Art Therapy Indeed
Painting is certainly therapeutic for me. The news today seems consistently negative, from name calling, bullying and threats, to innocent people mowed down, shot, or blown up. Art provides a counterpoint to all that, a reminder that there is beauty in the world to which we can choose to pay attention, vs. all the nastiness.
The mere act of focusing on what to photograph, and later, on which reference photos to paint from, helps distract me from the rudeness and violence in the news. Then, once I'm actually painting, there's the joy of playing with pastel sticks of pure color. And as any serious runner or reader knows, when you are "in the zone" you are immersed in what you are doing and oblivious to other distractions. Which is not a bad thing these days.
The recent terrorist incident on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, following as it did on the heels of a similar incident in Virginia, was very upsetting. It made me think about my visits to that amazing city, full of wonderful food, architecture and people. Strolling along Las Ramblas is a thing. Everybody does it, from shoppers during the day, to families in the evening, to drunken party-ers at night.
This is one of my paintings of Las Ramblas. It's how I prefer to remember it, full of life, energy, color, cafes and people strolling along peacefully. Since painting provides therapy for me, I hope my work provides happiness and stress relief for my readers and collectors, too.