This image comes from the Art for Healing program at the Hartford Hospital.
I've completed reading about a third of Denis Dutton's book The Art Instinct and landed on another interesting point: that the arts are commonly thought to be good for us. Dutton names some of the ways:
- gives us a sense of well-being or feelings of comfort
- helps us see deeper into the human psyche
- aids convalescents in hospitals to recover more quickly
- gives us a better appreciation of the natural world
- may bind communities together
- may show us the virtues of cultivating our individuality
- offers consolation in moments of life crisis
- soothes the nerves
- produces a beneficial psychological catharsis that purges emotions to clear the mind
It's always been interesting for me to know where people hang the paintings they purchase from me. Sometimes, they contact me to let me know that they've hung the painting on the wall across from their favorite easy chair, or in the bedroom, or some other place where they can daily return to the emotion it evokes in them.
Most of us respond to art that way. It is therapeutic for us when we're depressed or insecure or angry, we can to listen to music, look at something beautiful, watch a good movie. Art is mood-altering, and that alteration seems to have medical benefits.
It's good to know that art is more than just the product of an artist's imagination. Its benefits are far-reaching.