We all have an artistic side waiting to be articulated, and art is a vehicle we can use to heal ourselves and one another.
ART CAN PRODUCE ITSELF IN MANY FORMS. The concluding result is always the same: total relaxation.
When you’ve had a stressful day, what do you first think about to help you unwind? I touched on music before-as a medium for complete relaxation- it just has a magical ability to turn that frown upside down! or completely change your mood. It’s amazing how quickly that medium of practice works!
Gathering ideas from the American Art Therapy Association Coloring in Adult coloring books is not true art therapy, “The American Art Therapy Association supports the use of coloring books for pleasure and self-care, however these uses should not be confused with the delivery of professional art therapy services, during which a client engages with a credentialed art therapist.”
I engage in coloring. I have a coloring agenda book. Coloring does make me feel relaxed, distracts me from my current stressful thoughts and I am proud of the pretty pictures produced, but it is not the same thing as producing something that is an abstract form of personal creation.
I was never certified in art therapy, I just always organized the arts and crafts program at the nursing home that I was working in. I also came up with ideas for my internships and practiced arts and crafts in my education at LONGWOOD UNIVERSITY for the classes that we visited in Farmville Elementary school to work with the children as well as the nursing home in Farmville. As well as through my education, I have found through my internships at the Training Center, working with adults with mental imparments, and the nursing home and assisted living facility, that the satisfaction produced by simply creating a picture or an art project by the residents’ is personally gratifying.
At the nursing home that I have worked, I helped the residents to go outside and gather leaves in the fall to paste them on construction paper, color an outdoor scene or designs by the leaves.
Around Halloween, we could wrap a tissue around a cotton ball to make a ghost. We would also make stained glass windows with tissue paper color papers. For relaxation we would color or draw with crayons and colored pencils; we had a man at the nursing home who was a military pilot and loved drawing pictures of war fighter planes.
Seeing bright colors and looking at art can just be inspiring. In any confined inpatient setting that I have been in, the walls are covered with bright and colorful pictures as opposed to boring white walls. Besides making the facility cheery and more home-like, the colors even give family members and staff something to feel energized and smile.
Whether it is the satisfaction of completing something tangible with your own hands, tracing and coloring in pictures in a coloring book or looking at the bright cheery pictures on the wall, art is therapeutic for everyone.
Art is about relaxation, being creative and feeling productive. We can all be THANKFUL for the therapeutic value that the creation of art holds. Plus, it’s always something fun to look at pretty colors.