Friday, May 30, 2014
Sketching as a Way to De-Stress
A few months ago we had to move my mom to a memory care facility. She has Lewy Body Dementia. It's a difficult, dreadful disease. It's an incredible stressful time for both her and me.
I visit just about every day and it's emotional, difficult and stressful. On Mother's Day we sat on the front porch of her new home. Powerless to change the way things are and feeling a sense of loss and grief, and even anger, frustration mixed with sadness made me pull out my sketchbook. Sketching is always a way for me to relieve my stress level. Sketching releases my mind to focus on the moment and to find something beautiful to draw.
There were butterfly kites hung along the front porch and some lovely dahlias in a planter, so they became my subject. Sketching on the porch caught the attention of people going in and out and they came over to see and that gave my mom and I a chance to visit and talk with other folks and that was a welcome relief.
It's amazing how making art always seems to bring people together.
Later that day I went with my daughter to the beach to sit and relax and try to find some peace of mind and heart. There were more kites, and dog walkers. At home that evening there was a red shouldered hawk soaring over our pond. Focusing on those things enough to sketch them brought balance to my day a sense of perspective that I would have otherwise missed. Having these in a sketchbook allows me to go back and re-visit and reflect on that day. I'm always so glad that I keep a sketchbook. I gain so much from the process that it's hard to imagine what I would do without one!