Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature

quote by: Marcus Tullius Cicero

When it comes right down to it, there is inspiration everywhere – but I find this is most true in nature.  It’s even been said that nature is the art of God.  Many artists draw inspiration from the colors, shapes, and textures found in nature, and use them as a foundation for creative endeavors. Nature stimulates all our senses, and each season offers its own rich tapestry and sensational level of detail.

People travel far to experience the changing colors of autumn in New England for good reason. And there is nothing like the ocean on a sunny day in the summer. Things are crisp and clean in the winter after a light snow, and spring bursts with sights, scents, and sounds with the promise of renewal. The many sounds of nature soothe our minds.

Scientific studies have shown that exposure to sounds in nature, such as birdsong or ocean waves, can reduce stress and enhance cognitive function. People often buy noise machines with such sounds and even select them as their mobile ringtone. In the relaxed state triggered by sounds found in nature, individuals often find their minds open to new ideas and creative thinking.

Other studies have shown that visiting green spaces and being exposed to natural environments can reduce psychological stress and enhance your well-being. When we are in a state of being blocked, it‘s stressful.

Have you heard of Earthing? It’s based on the belief that the earth creates energy and relaxation and that being connected to the Earth and nature is essential to restoring and maintaining health and well-being. If this concept interests you, there is an award-winning documentary called: The Earthing Movie, The Remarkable Science of Grounding. It’s available to stream on YouTube.

I was once given a ‘prescription’ to get my hands in the dirt. This was a reference to the therapeutic benefits of gardening and the earth.  So many of our senses are ignited in the garden. The colors are extraordinary, and the aromas are intoxicating. Like people, no two flowers are the same and it’s mind-blowing to me how beautiful and unique each one of them can be. It’s inspiring, and that is what we are after. Gardening is another form of art, and engaging in a different medium is a strategy for overcoming artist’s block, so for the purposes of busting through artist's block, it’s a strategy that feeds two birds with one scone.

There is an entire industry called Biomimicry, which is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges. It’s about valuing nature for what we can learn – and what we can gain (not take). Many advancements in various industries have been fueled by nature, including art, fashion, and architecture.

From artists seeking visual stimulation to scientists exploring solutions in the natural world, the influence of nature on creativity is undeniable. It very simply has the power to rejuvenate our minds and spark creativity within us. All the benefits of being in nature make it an ideal environment for brainstorming and problem-solving – and an inability to access our creativity, even if just for a short time, can feel like a problem to be solved.

Affirmation: “I am inspired in nature and feel renewed creativity”

Visit me at the Newburyport Holiday Market

Dec 9 10am-4pm
Senior/Community Center

I’m excited to be part of the holiday house tour and market again this year.

800-1000 people buy tickets to see Newburyport’s most decked out private residences and unique spaces. Every tour-goer must come into the big room at the Senior Center to claim their ticket – and while there they get to visit 25 +unique artists booths including CM Fine Art Mosaics and do a little holiday shopping (or a lot) while in festive spirits.

My table will feature brand new works of mosaic art including classical and whimsical selections in price ranges for every budget. I’ll have a selection of my signature miniature Anytime Trees, some fun wall art, some jeweled ornaments, and mirrors in various sizes.  Art is the BEST gift!

Last year, I was nestled in between amazing Gingerbread Houses (I’m getting one this year!) and honey products from local beekeepers (the lip balm with honey, almond oil and mac lipstick is so soothing!). Our Afghan neighbors will likely be there again will their amazing sewing talents on display – and so much more! What a great way to reach the pinnacle of holiday spirit – whatever you celebrate!

What is Arts in Health?

Arts in Health is an emerging field dedicated to using the power of the arts to enhance health and well-being in diverse institutional and community contexts.

It’s sometimes called Art in Healthcare or Art in Medicine, but whatever you call it – positive things are happening because of it! Art can help us navigate how we deal with an illness or injury, and process challenging emotions in difficult times. Art can foster a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and connection – especially when done collaboratively.

This is important to me personally because, well, art saved my life. I became a mosaic artist at the same time I began recovering from a chronic illness – and I truly believe that being creative keeps me well today. I believe art has transformed me into the best possible version of myself. It is how I feel most enlivened, accomplished, contributory, purposeful, spiritually balanced, and joyful. Creativity is my superpower and I really like that. What’s yours?

I remember the night I was researching something online and stumbled upon the website for the Foundation for Art and Healing, an organization that combines creative expression with public health to improve community, connection, and well-being. Their signature program is called ‘Project Unlonely’ and I thought: OMG, I have to work with this organization! I didn’t do so, but I continue to enjoy  and share many of the resource on the site: I have taken their trainings, and have also studied with The Creative Center at University Settlement in NYC as part of a 2020 Cohort of artists training to become Arts in Health Practitioners. Check out and spread the word: The Creative Center offers free art workshops in person and online five days per week, year-round, building community for those experiencing cancer, other chronic illnesses and their caregivers. TCC offers a comprehensive annual training program for a cohort to become Arts in Health Facilitators.

I am a proud member of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH), a catalyst for the collective voices of arts in health; coordinating, advocating, and amplifying the impacts of the arts on health and wellbeing. FYI, this group puts on the most incredible annual conference – the best I have ever attended. When I attended last year in Maryland, the venue was the American Visionary Museum, and it was sensational and unique! If you ever have a chance to visit – you won’t be sorry. I spent hours in the gift shop and picked up many goodies to incorporate into my mosaics.

I love all of these organizations. Further, anyone I’ve ever met who is associated with any of them are awesome people. We are of the ilk… we all want to help others have an improved quality of life through creative engagement.

I hope you will make time for art today. If you believe you are not creative, you’re simply mistaken.