Art (as) Therapy

I thought about training in Art Therapy once upon a time but after going through a number of counsellors as a teenager I wasn’t so keen on psychology in general (plus the number of strange psychology teacher stories I have from school is worrying). I thought Art Therapy might be different but despite me having respect for those people helping others with this practice, art to me always felt like something separate, I couldn’t imagine myself wandering round a room telling people to simple express their feelings. That is such a small part of art to me.

However, over the last week I have spent over 5 hours a day working on pieces of art, and I have felt more alive for it. I am still struggling with a lot, and recently nightmares have added to the misery, but when I take pencil to paper I seem to drop everything else. That doesn’t mean I ignore what’s happening in my life, but I do feel that in a way God lets me see situations a little bit more from His eyes, I can see purpose in the mess. This seems so blasé and I don’t want to dismiss the pain people go through, but in art I feel more whole and able to keep moving.

My only worry is that I’m distracting myself too much, that I’m actually just pushing it all beneath the surface and that’s where the nightmares are coming from. Bear and I are trying to make changes in our lives to keep us healthy as well as reflecting the knowledge that life is short, so if it’s not what we want, we change it.

Still art is my constant. One of my earliest memories is imitating one of Monet‘s landscapes and finding I could actually do a pretty good job, that I noticed things that most kids didn’t even care about, that I would think of compositions like “The Planets” in images and colours in my mind. When I found God I knew Him in my artwork, knew where inspiration really came from, and continuing on I knew I could get a little bit of God in every piece of work I did.

It’s not surprising that I dove so quickly into art again as I was grieving. I am trying not to run from the world, and art is keeping me talking to people, keeping me working, keeping me moving. Lying in bed is what I want to do. Art is currently what is waking me up in the morning, and thank God I can move from the horrific images of night to the newly developed warmth of Ceilidh & Cwtch.

I don’t know how this will be played out into the days to come, but for now I’m not complaining. I can enjoy art and it can keep me stable and if I give others some fun things to look at and hang on their wall , then great!

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