What does painting have to do with health, healing and well-being? Studies show that engaging in the artistic process is healing. Painting can lower your stress and anxiety levels, help you relax by taking your mind off of your health issues, help you feel more positive, and renew energy.
In 1860, Florence Nightingale wrote about the effect of “beautiful objects” on sickness and recovery. “Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by color and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect.”
I have an artist friend who is currently battling a serious illness. As a result, she is often fatigued and cannot make it down to her studio as often as she would like. Knowing that artistic expression is helpful to the healing process, I was trying to think of a way she could continue some form of artistic expression.
Knowing how much I enjoy using a little ink and wash in my sketchbooks gave me an idea. I decided to gift my friend with one of my handmade watercolor journals. That way, she could set a few supplies on a table beside her (journal, pen, watercolor, water brush) to pick up whenever she had a little burst of energy and wanted to do so something artistic.
Also, I know that receiving a new “pristine journal” can be intimidating because we don’t want to “mess it up.” So I decided to paint an ink and wash sketch on the first page and write a Bible verse that might offer my friend some encouragement.
How might you be able to use your talents to help and encourage a friend going through a difficult time? Even if your friend is not artistic, gifting them with some type of art can help promote the healing process or offer encouragement.