Research has proven that art is known to be a great method for reducing stress and in this month of National Stress Awareness , it feels like a good time to share how my art has helped me in my life to manage stress and has become such a relaxing therapy. Researchers have found that 75% of your cortisol levels are lowered during 45 minutes of making art. When you create art your brain is focused on what you are creating, which tends to clear your mind and is similar to meditation, becoming a time for self care and relaxation. For me the walks in the countryside which inform and inspire my work are where I find peace and calm, these two elements keep me physically and mentally balanced. it’s a time where I find joy, in the beauty of nature all around me.
There are many different areas I focus on to create uplifting positive images of the natural world which calm me. I try and walk most days,
this way I can observe the small changes that happen in nature, today I noticed that wood anemones are covering the woodland floor like a white carpet, and that the bluebells are slowly coming
into bud. My batik work is an area that requires a great deal of focus and is created in exquisite detail, carefully controlling the flowing hot wax, to create the wing of a bumble bee or
butterfly and at other times allowing the wax just to flow. Batik is a technique of wax and dyes applied to fabric, an ancient Indonesian art which dates back 3,000
Most people associate the medium with bold colourful patterns, but the technique that I have developed using this medium is extraordinary.
My designs are a mixture of well observed subjects in stylised and contemporary environments, rich in colour and contrast. Each piece has up to 25 applications of wax and dye and uses a range of different batik processes, such as cracking and dipping, sgraffito, kystka and tjanting work. This focus calms me and takes me into another world of colour, nature and beauty, where I really do feel I can escape and create artworks that I hope inspire a similar level of relaxation in those that buy my works for their homes or workplace art.
Believing in the power of art to help alleviate life’s stresses I also run Art workshop holiday’s in Portugal where we learn various art techniques, with the beauty of birdwatching and nature explored to its full extent. The May and October holidays are focusing on cyanotype, using the sun’s rays to create blue images of the flowers around the area. This Eco-boutique holiday retreat has helped many people to relax and appreciate the beauty of nature. Whilst learning new art processes, exploring new landscapes and cultures. Any stress levels will melt away and we really do appreciate how art can help stress – the statistics tell the truth and the proof is definitely in the practise!