Sunday, August 16, 2015

Art Relieves Stress

Feeling rushed? Panicked even?

Is anxiety getting the best of you? Are the walls pushing in, your lunch hour squeezed into a few minutes, break time feeling more like a breaking point?

September Ramble  ©Patricia Scarborough  12x12 oil
Jared Green gets it. He’s a writer and editor for a really interesting landscape architecture blog titled The Dirt. A few years ago he wrote several articles on stress as it relates to our inside living spaces. Go ahead and browse if you'd like. I'll wait.

The Washington Post gets in on the act as well. From Wapo june 29, 2015, in a nutshell:
“…University of Melbourne’s Kate Lee and a group of colleagues found that interrupting a tedious, attention-demanding task with a 40-second “microbreak” — in which one simply looks at a computerized image of a green roof — improved focus as well as subsequent performance…”
And from an article in the Wall Street Journal by ShirleyWang on the benefits of going green:
“... the researchers had participants take a break for 10 minutes in a quiet room to look at pictures of a nature scene or city street. Again, they found that cognitive performance improved after the nature break, even though it was only on paper.”

San Gabriel Trailhead  ©Patricia Scarorough  9x12 oil

Enough of science, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? 

Green is good. Grass is great. Trees are terrific. Flowers are fantastic. Skies are scintillating. Depth is delicious. Horizons are hor-…uh…hir-…uh..calming.

Anyway, the gist of it all is that looking at nature, at green living things, is good for us.

I understand that not everyone can leave their desk for a walk on a dirt path in a field of clover. Sometimes finding the time to gaze across a hay field and listen to the cattle munching is impossible. Or maybe you live in one of those places where cement has covered what used to be green and fertile. 
Under a Green Canopy  ©Patricia Scarborough 30x40 oil  
The answer is surprisingly easy. Get yourself some art. Plunk it on your desk between the pencil cup and stapler so you can see it easily. Better yet, really invest in your well-being and acquire a larger piece. Hang it on the wall, right over the chair where your boss plants herself. You can pretend to pay attention while gazing at something really important – like an image of the great big beautiful world around you. And feel your stress melt away.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

American Plains Art Awards

Great Plains Museum, Lincoln, Ne.
 I’m changing my address. Please send further correspondence to Scarborough Studios, Cloud Nine. It’s a pretty classy neighborhood.

It was terrific enough to be accepted in to the American Plains Artists Annual Juried Exhibition, held through October 24th at the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, Ne. The American Plains Artists have been around for over 30 years, educating the public about the beauty of plains life through traditional and representational art works. Their annual exhibit is held in such lofty spaces as Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, and the Museum of the Southwest.

To attend the opening reception and see a ribbon next to my painting, "Labor & Plenty" left me a little stunned. I think my exact reaction was something clever, like “Neato!”

Thank you SourceTek for supporting my award!
Handsome Husband and I took a turn around the room to view the other artwork that had been juried into the collection.  W O W.  Seeing artwork via the APA website does not convey the richness and brilliance of color, or the quality of brush strokes, or the muscular feel of bronze. This exhibit is really beautiful.

Especially wonderful was seeing a First Place ribbon next to a beautiful oil painting of the Middle Loup River at Halsey Forest by my dear friend Layne Mills.  

Yay Layne!!
Recognizing that mine was among 30 awards given out by Jurist Tom Tierney, co-publisher of Art of the West Magazine in such a strong field of artists is heartwarming and humbling.
Mr. Tierney gave a lovely introductory talk about what it means to view a body of art and select good/better/best.  His remarks were respectful and supportive of our efforts as artists to interpret our vision of a geographical area and way of life past and present. Thank you sir.

Tom Tierney, co-publisher of Art of the West Magazine and jurist for this exhibit
So I’m doing a happy dance across the living room of my Cloud Nine address. No doubt the movers will be here soon enough to return me to my place among mortals, but until then, I’m loving the view.