Friday, December 20, 2019

Art and Health

This is the painting that can be seen- in part, because the template cuts it to fit the space- on my December newsletter. It is basically part of my back garden and I had a great time building up the foliage. The dark tree is "tulip tree"- liriodendron. When we planted it, we were told it would grow to around 30 feet. The nursery was assuming we would be moved in 10 years and I didn't own my "big book" of plants. Well, some 50 years later it is over 90 feet and not quitting yet. An arborist told me it is one of the tallest trees in the Eastern forest. The trunk is over 17 feet in diameter - but I do love it, large leaves, falling cones and all. The blossoms are now too high to see them clearly. At one time, some large green parrots, native to Northern India that were somehow flying free, used to come and sit in the tree and eat the cones like corn on the cob. Unfortunately, they are no longer around.
     I chose this painting for my Christmas card this year, too. Autumn, not winter, but nice and colourful. I call it "Autumn Tapestry"
     I read an interesting piece on the internet today that looking at art can actually be good for your health as it bumps cortisol and serotonin levels in the brain and produces an effect in the body similar to exercise. The British Medical Journal on December 18, noted that going to art museums twice a year lowers early death rate by 14% while culture vultures do even better at 31%. Apparently, hanging paintings in hospitals improves patient satisfaction, health outcome, length of stay and pain tolerance. I often hear from people who have really enjoyed seeing paintings of mine in Richmond General Hospital. I'm glad to hear that they have enjoyed them - but now even more pleased to think that they might even have helped them!
     Maybe everyone should also have paintings in their homes- which is what artists would like to see. And a quote from Nathalie Bondil "I am convinced that in the 21st century, culture will be what physical activity was for health in the 20th century."

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