In the Art for Healing team I am lucky to have a colleague by the name of Carol Cavalaris who produces the most beautiful artwork and poems. Carol has had some hard times in her life but her art has given her the energy to cope with that and enabled her to develop a clarity of vision that is extraordinary. Here is Carol’s story in her own words.
How Art Is Healing Me … And So Much More
This is my personal story of how art has led me on a journey of healing. And to a full time career as an artist. I have become a believer in the power of beauty, nature, and animals to heal our bodies, hearts, and spirits. This is what creating art has done for me during the past 9 years. And so much more.
When my beloved husband and soul mate of 30 years suddenly died, I turned to art to help myself grieve and to heal. I’ve been an artist my entire life, always creating something. My background was in traditional oils and acrylics, but I was so devastated after my loss I could no longer paint at an easel. I just didn’t have the energy or spirit for it anymore. The joy was gone. And yet I knew I had to do something to survive my loss. And I also knew the answer was through my art.
So I re-invented my art, and tried painting on a computer, creating digital art. It was a challenge learning this new medium, and gave me a focus and purpose. And then I began to lose myself in the beauty of nature and animals, pouring my feelings into every work. And slowly, by expressing myself through the art, I began to heal. And then I began feeling something I thought I had lost forever. Passion. A passion for creating art again.
After working 24/7 for 3 years, I had amassed a huge portfolio of art. The time was coming that I needed to do something to support myself. And I wondered if I could do that with my art. On a whim, a hope, and a prayer, I decided to contact an art director for a major clothing company. My art seemed to fit well with their line. And to my surprise, he said he could feel the heart in my work and we signed a licensing contract.
This was a new beginning. My art is now selling worldwide, and I have companies and individuals that license my art for many products and projects. In addition, my art sells in galleries, as well as on-line. My work has been published in various magazines, book covers, as well as art books. I am also a collectible artist with The Bradford Exchange. I never imagined having a whole new career after my husband passed but that is what happened. My art not only is helping to heal me, but it is also supporting me. This was and is a very welcome blessing.
And another blessing has come through doing the art. And that is how it touches others. Every year, on the anniversary of my husband’s passing, I create a new artwork to honor him and our relationship. And this art speaks to others who are also dealing with their own challenges of healing. I finished a painting called ‘The Kiss’, of a lioness tenderly kissing her lion mate, and a woman who had recently lost her soul mate purchased the painting. She told me it reminded her of the last kiss goodbye she gave her husband before he passed. Though she didn’t know the reason I created the art, the meaning connected with her, and ultimately helped on her healing journey.
I believe my loss has helped me see the uniqueness in every living being as a momentary gift to be treasured. Many of the animals I paint are endangered, with a spiritual quality and power to heal hearts and spirits. My floral art is a way to capture the healing essence and beauty of a flower, for one precious moment, and keep it growing forever. My fantasy art is a way to keep the dreams alive. And so it is this need to capture the life force, to enhance and celebrate it, and even give it life long after it has faded, that gives meaning to my work. However the real meaning comes from those who are touched by my art. I receive messages from people all over the world who are inspired in some meaningful way by my work. This is very humbling, very rewarding, and most of all, very healing.
Creating art has been an amazing journey that continues to take me to new places and new awareness’s. And I’m very grateful to be able to share the journey with others.
Carol’s gallery can be viewed on-line here