Sculpting Art for Therapy

March 19, 2021

Sculpting Art for Therapy

Age and time tend to teach us things. When times get tough, we now know exactly what creative activities to turn to when we are in need of healing and restoration. My husband finds respite in cooking and basketball.

and I am an artist.

Everybody may not have these go-to solutions in their life, but for many of us, we had to learn the hardest way - thru years of trauma, pain and high-level stress. We learn what works and what to avoid in our life with our unique personalities when we need to get back to a place of balance. 

Mine became evident after losing our special-needs son at 8, to heart disease and a rare genetic difference. We lost him in our van, in the Target parking lot in 2002. No matter the CPR, we could not revive him as his heart was pretty weak after an an invasive valve replacement surgery. As a mother, I was pretty numb from the loss, and resorted to months of scrapbooking his life. I realized later how much I needed that hands-on, kinesthetic experience to fill my empty hands.

So when COVID hit us last year, we found ourselves quarantined to our home for months on end.  There was just so much meal-planning I could enjoy with my husband (his creative release) - just so much wine we could drink - just so many ways to rearrange our furniture - before I started seeking new activities to deal with this gnawing, constant angst of where we were in this pandemic. As a country, as a couple, and as a human, trying to stay well.

During the summer, a friend invited me to create a venetian plaster backsplash in her kitchen, and we designed a masterpiece of layers of texture and metallic shimmers. As I was studying the process on Youtube, I ran across some Russian masters of sculptured art on walls with plaster. After completing her kitchen, she wanted one of my magnolia paintings to hang so I used the plaster to make it a three-dimensional piece of sculpted art.

The term, Bas Relief, means

  • A low or mostly-flat sculpture which is carved into a wall
  • Refers to any aspect of sculpture which is flat or in the bas relief style

The process of creating the mixture (plaster and glue) and applying it like cake batter, then manipulating it with a palette knife, then painting it, has been so rewarding to me. it did not matter that the COVID season meant artists had NOWHERE to show their work, no markets to set up a booth, and very few galleries expanding. I just kept on sculpting...for me.

My house was getting full.

Now that Florida is opening up again, I had a month-long exhibit scheduled at the JCA (Jewish Community Alliance) in Jacksonville. My show includes 73 pieces, most of which have a texture of some kind - reminders of how many ways nature can offer us SOLACE in the beauty of its lines and textures - Simple patterns of amazing design. 

The show is called S O L A C E.

Its enough to get lost in, for a season, and found in, as our mental and physical health needed time - Just unencumbered time to heal, time to enjoy and time to retreat. Finding a creative outlet to work with our hands can give us that time and healing, and make some amazing new creations in the process!

For more information and inspirational pictures see

this post

some beginnings projects

a walk-through of my latest show

The complete PPT of remaining works in the show

 

 





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