiration seems far in the distance when you most need healing, so I’ve focused on methods to get through that feeling and let the art flow no matter what the emotional landscape.
The result has been incredibly healing for me–the perfect way to release pain and fear, and to reorient myself for future happiness. In my newest book, I’m sharing that experience and teaching others how to find a path towards healing and self-discovery.
The book is developing alongside workshops and is becoming more of a conversation piece and participant art gallery than a painting manual.
Art making in this manner is about experimenting and letting the materials do their magic. Self-awareness arises by examining your own choices in relation to the resulting work. What do you see in the abstract below? Your answer might tell you a lot about yourself!