Mindfulness and Artmaking

Zach Harris Bellini Beyond Beer,
2011-2013 Water based paint, wood, masonite
25 3/4 x 19 7/8 x 1 1/4 inches
Zach Harris Bellini Beyond Beer, 2011-2013 Water based paint, wood, masonite 25 3/4 x 19 7/8 x 1 1/4 inches

There is such a strong movement today to focus on methods to calm our brains and reset ourselves amidst a world that is constantly moving at a frenetic pace. And, it is my strong belief that making art and viewing art offer meditative components that allow one to rebalance and slow themself down.

Last year the NY Times published a great story titled “how to be mindful when making art”. It began with this: “Art is a natural way to practice mindfulness. The colors, textures and sounds of creating pull us into the moment.” I notice this all the time when I watch our adults, teens or kids engaged in artwork and when they find their way into the zone, they constantly talk about the relaxation, focus and sense of calm that they feel.

I also personally notice this affect when I look at artwork deeply. When I stare at painting for a longer duration, I notice that my breathing actually slows down and I begin to feel more relaxed. What a shock…a moment to escape emails, phone calls, tasks and other reflexive tendencies by absorbing my brain in something that engages my senses differently.

My mission is to continue to develop One River into a special place for people to learn art and design. The end result of this is that artmaking becomes part of your recreational plan with profound mental health benefits. Not a bad way for us to bond.