Healing Arts

 In Arty Heaven, Encaustic Wax

I came across the term ‘Arts On Prescription’ at an event a few years ago… and loud sirens went off…

THIS… This was exactly what I’d been experiencing first hand during my art classes.

It had first happened for me, in an untutored class way back in 2011…  I was a frazzled mess, with two young children, managing my husbands company admin, sorting the house, the school runs, the PTA, helping out at village events… you get the picture… everything for everybody else, other than myself.

I met Barbara, who suggested I come along to her art group on a Friday morning… two hours, once a week.

I was really nervous to go… I don’t know why, maybe doing something for myself seemed a bit selfish, indulgent even, and despite being quite outgoing, it felt uncomfortable, I didn’t know anyone there, and… and… and….

I went.

I couldn’t have been met by a kinder, more supportive bunch of people, and I started to look forward to those Friday mornings all week every week…

Turned out I was pretty good at art too.  I’d always loved it as a child and as a teenager, but life, and more ‘proper’ pursuits took over.

They’d always laugh at me, because I couldn’t stop humming and singing whilst I was there… an hour in, and I literally couldn’t help myself… (They always said not to worry, they liked it, I’m not so sure!!)

In turn, those two hours to myself, once a week, changed so many things.  I was happier, and everything got calmer at home.

I certainly never anticipated that an entire career change would come out of it!

I won a competition at Tate Modern in September that year, an off the cuff entry, which turned into an amazing experience, but that was the catalyst that made me realise I wanted something different…  I stopped running my husbands office, and found myself an art studio.  Yikes…  What now?!

Well… that’s when encaustic found me.

It literally stopped me in my tracks, and I’ve never stopped using the medium ever since.  It has the most soul connecting, healing properties, and I’ve been on a mission to share it with as many people as possible ever since.  Through my art, and my workshops.

I wish I’d kept a tally of how many paintings and cards I’ve sold, plus the people I’ve shared encaustic with over the years, it has to be in the thousands.  I’ve done countless exhibitions, open studios, workshops, and talks, most people I met were as fascinated with wax as I was.

I never dreamt I’d be running workshops myself, but I had a regular run of people asking me to share it with them, and so my new art studio life began.

So, what’s the connection with ‘Art On Prescription’ I hear you ask…?

It was during my in person workshops I saw the biggest shifts and transformations.  The first time it happened, I left my studio in awe… WHAT had just happened…?!!!  But, again, and again and again, I witnessed the same transformations.

The pattern was clear… People would come in, saying how much they can’t do this, can’t draw a straight line, useless at art, no idea what they’re doing here, etc. etc… Around half way through the workshop, they were ‘gone’.  I used to call it ‘the quiet hush’… they’d connected, lost themselves entirely, and were just enjoying the process of creating.

With smaller groups, there would usually be an outpouring of what ever was going on in their lives right now.  Things that I would NEVER expect people to share so openly, especially with somebody they didn’t know… in those cases, there wasn’t a lot of painting done, but it was as if the creativity opened the opportunity to ‘get it all out’… and as the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Regularly, despite saying it was almost time to finish up, I never had the heart to stop people mid flow, and they’d carry on painting long after the official workshop end time, simply not believing where time had gone when they did look up…!

I saw the same pattern in so many; from angsty teenagers, through to elderly ladies… it didn’t matter what gender, or age, but there was a definite, visible ‘something’ going on with each swoosh of the wax.

That’s why the Art On Prescription line rang so true with me.  I had experienced it myself, and now, I was witnessing it with others.  I’m no expert, and I’ve never studied art therapy, but the results have been clear to me.

A chat, a cuppa and some painting, (or singing, or whatever it is for you) and many of our gigantic problems, start to crumble away.

‘Ahh… I feel so much better’, and ‘I really enjoyed that’ were the words I often heard, as I waved people off into their cars!

2020 has brought so much isolation, and long hours alone… that’s why I wanted to up the resources I can share with you.

I’m not suggesting that wax painting will cure all known ills, and that everything will be rosy, but what if it might just help a little bit….?

Whilst checking my facts on the Arts On Prescription study, I came across these stats on the NHS England & Serious Science websites…

We find that between a third and a half of all visits to doctors are actually for non-medical reasons that are broader issues: for example, feeling lonely or socially isolated, low level mental health problems or other issues in people’s lives that might well be translating into health issues.

An arts-on-prescription project has seen a 37% drop in GP consultation rates and a 27% reduction in hospital admissions. And, a study conducted within deprived communities in London found that, of those people who engaged with the arts, 79% ate more healthily and 77% engaged in more physical activity and 82% enjoyed greater wellbeing (cited from the Creative Health: The Arts for Health Wellbeing report).

Quite astounding findings…

See the full articles here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/getting-creative-to-change-peoples-lives/

http://serious-science.org/arts-on-prescription-9416

 

So, as indoor in person events are pretty much non-existent right now, I’ve created this short, gentle healing workshop, explaining the intuitive process of applying hot molten wax.

It allows you the freedom to express yourself, without any concern of what you’ll create.

Simply loose yourself in creativity.

You don’t have to be good at art.  Simply use colour, texture, and the delicious fluid sensation of applying liquid wax with an iron.

This workshop attempts to recreate what I witnessed time and time again during my in person workshops; a transformation of emotions, a deep connection through art, and the simple pure joy of creation, with the application of hot molten wax.

My wish is that you have similar experiences.

I saw changes in my life after two hours, once a week… what could you do?

Its super easy to start.

Order this kit + this online workshop.

 

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