The Power of Art Therapy

Intellectually I know that art can be good for the soul. Sometimes I need a brain/heart reconnect about the value of art on a daily basis. It’s been a royal blue funk since Tuesday, and I could just feel myself falling deeper and deeper, to the point of just bawling my eyes out today over all sorts of things that never used to bother me, but now seem hugely magnified.

Hubby had the serger out, getting some fabric prepared for marbling this week. I figured I’d keep him company, working on finishing up my leaves. This kind of sewing is almost mindless, which can be very good therapy. I started working on the leaves and two hours later seemed to be ready to wash away the stabilizer and see what I had. I checked a small piece and liked what I saw, so I put another two hours in on adding more thread. These leaves have close to eight hours of prep and sewing, but they are looking fine. I pulled out the bamboo pieces, added some additional stitches, and then started in on the stash, trying to find some background fabric.

When I originally conceived this bamboo piece, it would hang free-form – just strips. But my leaves, while good, aren’t stiff enough to support the top of the piece. So I needed a background. I was thinking a pieced background of diagonal strips, which would offset the verticals of the bamboo poles. Interesting how design decisions just kind of come about. I had been going back and forth about a possible background almost since I started this piece some five years ago. Background or not, pieced or whole cloth, vertical or diagonal…..I find it interesting that I have started to think through these decisions, and actually use the vocabulary of art – texture, form, function, and so on.

At which point I realized that if I want to have this piece done and photographed and entered by September 3, then I better get busy. Now I know when I need to I can work to deadline evenings after I get home from school, so that’s what I figured I was going to have to do.

And then I was fine. Well, not completely, there are no issues settled, but I feel like I can move on, which is more than where I was this morning. I will need to be very focused over the next 10 days, with planning a new class for school and sewing at night. But right now it feels good, and I need that.

Once again, art to the rescue.

PS – gotta tell ya, reading Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral is not helping my depression. It’s a tremendous book, but not for the fragile right now…..

4 Responses to “The Power of Art Therapy”

  • I have had about three days of the same, plus it seems DH has managed to share a summer cold/allergy cold with me……..all I want to do is SLEEP. (during the day, which I never do….)
    Sitting with my small paper journal was all I could manage, but it was quite soothing and then I pasted more magazine alivers into my doodle sketch book…
    Sometimes you just need to totally escape in art. It really makes a difference.


  • Some of my friends told me I was allowed to wallow for only a day — then I had to pull myself out (easier said than done, I know). I reread Janet Evanovich — makes me laugh. I heartily recommend her. Get out in the sun (OK — maybe that only works up here in the north). I’ve been outside dyeing — makes me very happy. I hope you feel better. — looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

  • Hope you are on the mend quickly. But if the body wants sleep, then sleep!

  • I love Evanovich – particularly Grandma Plum. First time with her was an audio book on a trip to Albuquerque and the book was read really well. Now when I read her I have Grandma’s voice in my head. Today should be better – thanks for the kind words!

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