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Painting is a form of therapy

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

I should preface this by clarifying I am not a therapist of any type. I do not have any mental health certifications, licenses nor any experience working in the mental health field.

However, after nearly a half century on the planet spent drifting in and out of creative zones, I have formed a deep appreciation for the medicinal effects of painting -- among other creative forms of expression.

Simple patterns have emerged over time. In almost every major loss suffered throughout my life, art has served as a respite. Every period of perceived stagnation or frustration, drawing and painting has been a productive outlet aiding in the transmutation of otherwise destructive energy.

Lengthy analysis, from which I will spare you, has shown linkages to every major period of depression or anxiety. Whereby the process of creating art has helped lift me from the depths of despair, whether real or imagined. My hypothesis for this is twofold:

  1. The process of creation and/or creativity, is something I am connected to deep from within and throughout my ancestry;

  2. The type of art I am drawn to create, mostly landscape paintings, helps me focus on beauty. Thus raising my gaze from my ego to things that matter more.

Coincidentally, looking back at the periods of creative bursts during my life, I am reminded that these often are time when things generally go well for me and the people around me. Again, not much science to back this up, just purely experiential recognition. Quite subjective indeed but I trust the source...

Hopefully this remains true. The twenty-two live painting demonstrations I've completed in the past month certainly coincide with the greatest sustained period of creativity I have ever experienced. Selfishly, I hope this is a precursor to some good times and much more creative time in front of the easel.

I share this with you just in case there is a possibility that you may find aid and comfort by creating in your own way. Perhaps these words will ring true, provide just a little extra motivation and move you closer to starting your next painting or creative endeavor...

My best to you and yours. Here is some of the stuff I've been working on. Hope you enjoy.

Be well, Tom

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