Art, nature, and good health

For a list of my blogs by name, click here.

I don't think many people would argue with the statement, 'viewing art is therapeutic'. And from my perspective, creating art is also therapeutic. As well, a search on internet will reveal countless studies of the health benefits of nature. For many of us, that's obvious. But I have also read about studies that suggest that even images of nature can have health benefits - lowered blood pressure, lowered anxiety, improved mood, etc. Think of the usual medical costs of treating these illnesses. It would be easier, cheaper and far more pleasant to spend time in nature or, at the least, keep images of it on your walls.

For most of my life, including my childhood, I have lived in or very near a natural setting, and I'm not just talking parks or gardens. I was able to walk out my door and, in minutes, be within some sort of forest, often with a trail that went on a long ways, through wild fields and more forests. It was not always easy finding places like that to live, but find them I did, even when finances were tight. The few times I lived in a city, I felt as though I was being bombarded with a constant rain of irritating objects. Noise, pollution, lifeless concrete. Some of us are more sensitive to it than others. I have had a lot of fun in cities, but I cannot live there. Now, I am finding out about all these studies that essentially demonstrate that how I feel without nature is very common, only many people either don't recognize it or can't change it (or, I should say, they think they can't change it). 

Here is a corner of our current 'back yard' in Nevada City, California:

IMG 0704

Furthermore, even if we live where nature is outside our doors or down the road a short drive, we often have work to do indoors, either at home or at an office. It is easy for the day to slip by and never once find the time for even the briefest walk in nature. That's where my art comes in! I think it is one reason I started creating it. It is something I can do indoors when the weather is bad, while being creative, and yet get a bit of that sense of nature. Although nothing compares to actually being outside in nature, I definitely feel calm and more centered when I work on my mountainscapes. 

A part of our land at our previous homestead in Fieldbrook, Humboldt County, California:


The view from our home in Blocksburg, Humboldt County:


When we moved to Blocksburg, I felt like I had moved into one of my mountainscapes. It is one the most beautiful places on earth I have ever been to. If you are ever up that way and want to see this for yourself, take the drive from Garberville on Alderpoint Rd. through Alderpoint and Blocksburg to Bridgeville. It is absolutely breathtaking and well worth the time. 

It was too far from my husband's work and after a few years we decided to move but a part of my heart will always be there, as I think is evident in much of my art.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have witnessed someone shedding a tear or two while viewing one of my artworks. That has actually happened several times. As an artist, I have never been more moved myself, knowing I can touch someone like that, in a way that is very personal to them. I don't need to know what it means to them and I never approach anyone who appears to be having such an experience. But, emotionally, I am deeply touched.

Art of any sort is fascinating and probably therapeutic in some way. For me, it is especially the images of nature, even if abstract, that give me a feeling of calm and peace of mind. I know it is good for me. 

To view my artwork, please click here. (707) 223-3037           © Kimberlee Ellen Brown 2016