Painting Has The Power to Heal


Sunflower with Blues – Jacki Kellum Watercolor Painting

Not long ago, I taught art to people with Parkinson’s disease. I did this because I firmly believe that painting can be a dynamic form of therapy

“But, if art builds up the human spirit rather then breaking it down, then it can build up a culture.”

“We make art because there is something inside the creative person that needs to get out. The poet, musician, actor, and visual artist all have a desire to express what they feel and to create something of great value. It’s a type of therapy or a form of meditation. Many do art for the pure joy of it.”

It is a dirty trick that artists are the most sensitive and easily hurt people in the world and yet, they are the most aware of the things around them that can potentially cause pain. I often write about the types of people who are impervious to pain. They are often operating in a form of denial and don’t even acknowledge the things around them that might bother them. Artists are on the opposite side of that spectrum.  They feel about everything, and their emotions are their agony and their ecstasy.

When I think about the shadows of living, I think about TS Eliot’s Wasteland and then, I think about Louis Sachar’s Holes.

“There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. There once was a very large lake here, the largest lake in Texas. That was over a hundred years ago. Now it is just a dry, flat wasteland.

There used to be a town of Green Lake as well. The town shriveled and dried up along with the lake, and the people who lived there.

During the summer the daytime temperature hovers around ninety-five degrees in the shade—if you can find any shade. There’s not much shade in a big dry lake.

The only trees are two old oaks on the eastern edge of the “lake.” A hammock is stretched between the two trees, and a log cabin stands behind that.

The campers are forbidden to lie in the hammock. It belongs to the Warden. The Warden owns the shade.
Out on the lake, rattlesnakes and scorpions find shade under rocks and in the holes dug by the campers.” Louis Sachar – Holes

On one level, Sachar is describimg a desolate detention camp, but on the other hand is describing hopelessness and depression. Depression is a terrible thing. I am thankful that I have my art to manage my blues.