First of all, let me begin by saying I create art because I have to and I can't help it, might as well will my body not to breathe.
However, I have turned more and more toward visual art expression with paint and pastel, beyond the camera, in other words, I find myself actually having a mission.
Last year, a poet colleague purchased a 5 x 7 matted, framed graphite piece I had created out of a jumble of sea shells lying in the sand. I chose a navy mat and white frame. She fell in love with this picture as soon as she saw it. She told her husband she had to have it. After the reading, she explained to me that she found the energy of the drawing "healing." She knew just the space on a new shelf built into a wall of the room where she writes, that this healing energy belonged.
Much of the time I've been learning to paint and draw has been occupied with the eternal question of "Will this come out?" Can I do it? Whatever "it" might be.
I have had much success in the past year and so I have found ways to mark, in time, where my inner process led me. Certain finished artworks are defined as much by what I was thinking about and how I felt during the creation of the piece as by anything else. One enormous composition of a bear grew out of angry pastel strokes, panic attacks unrelated to art, and grief. My now trademark "Owl" is anchored in my memory by the fact that, on that Saturday when I ' d been planning a "karaoke night with the girls" I had returned from an art class frustrated by lack of interaction the teacher added to the critique as she told about each painting that had juried or not juried into a certain show. When she got to mine, she said the juror thought my work "safe". I almost did not make it into that show. I was unhappy with the teacher's smug sharing of this critique in front of the whole class and her unwillingness to explain a path she thought I could take out of safety, whatever that even meant.
So later, at home, I pulled out the largest drawing pad I owned, grabbed my pastel pencils, and began to draw an owl, taking from a 2" long refrigerator magnet. How did I feel? Angry, lost, scared, alone, hurt, confused...the picture grew. His eyes first, glared into mine. The finished drawing is 19 x 22.
All those feelings poured out of my mind onto the paper. Many people remark, when they first see my owl, how intense he looks, his angry expression, his determined stare. I always laugh and say, "Well, it only makes sense s/he looks angry because I sure was!"
Thus do my artworks, many of them, create healing in my own mind. With music playing and a painting or drawing under way, my mind is free to consider issues too painful to face. The feelings rise and flow, distracted by the flow of paint and I survive their immensity.
I believe art to be truly a healing experience for some artists and some viewers. So my mission as an artist, is to concentrate healing energies into my works that reach out and touch those in need.