Bluebells, Acrylic, 36 x 24 inches, ©Lynn Goldstein
How often are you reminded of a loved one in your past when you hear a specific song, smell a familiar smell, or look at a photograph? Visual art can also remind you of someone who means or meant a great deal to you. When that happens it can feel like magic. This is one of the many ways that art can help us to heal. If we are reminded of a lost loved one because of imagery in visual art, we can be comforted by the experience.
When I went to pick up payment for a painting that I sold recently (the one pictured above), I was touched to the core by what the collector told me.
First of all, she mentioned that this was the first "real" art that she had ever purchased. I was surprised at how uplifting her words were. Then she went further in her comments about the painting. She said that her mother had passed away 9 years ago. She had no photographs of her mother around her home because seeing the photographs saddened her.
One day, while passing by my painting, she was struck by it. The woman portrayed in the painting made her think of her beloved mother. She couldn't see her face in the painting, but felt her beautiful mother was portrayed there, and the painting made her happy. Unlike the photographs that she hides of her mother, this painting doesn't add to her grief. Instead, the painting helps her to feel her mother's presence and makes her feel better.
Just last month a similar thing happened to me. I'll explain.
Royal typewriter and Typewriter print by Valerie Stemac
My father died when I was 25 years old. He still remains one of the best people I have ever known.
He was a fast and furious typist, and typed all his correspondence to me after I left home. He used a Royal typewriter that looks like the one pictured above. He hit the keys so hard that the back of the typing paper would sometimes look like braille. I loved getting his letters, and can't see a typewriter of any stripe and not think of him.
While in my studio building, I saw that one of my fellow artists, Valerie Stemac, was working on prints that illustrated an old typewriter. I was so happy seeing that artwork. Memories flooded back to me. All these years later, and that print made me smile as I thought of my beloved father, and felt his presence healing me from my loss so long ago. Valerie was kind enough to give me a tote bag with her typewriter print on it.
Art can challenge us, disturb us, and make us think, but it's ability to heal us and bring us peace is equally important ... and lovely. Please tell me what you think. Has a piece of art helped to remind you of someone you held dear? Just leave a comment below by hitting comment. Thanks for reading!