The smell of crayons.
The way watercolor drips onto blank white paper, and glides across the page as you drag your brush.
The click of marker caps.
Art can be a very therapeutic hobby. Along with surfing, we find ourselves in “the zone”. Better yet, it is an amazing way to express ourselves without being confined to words. Walk With Sally had our first Heart to Home art day last weekend. It isn’t therapy, but our instructor provides resources including breathing exercises and art itself, which they may use at a later time to cope with stress, harness both positive and negative energy, and express themselves.
Sometimes there isn’t the exact right combination of words and phrases that correctly convey what we are feeling. Art liberates us from that feeling of judgment for saying the wrong thing, too much, too little, etc. While we may take an unexpected brushstroke, it is easier to incorporate our “mishaps” into our final project than possible when speaking.
We also may not know our feelings well enough to articulate it. Language is very definitive. Our masterpieces are always a work-in-progress. This helps us to put our elusive feelings into something physical and concrete, so we can take a look at something we didn’t even know about ourselves.
The best part about it all- is that there is absolutely no need for artistic ability. Studies show that experienced artists and novice artists both had lower levels of the stress-hormone cortisol. After we all drew our own creations, we all took turns sharing. Our group of WWS mentees and mentors left a little bit closer, lighter, and more Zen.
So grab your brushes, markers, crayons, camera, or whatever suits your fancy. There is art to be made. Whether you toss it, frame it, keep it for a few months then throw it out during spring cleaning (why did I keep this foam keychain?), the most important part is the process. Because we are all works-of-art in progress.