Thursday, June 17, 2010

Turning To Art For A Bit Of Sanity

Sanity is a pretty precious commodity in my world, how about yours? I often wonder how much more challenging or weird life can get,  and then I turn the T.V. on, and a graphic dose of reality slams me in the gut, which quickly makes me know how 'normal' my life truly is, compared to most. But, as any creative person knows, normal is no state of mind that lends itself to being artistically productive, so finding that fine line between normal and funkatatively weird is my goal each morning. Often though, I fall a bit short, feeling like a sane life is simply a cruel oxymoron wrapped up in clothes stitched with 'normal' threads, and I am left wondering where the balance is. 

Art plays a huge role in my world in helping me find that balance. It seems lately that images of despair, hopelessness, anger, and death are all around us. Really???? Turn the boob toob on and think "oil", enough said about that. So in the interim, in those brief little moments that my psyche needs to stay 'sane', I turn to art, a God given gift which I am grateful for.  

Art surrounds me, at least that's how I perceive the world, through art lenses you could say. On days I get really down, or am having to deal with a pain crisis, I choose to watch the sunlight flicker through the colored glass bottles along the window seal, or grab my color crayons and add a page to my prayer journal. My prayer journal is a new thing for me. Not the prayer or the journal part, but the art part. I find that drawing through my prayers helps calm my mind, keeps me focused, and gives me a much more open channel than simply talking to God. In fact, I find that he talks to me a lot more through my art than in my head, and I am really cool with that. 

I have also spent quite a lot of time lately praying for the animals in our Gulf. The oily pictures shown on the media networks are hard to look at. I find myself sometimes being ambivalent or apathetic to be perfectly honest, but when my heart kicks in and lets a tiny bit of that reality hit home, I cringe at the horror of it all. So, I have started spending the moments that Bill and I spend glued to the evening news as art time. Using my watercolors and ink, I paint images of the unique animal life in our Gulf in 3" miniatures.  I kind of like to think it's my way of feeling sane and embracing all things lovely that are in harms way at least. 

The Green Room is another venue that I chose to participate in to help the Gulf through art. It's an  art show focusing on the beautiful flora and fauna of our Gulf region and all the  artwork is up for auction.  Part of the proceeds go the Mobile Baykeeper and The Mobile Arts Council. I donated my part to Mobile Baykeeper as well. My piece, "The Mermaid Angel Prayer", shares a prayer for the animals affected, in a whimsical sort of way. The least I could do is use my art, my gift, to give back to those innocent beings we share this planet with. You can visit the Mobile Arts Council up until the 25th to place a bid, and I encourage any and all to bid with their hearts and love for all things earthly and beautiful.

Sanity, or the perception of it, comes and goes around here. But one thing I know like I am breathing is this: No matter what craziness, tragedy, or heart break I face, God has given me art to use as a way to cope with it all, and that makes my life beautiful. If you are struggling with understanding all this craziness that surrounds you, I would encourage you to try and work through it with art. You don't need to be an artist, you simply need to grab a pencil, some crayons, or some paint, and work through your feelings on paper. It's much healthier than some other vices, and you just might be surprised with how much more 'sane' you feel afterwords, if only for a brief respite.

Here is the mermaid painting, along with two of the 3" miniatures of the Gulf animals. (Yes, pink dolphins do exist, they are actually very rare albino dolphins.)
 
May beauty surround you today, and my you have the eyes and heart to see it!  ((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

 
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