Hello lovely family and friends
I first came across the concept of art being healing when I saw a YouTube video of an interior designer during the pandemic who was answering the question of what to do make a home feel cosy and healing. She said: tidy up (keep going!), declutter, add plants, add texture: rugs and fluffy blankets, throws and cushions (I love this easy and cost-effective way of decorating) and add Art, of course!
I try to remember the healing power of beauty and art whenever I hear the grumpy inner voice that tells me that I am a waste of rations as an artist, and that I should be doing something that ‘helps’ people. I recently read a very interesting article on the benefits of art in hospitals, which I have attached.
“There is moreover increasing evidence that the display of visual art, especially images of nature, can have positive effects on health outcomes, including shorter length of stay in hospital, increased pain tolerance and decreased anxiety”
That makes painting worthwhile!
Now, of course, you know I am a visual person, so I found some free photographs on Unsplash and, using my masterful PowerPoint skills, made a photo mock up: Usual hospital room:
Designed to be sterile, but resulting in the unfortunate effect of making one feel like a thing, rather than a person. I start to feel nervous just looking at it…
Add a window showing outside greenery, pot plants, throws, pillows and art, and now it feels more like a holiday home than a hospital. Obviously, one cannot just knock windows in walls, but a framed print of a garden window instead? Plus real plants inside – plants also are amazing at removing impurities from the air, so there is also a physical reason we feel better when surrounded by greenery. Unsurprisingly, the study also said that the doctors and nursing staff also felt happier working in an environment with art. Back in the day, Florence Nightingale even recommended art for healing. Even more respect to her.
It not only makes us feel better in hospital, it also makes us happier and less anxious at home.
Not everyone can afford original art, or even prints, but charity shops have cheap art or maybe you have your grandmothers’ paintings? Find something that makes you happy to look at, and hang it up. Or paint your own.
One of my friends wanted to have her baby in a special maternity hospital where the rooms are decorated like a bedroom from Downton Abbey, and the day after you baby is born, you can have high tea served in your room, in beautiful China, with scones, cucumber sandwiches and lacy napkins. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Lady Mary to the life. Probably a good idea to kick-off parenthood in a luxurious way, before you get woken up five times a night for the next year.
Here is your weekend challenge: imagine that someone from Home & Garden is coming to take pictures of your lounge or bedroom and tidy up accordingly. Pack all that extra stuff away in a box, put it in the garage, and if you don’t remember what is in it in the next six months, perhaps it can go to the Charity shop. Just sayin’.
On your marks, get set, go!
- Tidy up
- Add plants
- Use throws and pillows to cover up things that don’t match, or look tatty, and to add texture and colour.
- Add art
So, this weekend, may you make a beautiful area in your home, and may you sit and enjoy it with a beverage of your choice and a really excellent book!
P.S. Artists a reminder that the free Make Art Your Living workshop has just started, but you can still join in now if you are keen. It’s great to get some help and support on the journey.