Our world has become increasingly fast-paced and overstressed. Sadly, many of us live our lives in the fast lane and never take the time to slow down to relax. I have never met anyone who wouldn’t want to be able to relax on a private beach on a regular basis, but this isn’t always possible. As a college student taking too many classes, I fully understand the need to let off steam. Everyone does this in their own way. I met one young woman who comes home from a stressful day and cleans the house in a frenzy reminiscent of the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Toons. To the dismay of my roommate. I am not this kind of person. I have found that I relax the most when I have a canvas in front of me and am covered in bright paint splotches of paint.
Art is a form of therapy for me. The act of creating something helps me process emotions and clears my head enough to think. I am not going to pretend to be a connoisseur of art by any means. I still walk into modern art museums and shake my head because sometimes art just doesn’t make sense to me at all. I cannot understand how huge blocks of color qualify as expensive or expressive art (Sorry Mark Rothko!). I prefer to focus on the emotions of art as I create it. Pablo Picasso once said:
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our soul”
I absolutely adore this quote because one sentence validates everything that I feel about art. The daily stresses of life leave a dirty film on our souls that can be difficult to wash off at the end of the day. Art allows us to wash off the dust of life and take on the next day refreshed.
As many art therapists will tell you, there is no one way to use art to cleanse the soul. It’s a personal experience, so each person can decide what works best for them. I have always been curious about art therapy techniques and the internet makes anything and everything readily available so I figured “why not learn now?” Now seems as good a time as any to explore how art might be able to make life a little more manageable.