My Journey Back to Wellness With Art As Therapy
Updated: Sep 6, 2019
"Art is my cure to all of this madness and loss of belonging in the world & through it I'll walk myself home." Nikki Rowe
This is one of the many inspirational art therapy quotes that I have found recently. The picture featured here is: "Fall Path I" 2018, Color pencil, ink and gouache on paper by artist Eva Maria Jones. This drawing was chosen to participate in Envision Art's Fervor exhibition in Frisco Texas 1/19 and won honorable mention in Carrollwood Cultural Center's "Emerging Artist" competition, Tampa, Florida, 8/19. This is one of my first drawings that I completed after my return to pursuing art as my original passion in 2015.
I was always considered the artist in the family, ever since I could remember. My mother handed me a drawing that I drew at the age of 4 years old that she had safely tucked away in a family photo album. The drawing was extremely detailed for a child that young. The drawing was that of a lady with scribbled hair, a face with eyes and a smile. She had a dress, arms, hands with stick fingers, legs and feet with high heels. I always amazed my teachers as I progressed through elementary school because of my attention to details. In high school, I majored in the fine arts. During my senior year in high school, I entered an art competition and won "Best of Show", 3 "Gold Keys" and an art scholarship to Northern Arizona University. In 1976, I attended NAU for three semesters but dropped out after getting married and starting a family. Art was mostly relegated into the closet since I was so busy and tired tending to kids and husband.
I had many hurtful and soul draining experiences in my life. I battled clinical depression and felt like a shell of a person for too many years of my life. All of these negative forces robbed me of the capacity to even start being creative again. Creativity is practically impossible when the mind is on survival mode and all of one's energy is used to keep one's sanity. I went back to NAU and obtained a RN license in 1997. Nursing also drained me physically, emotionally and artistically. Family and friends encouraged me to get back into doing art after seeing the work I completed in 1976, but I felt my talents were buried too long to be of any good. I felt I was not good enough.
In spite of the severe brain fog that can occur with severe depression, I ventured out and tried the therapy art called "Zentangle" in 2015. I found it's repetitive easy to draw patterns and rambling, lack of composition-like technique, meditative and non-judging of my abilities as an artist. I could venture out, create and not worry how it would turn out or it's composition. I then turned to the intricate details you see in my work today. While I execute the fine details of my work, my focus is so intent that my mind gets a reprieve from all of the negative thoughts and emotions. The reprieve allowed my mind and soul to heal. Art as therapy broke the log jam of emotional trauma that at one point felt impossible to overcome. I finally felt hope that I can feel well again. I felt therapy art restored my confidence that I could be an artist again. In 2018, I retired from nursing in order to pursue my original passion and love of the arts.
My brain fog has lifted, my mind is sharper and I am happier. Now I am creating art for art's sake as a whole person and not as one broken or needing therapy art to nudge out my creativity. Explore the #benefits_of_art_therapy and how it can bring about #emotional_wellness. Continue to follow me and answer the question #what_is_art_therapy