Invitation to share your wisdom: How has art made your life better, happier, richer? Please leave your contribution at the boyyom of this post.
As a totally spontaneous abstract artist since 2011, with no formal training of any kind, I am thrilled to say that my art is currently (as of June, 2015) in 20 countries and 19 United States helping to uplift patients of all ages and conditions! I have seen Alzheimers patients respond in very dramatic ways to my art. They become present, they make eye contact with others, they interact, they create stories about what my art is saying to them, and their features, particularly the eyes, become very much alive and vibrant.
My work is particularly unusual because totally spontaneous images appear as the paint dries, sometimes by the dozen. I say spontaneous because I can’t draw! Here is just one example, an enlargement from a tiny corner of a much larger painting. It’s a Micronesian snail, something I had no idea of, let alone how to draw one!
Here it is again, superimposed on a picture of an actual Micronesian snail we discovered on a friend’s office wall calendar:
We know we all love art, and here are a few reasons why!
Many researchers have found that art affects us in multiple ways. In fact, art
- Neutralizes cortisol and other stress hormones
- Increases calming, positive hormones
- Mitigates post-traumatic-stress disorder in troops
- Increases cognitive reserves
- Stimulates cognition
From my own research with my art cards, and from earlier research done prior to publishing a musical meditation CD, I would further add:
- Reaches and stimulates Alzheimers patients
- Stimulates 10 mind-body experiences such as:
Relaxed muscles, lowered pain levels, slowed respiration, normalized blood pressure, neutralized anxiety, normalized heart rate, calmed and deepened brain-wave states (alpha to theta for instance), lowered body temperature, and meditative states reached.
- Stimulates right-brain activity and the ability to see hidden faces and other imagery in paintings.
- Brings about visible peace of mind, upliftment, and encouragement in patients and others who are in unhappy, debilitating, or frightening circumstances.
No wonder we love art!
I am thrilled to be able to actively contribute to the field of art therapy through my paintings! If you would like a complimentary set of glossy, full-color, double post-card size reprints, please contact me to make arrangements!
Sheila Van Houten, DD, PhD
New Light Consulting Corporation