gone painting

Oh man, with a most contentious election season looming, the very-needed post office undermined and left fragile, the deadly COVID19 still raging unchecked from coast to coast thanks to the oversight of the current occupant in the White House and his shallow Senators, the return of deadly forest fires in California due to climate change, never mind just about everyone you know out of work within a still declining economy, I say, whatever you can do to keep yourself sane these next few months, do it, and do it hard. Start creating your own beautiful vision for a different reality today.

As July steadied itself, I decided to take up painting. I found some house paint, cut up extra cardboard, repurposed a few canvases, cleared some space in the garage, ordered a few tubes of exciting colors and a package of cheap brushes, and began a daily painting routine out of sheer necessity. Perhaps even survival. And you know the best part? I just love it. I don’t care what it looks like, I’m just compelled to express every emotion pouring out with color and shape. Every stroke I took, just made me smile.

“…art has an effect on our general cognitive state, that goes beyond how much we enjoy it, to change the way we perceive events and make decisions” (Betuel).

“Abstract art forces us to explore within ourselves, which can be rewarding. As the authors of a 2014 paper in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience put it, abstract art “frees our brain from the dominance of reality,” which allows us to access new emotional or cognitive states that are otherwise hidden from us in daily life”(Betuel).

“We really do see abstract objects differently, and perhaps by looking at those abstract objects we start to see undefinable feelings in our own lives with clarity” (Betuel).

Find a way to feel some joy, some empathy, some hope, even as the curtain feels like it’s falling. Paint or write or garden or cook or bake or take up any artistic endeavor that feeds your heart and soul and brings an inner smile, keep believing in Science, in the value of all peoples, do what is needed to recovery, person by person, family by family, believing that through art we will navigate our tired and broken country right into the New Year with a brighter vision than we currently think possible. “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigues, I have had my vision”― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse.




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