There is something very soothing and therapeutic to the soul when we tap into our artistic side.
Whether it is painting, sketching, ceramics, mixed medium, woodworking or another medium, focusing on a piece of art can give us all sorts of benefits such as reinvigorating our personal creativity or enhancing a sense of contentment and calmness, as well as helping us connect with our cultural heritage. It can also go a long way towards alleviating everyday stress and anxiety and dealing with deeper emotions.
Anne-Marie Diaz, an art psychotherapist at the Wellness Centre, says that there is a growing trend of adults gravitating towards art for self-nurturing. And what is special about personal art is that skill level or previous training has no impact on the benefits that it offers.
Finding Your Space
“One of the nice things about doing art on your own is that you can do it anywhere,” says Diaz. There are several outdoor places in which budding artists can set up and feel a profound connection with their surroundings, including the historic Pedro St. James Castle, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Dart Family Park and the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.
One approach Diaz highly recommends is art journaling. It can be as simple as carrying a sketchbook to express yourself on the go. It’s small and portable so you can work on something in a coffee shop, on a lunch break or whilst waiting for a flight.
One of the most effective ways to nurture yourself is within a group lesson or workshop.
“General group lessons are therapeutic in their own right,” says Diaz. “In working with other people, we also learn a lot about ourselves and how we interact with others. These social engagements can help us get back in touch with who we really are.”
There are numerous workshops and group lessons for adults in the evening and weekends throughout the year. Art Nest, a creative community centre at Pasadora Place, offers a number of group lessons for adults, including pottery and painting with local artists, often with wine or cocktails. The Visual Arts Society Cayman Islands conducts workshops in mixed media, figure drawing and colour theory. The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands holds several workshops in subjects such as life drawing, abstract painting and ceramics.
So pick up that paintbrush. With so many avenues for workshops and natural settings, this is the time to rediscover your creativity.