Reader, call to mind your favourite painting and visualize it clearly. Let your mind wander gaily between each hue and stroke; make yourself part of its composition. After swimming through this sweet moment of reflection, do you feel calmer? If so, you have just witnessed art’s tremendous power to soothe!
One of the marks of a Masterpiece is the great serenity it contains – the Divine ability to transport us into worlds of breath-taking beauty when clouds obscure the beauty of our own reality. Recall the lavish scenes and decadent palette found in Boticelli’s work. When viewing The Birth of Venus, can you not hear the wind rustling the falling petals, feel the gentle waves lapping at your feet? Or envision Monet’s enchanting water lily paintings with their dappled light and soft swirls of muted glory. The works are alive, beckoning us to release our worries – your eyes are delighted and your Soul breathes a sigh of relief! Such is the mark of art that man returns to time and time again, century after century. Within these Masterpieces, the gentle Hand of the Great Spirit reaches out to comfort us.
And this power to restore is very real! An increasing number of studies have investigated the link between the happiness of the mind and the health of the body. The field of psychoneuroimmunology explores the ways stress and negative thoughts affect physical and mental well-being. It has been found that surrounding yourself with positivity and beauty has a fantastic ability to heal. In the instant you see a gorgeous bloom, your heart reacts and you smile. When you focus on the Good in life, you bring even more Goodness to yourself.
The healing power of art extends beyond enjoyment of existing work. The act of making art has long been viewed as a therapeutic way to cope with ills of the body and mind. A blank canvas or page is a place to pour out all of your strife and transform it into something magnificent, a gift worthy of sharing. To the artist, creation is your truest confidante, the one to whom you bear all of your secrets. It offers relief that no medicine can bring – a pure prescription for healing the Soul, and the renewal of health and joy!