Healing Art

This post written by Resident Artist - Dorothy Berry-Lound

Dorothy is 1stAngel Arts Magazine’s Resident Artist – April 2015
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I am a member of the Fellowship of Authors and Artists which aims to promote and encourage the use of writing and all art forms as a means of therapy and self-healing. I am also a member of the Arts and Healing Network. The images I create always have a story, a message I am trying to get across or imagery to make the viewer stop and think and colour plays a big part in ‘developing the mood’.

Meteor Shower Heals Earth
Meteor Shower Heals Earth

I define my healing art as images that are designed to impart healing energy through intent, design, colour harmony and the infusion of healing energies using Reiki and holographic healing techniques. Many of my paintings start with sacred geometry. I go through a meditative process of creating a sacred geometry underlay for my painting which sets the size and placement of what I am creating – you can’t see this in the final image of course because it has been painted over!

The key element to my work though is the use of colour and colour harmony and I apply this in m painting and my mixed media work. In the previous articles I have reviewed how colours influence our mood and emotions and how we are often drawn to those that we need to create balance in our lives. At one level with healing art I may be trying to stimulate a particular chakra, or energy centre in the body, with the use of colour.  On one day a viewer will be drawn to that colour as it provides something the body needs.  On another day they will show no interest in that colour.

Landscape Mist
Landscape Mist

More generally, however, the images work at a more subtle level using colour harmony to provide a satisfying balance or unity of colours.  Much of this is based on the colour wheel of course.  This can involve monochromatic images using the same colour family, complementary colours or perhaps two complementary colours next to and opposite one another on the colour wheel.  Another is to use three or more colours that sit next to each other on the wheel.  There are many variations.

Before selecting the colours for a healing art design it is important to consider where the piece of art is going to go (ie taking account of what colours work well in a bedroom, a playroom, a hallway etc).  So, if I was approached to create a piece for an office I would consider using blue which is relaxing in a high pressure environment.  I would use yellows and oranges to lift the spirits and stimulate creativity for schools and other places of learning; subtle tones of red which increases appetite and boosts energy for restaurants, and pinks to calm things down, relax the muscles and reduce aggression and violence for perhaps care homes, detention centres, prisons and hospitals.

The Tree Triptych
The Tree Triptych

Hospitals benefit enormously from the introduction of nature photography as well as harmonious designs.  Art helps distract patients in healthcare environments and decreases levels of anxiety and worry. Nature’s colours tend to complement each other naturally and they are a great way of providing relief from the white/grey monotonous walls.  They can also be used to good effect in waiting rooms where earth tones, greens and blues have a calming effect.  As well as images of nature, happy smiling or caring faces and pictures of animals have a positive impact on care home residents.

How could or does this work in practice? On the news once I saw a woman being interviewed in her hyperactive son’s bedroom whilst he was throwing his toys around and throwing a tantrum.  The walls of his bedroom were bright yellow with orange designs and his duvet cover was a swirl of red cartoon characters.  I have no doubt that introducing calmer, cooler colours in his bedroom might have helped her situation!

Apricot Blossom Collage
Apricot Blossom Collage

I have been working with a lady who has been treated for cancer and we have worked with various colours as part of a combination of therapies including Reiki to help her cope with the effects of chemotherapy.  She rearranged her surrounding to accommodate the colours and this included soft furnishings and artwork in those colours.  This is where throw pillows, throws and pieces of wall art can tie all the colours together in a room to create the colour harmony effect we are looking for.  Another person with chronic fatigue syndrome has benefited from having a red cushion in their chair to boost their lower chakra energy as part of her therapy.

So, as well as being good to look at, artwork can contribute to our health and well being in subtle ways and can be designed to perform a particular healing role or contribute to creating a supportive, balanced environment.

New Artwork by Dorothy Berry-Lound

New Artwork by Dorothy Berry-Lound

In Italy you can be confidently driving in the right direction and then reach a road junction with a whole bunch of confusing signs in all directions and end up thoroughly confused - and with an Italian driver tooting their horn behind you. This ... 
Poster and leaflet design for 'My Paciano - Il Mio Paciano' Exhibition 30 October 2016 - 6 January 2017 
Beautiful White Swan Echincaea raise theirs heads above the others on their tall stems. Their central cone is turning orange and is what gives them their name as the word Echinacea comes from the Greek word 'echinos', meaning hedgehog, which is a re... 
A tan horse with a white blaze stands apart from her companion as she lowers her head to graze, perhaps as she is pregnant and would like some time to herself. The heat of the day has gone and the coolness of evening is beginning to come through the ... 
A black and white focusing on the connection, the love between a man and his black dog. 
The young cat is transfixed by a lizard on the wall which is just outside the shot. The focus is on the cat, sitting with perked up ears, staring intently at her prey but probably with little chance of getting it! This photograph has been given a sep... 
The young cat stares seriously at the camera as she lays down in front of a pot of succulents in the garden. With the black and white effect, her eyes look like they have been edged with black eye liner. She is cute even in black and white. 
The cat and dog, now firm best friends, are so comfortable with each other that the cat allows the dog to use her for a pillow. As the dog is fast asleep, the cat lays watching the world passing by, ready to wake him up for action if needed. 
The two black rescue dogs can't believe their luck having a comfortable sofa to themselves - well okay, shared with their feline sister who is washing in the background. But definitely furry guys only need apply to sit here. 
The little grey cat turns her head towards the light so that the camera catches her best profile. The soft lighting highlights her beautiful amber eyes and orange nose. 
A colourful floral display of double headed Kalanchoe flowers. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is also known as 'Flaming Katy' and this image brings out the oranges and reds of the plants to enhance the pink the more fiery colours which go well with the name... 
The little grey cat lays comfortably on a chair gazing in front of her, queen of all she surveys. It makes a change for her to be able to sit on the chair as it is normally occupied by her doggy brothers as you can see from the dog hairs. Stevie Mous... 
A distant view of San Fatucchio half way up the image rising up to Castiglione del Lago with the distinctive fortress (rocca) standing proud over the lake. Lago Trasimeno is south of the river Po and north of the nearby river Tiber and is the fourth ... 
A view down the valley to Castiglione del Lago, with its fortress looking out over Lago Trasimeno and on the other side of the lake Passignano sul Trasimeno. As well as a road route around the outside of the lake there is a ferry service between the ... 
Isola Polvese is the largest of three islands on Lago Trasimeno in Central Italy. It is a nature reserve and is reached by ferry. At one stage it was occupied by the Romans. A monastery was built there in 1482 but was later abandoned. In 1643 the tro...