Research has proven that art is known to be a great method for reducing stress and in this month of National Stress Awareness it feels like a good time to share how my art has helped some artists in their life to manage stress and has become such a relaxing therapy. Researchers have found that 75% of your cortisol levels are lowered during 45 minutes of making art. When you create art your brain is focused on what you are creating, which tends to clear your mind and can almost be similar to meditation, becoming a time for self-care and relaxation. For many artists this is a time where they find joy in their life, concentrating on the beauty of nature all around them.
There are many different areas the artist Marie-Therese focuses on to create uplifting positive images of the natural world which calm her. Her batik work in particular is an area that requires a great deal of focus and is created in exquisite detail, at times carefully controlling the flowing hot wax, to create the wing of a bumble bee and at times allowing it just to flow. Batik is a technique of wax resisting dyes being applied to fabric, an ancient Indonesian art where evidence of batik have been found from over 2,000 years ago. No doubt the detailed work that Batik requires distracted many an artist from the troubles surrounding them, through the centuries.
Her designs are a mixture of well observed subjects in stylised and contemporary environments, rich in colour and contrast. Each piece has up to 50 applications of wax and dye and uses a range of different batik processes, such as cracking, dipping, sgraffito, kystka and tjanting work. This focus calms her and takes her into another world of colour, nature and beauty, where she really does feel she can escape and create artworks that she hope inspire a similar level of relaxation in those that buy her works for their homes or workplace art.
Believing in the power of art to help alleviate life’s stresses the artist Marie-Therese also runs special art workshop holiday’s in Portugal where you get to learn various techniques of these art skills, with the beauty of birdwatching and nature explored to its full extent . This intimate holiday retreat most definitely has helped so many people to relax and just appreciate the wonders of the world, translating these into wonderful art works.
Whilst learning new art techniques, exploring new landscapes and cultures the levels of stress hopefully melt away and we really do appreciate how art can help stress – the statistics tell the truth and the proof is definitely in the practise!