Art is Therapy.

Have you ever woken up from a night of sleep grumpy as hell for no apparent reason?

Well that was me on Sunday. It was a Sunday, and I was GRUMPY AS HELL!!

I had a great week at work and there was simply no reason for this mood.  I got out of bed and thought I should go for a big walk on the beach to try and relax myself. I did not want to impose my monster mood on my loved one.  So off I went...

As I was on my walk all I could think about was work stuff, random holiday stuff, how many additional hours I’d work this week, how crazy clients are this time of year ( me maybe??), all the anxieties that one can get about the holiday season I was having.

Fast forward a few hours in the day: I walked into our new “Art Room” at FHTC.  It was filled with Art Easels, paint, festive decorations and lovely music in the background.  As the “students” started coming in, there was a shyness...after all, no one that had signed up has any experience painting, it is just for fun that we started offering these painting days so there should be no pressure felt.  

Once everyone got settled in, the most amazing thing happened.  I was asking a mother with her young daughter what they wanted to paint together.  They talked about a reminder of a family holiday, on the other side of the easel there were two friends that decided to paint together to do something they could enjoy together.  There was a boyfriend/girlfriend painting on one easel together and a mother and son on another one.  It was beautiful.  I watched in amazement how beautiful the paintings were. 

While adoring the artwork I also couldn’t help but notice the interactions between everyone in the room. We were laughing, chatting, looking at each other’s art and getting to know each other. One of our students was painting off a picture of a temple she worships. Everyone had such beautiful reasons for their concepts.  Some more difficult than others but everyone willing to try their best and have FUN! I don’t know when my mood lifted but it did.  As the day went on it also became a bit of an open house. 

We started making Christmas cards and drawings on the side with pens and pencils.  We had some snacks and drinks as well.  The Centre filled with a creative buzz.  We were all enjoying the attention from Yves who’s so positive and encouraging while guiding each person through their creative journey.  It was so beautiful to see and experience.  How could I possibly remain grumpy??  Art is therapy!

Being creative is therapeutic! When some of the students did not finish their art at the end of the session I was happy.  I thought “Perfect, we can do this again”!!  It was not unlike a great Yoga class or Spin class that way.  Everyone helped to tidy up, we put away the easels and arranged times for everyone to come back to complete their art.  Those that had enough time in this session took their canvas home with such delight.  It was such a feeling of community.  It was cool that everyone’s art was so unique.  Everyone was so proud of their work too.  No one said they did not like it or it wasn’t good enough.  There was encouragement and inspiration from everyone.  It an experience.

A day of painting with a small group can restore community.  No cellphones, getting paint on your hands, on your clothes, laughing at yourself. All the things we no longer make a priority in society.  We are so caught up in work and trying to balance all our duties.  I experienced it first-hand Sunday:  Art is therapy!!  A wonderful escape!  I did not do a canvas yesterday.  I was inspired to draw and make Christmas Cards even though anyone who knows me knows I am a competitor of Scrooge himself, not a big fan of it all!!!  Painting Christmas cards  gave me a new lease on the season and a more positive mood.  Who would have known!!!!  Perhaps it’s the contact with others, being vulnerable enough to show our art to each other without judgement. 

It restores faith that there is so much positivity about getting together and socializing with others outside of social media even when you feel super busy with work and the holidays.  In person, we are all the same.  We forget that when we see how perfect people are on Social Media.  After my major mood change yesterday I am still feeling it today.  I woke up feeling like there is more to the holiday season than working and shopping for silly presents, I learned that collectively, we can all alter each other’s moods from negative to positive by coming together in person rather than online.

I look forward to more art days.  I look forward to more families creating art together, to sisters, friends, husbands and wives, boyfriend and girlfriends...put the cell phones and tablets down and open the creativity for a few hours once in a while. You never know what it will unlock in you!!! 

Art is Therapy!