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Making art and good mental health

I'm sure that given the current context mental health has been something that you have come across more often then before the

pandemic. In the media and in work places, it has become a subject of much discussion; how to maintain it, how to promote it; how to practice self care.

It will come as no surprise to you that part of my sense of self is through making art.

It allows me to create a space outside; making the internal, external. My work is about that area of 'not knowing', of working in an automatic fashion; intuitive and subjective.

This approach to making art means that there is an element of surrendering to the process, getting absorbed in the act of painting. This could be described as entering a state of flow.

Flow, being fully immersed in an activity so that your whole being is involved in the act. A merging of both your cognitive and emotional states. Time can feel as though it falls away, the paintbrush becomes an extension of your hand and the action of painting and the manipulation of media feels natural and intuitive.

The paintings that I have chosen to accompany this blog,are partly products of 'flow'.

There were moments in their making where decisions were made that I cannot articulate, but felt 'right'. Colour, composition and technique were married so as to render an artwork that 'made sense', but were not a product of a rationale objective decision making approach. That said, there were also stages within the process where decisions were objective and aesthetics came into play.

But of late, like so many of us I have been relying more on those things that give us a 'quality of existence', and for me, making art if anything has become more important than ever. To make art, to make a mark, to affirm that you are here, to take time to be.

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