We are all looking for ways to relax and help us get through these unsettled time and there are so many things we may have tried, but have you ever really thought about art, painting and the benefits this could have to help you relax ?
Painting and the concentration it can take is a great way to re-focus the mind, to allow thoughts to be purely zooming in on the definition of line, the choice of colour, the thickness of a line, the planning of the subject matter and of course the final outcome, could be a welcome distraction.
Art allows the mind and body to focus on something other than the news, social media or general stress surrounding us and hopefully take us to another level, where you can master the art of relaxation. During these times many of us may have seen rows of painted stones, that children and I’m sure many adults too, have painted, to show their appreciation of the NHS and to share a sense of community with each other. These rocks with their smiley faces, rainbows, ladybirds , bright colours of hope and positive vibes have given people something to smile at as they walk, and indeed something free to contribute to with individual artistic expressions, an art activity that has no doubt helped many to relax and bring happiness and a sense of artistic community.
Whether a professional or an amateur the world of art is there for everyone to enjoy and be part of and to make the most to help improve mental health through art. It is an expression that can be releasing and therapeutic or maybe just more simply good fun and something different.
Contemporary visual artist Brian Parker’s recent video of how he relaxes after painting works that demand intense concentration and actually make him stressed show another aspect of art. Moving from the intensity of focus to the liberal relaxation of art and learning how to relax your mind after any kind of tension. Parker’s ‘Bubble & Squeak’ series are his art of relaxation, he explores shapes, line and colour, using colours that are left over from his mainstream works, to create works that do not demand that finality of precision and almost self-evolve.
The beauty of art is that is so individual and can be appreciated by so many, in so many different ways. Some will find abstract art relaxing, others will want to wander into a Constable landscape and relax in the Haywain! either way we are so lucky to have so many different wonderful artists to view, draw inspiration from and escape with.