"Change your perception, change your life." You’ve heard that before, right? Yes or no, it’s spot on.
A 2014 study, “How Art Changes Your Brain: Differential Effects of Visual Art Production and Cognitive Art Evaluation on Functional Brain Connectivity" was able to demonstrate "the neural effects of visual art production on the psychological resilience in adulthood" through its experiments. Creating art showed improvement of “effective interaction between brain regions of the DMN (brain’s “default mode network”) as well as interaction "between frontal, posterior and temporal brain regions."
What this means in English is that art can act as an “important prevention tool in managing the burden of chronic diseases in older adults”. Factor in that one-fifth of Americans will be over 65 years of age by the year 2030, preventive approaches to mind/body disintegration have potential to play important roles in leading longer, healthier, productive and happy lives at a time when chronic diseases and stresses have taken over our natural state of health and balance. (source)
Further, other studies have shown that simply observing and contemplating or taking in a beautiful vision stimulates the brain pleasure centers while increasing blood flow by 10% in the medial orbitofrontal cortex. This region of the brain is involved in cognitive processing of decision making. This extra brain boost can lead to “an elevated state of consciousness, well-being and better emotional health”. We call that simply, happiness. (source)
The time to make positive changes is now. The time is always now if we understand time's limitations. In a life that constantly leads us into directions away from the self, art is a pathway towards it. Creating art heals us, relives stress, encourages creative thinking and problem solving, boosts one’s sense of accomplishment which in turn boosts self-esteem and confidence. Art is good for the mind, body and soul. Nourish yours.
View our ongoing art classes here to see how you can join in on all the benefits art provides.
I read an article recently that I found thought provoking and wanted to share some key quotes with you. Feel free to post comments about what you think of any of these. I personally loved #4 as truly, painting is like a game so long as one "abides by certain rules". This, quite simply, is the balance we try to bring into life, but seems in painting we have have much more control over the way the content is handled. Paint then, and be merry. ~Tatiana
Quotes from ARTPULSE Vol.5, No.17 “Painting pros and cons: a conversation between Laurie Fendrich and Peter Plagens” (2013) pg 32-35., and without intent, all the quotes which moved me were spoken by Fendrich, who is a painter and professor of fine arts at Hofstra University and writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education:
1) “…painting possesses a staying power unlike that of any other art form. Because painting is motionless in an age where we see everything continuously changing, in a metaphorical sense, it reminds us of permanence…” LF
2) “ It’s deeply satisfying to build a painting from the ground up , and to see the trace bits of evidence of all the steps it took to get to that final picture. On the other hand, herding cats is a breeze compared to controlling paint and color, and the act of painting is as frustrating as it is fun. In a way, painting is nothing but a series of mistakes each one a correction of the previous one. You don’t’ get this in a photograph, an installation or a computer-generated image.” LF
3) “We paint because painting remains the sole art form able to express human yearning for material objects to transcend they physicality.” LF
4) “A better analogy…is to look at the way painting resembles a game, where play is possible only if one abides by certain rules. The rules of painting aren’t written in stone, obviously, but they include such things as staying within the bounds of the rectangle and its flat surface, pushing colored pigments around with some specifically designed painting tools, exploring color depth and relativity, and producing a unique work of art that is supposed to hang on a wall. While all this strikes non-painters as anachronistic, quaint, arbitrary and limiting, the rules are what make painting so durable.” LF
5) “But to glean delight and meaning from a painting doesn’t mean that all paintings, to be good or even great, must deliver the profound meaning…Making a painting that’s arresting in an intriguing way is hard enough. To paint requires talent, patience and perseverance, and to appreciate it requires standing still and looking hard – not exactly hallmarks of our democratic age.” LF
I’m often amazed at how many people I speak to who believe art is something they cannot do. Clearly their mind is set in on certain (narrow) parameters of what art is and means to them and thus they appropriate judgment on their abilities without even trying and those who do, give up too soon because they didn't feel they fit that mold. That’s unfortunate.
Of course we know art to be many types of expressions and things and in my view, everyone has an artist within. The questions is, has it been tapped into? For most it hasn’t and for the others, it has but not enough for it to fill their time as they probably wish. So perhaps rather than viewing art as something one might be too intimidated by because of its commitments and wannabe potentials as so many do, it might be more fun to seek out a kind of art that makes less demands on a beginner artist or even on a self proclaimed artist stuck and grounded in predictable ways.
For instance, art doesn’t have to encompass technicalities and structure to be worthy of creating. This is one way of art, but as our class on abstraction through watercolors and India inks run by our artist instructor, Chelsea Dubick shows, art can act merely as an expression of the moment. Being that our moments are so limited, it would be an interesting experience to capture them in ways outside of typical memory by making them into pieces of art to frame and put up in a home. Why not that instead of photographs for memory?
Art is purely subjective. I think if the mind focuses on the creation of art and its process primarily, rather than its outcome, one might be more open to facing those fears of not being good enough and prove oneself wrong.
I’m just giving you something to ponder on as we kick off our fall registrations for our art classes beginning Sept 6th. Take a class with us at the studio school and see what you're capable of!