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The best and most beautiful things in the world … must be felt with the heart.
- Helen Keller
Recently, one of my micro-crystal artwork pieces sold to a therapist for her office. It reminded me why I choose to create the type of art I do.
One of my earliest art-related memories was in high school when I, unfortunately, had to go to the ER. While in the waiting room, I noticed a painting hanging on the wall. It was of a grassy field with scattered flowers and a dirt path through the middle leading off into the horizon. The sky was rather dreamy with some small puffy clouds.
To be honest, I thought the picture was inappropriate for a hospital waiting room. It felt foreboding. All I could see in it was death with the path, hopefully leading to heaven.
Although I was young, I found that experience formed a strong opinion in me about how art can affect one’s wellbeing.
Fast forward to becoming an artist. I decided to create art that emotes a positive feeling, one of life, that’s uplifting and creates a general good feeling. Don't get me wrong. I love all kinds of art and I am especially in awe with those artists who use their talents to make a statement and point out an area where change is necessary. But for me and where I am at in my life, I want my art to convey optimism, hope and happiness.
The first time I saw crystals through a microscope, I was amazed. I had no idea this world existed. I was drawn to their intense unique colors, which I learned later were created by the polarized light shining on them. The color possibilities seemed infinite, definitely more than what you find in a box of 64 crayons. And then there were the crystal structures themselves. They ranged from geometric to abstract landscapes, to complete other world creations. Dang! I felt wonderful. I knew I wanted to capture this hidden world and present it as art.
When I grow crystals, my excitement builds with them. Each time the results are will be unique. Will my efforts create something of beauty? The anticipation increases. I put the slide on the microscope’s stage and adjust the lighting so it shines up through the crystals. Then I decide on the lens magnification and move the stage to position the crystals.
Deep breath. Focus. Adjust. They come into view shining up through the microscope’s tube and into the eyepiece for me to see.
It never ceases to amaze me—the surge of elation, the sudden shock, catching my breath, when I view the crystals. It’s a happy elixir, one that improves my day and the days following as I work with the images to create a piece of art.
A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.
— Hedy Lamarr
Studies have been done showing how art can improve people’s health and
wellbeing. Art has been found to reduce the stress hormone cortisol while
releasing feel-good hormones called endorphins. A piece of art can stimulate
one’s imagination and open one’s heart and mind to new possibilities. In addition,
abstract art gives the viewer the opportunity to interrupt, to create their own special
Some of my most heart-warming moments have been when people have told me how great they feel when they look at my art. My works hang in several therapists and doctors’ offices.
One of my earliest sales of a large aluminum micro-crystal art piece was purchased off the walls of a hospital.
It’s rewarding to know others find my art soothing, uplifting and improves their wellbeing. It was my initial goal and is a goal I wish to continue.
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