USING ART TO ADAPT TO CHANGE AND LOSS  Well Beings Studio

It has been said that during times of stress it helps to be flexible and adaptable.  Flexibility has a kind of strength that combined with the ability to adapt makes one resilient and purposeful in times of upheaval.

Well Beings Studio located in Fullerton, California was born ready to adapt in difficult times; ready to read, feel, create, and heal. It began in 2018 with the flagship program, The Little Green Monster Project, an original book, and workshop created by the Executive Director Sharon Frances, a breast cancer survivor, a parent, and an artist with a doctorate in education. The mission: to use the creative arts to open communication and to support the well-being of families impacted by cancer and other traumas.

Frances was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and the arts made a strong impact on her recovery.  She wrote poetry daily and created block prints (an ongoing poetry book series) and hand lettering projects which were given to friends and family who helped her along her cancer journey.  With a strong desire to help other families facing grief and loss she wrote a book, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! She raised money for the book’s illustration and publication, using proceeds for workshops. In its first year the project supported over two-thousand families, offering free workshops and donations of books.  Testimonials from families and educators praise Frances and Well Beings Studio as “Heroes” and are filled with words of gratitude and inspiration.

The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! was illustrated by first-time book illustrator, Jackie Gorman. Balancing the book project along with working on her thesis in film was stressful but Gorman found that the experience grounded her.  “Art is an emotional remedy,” said Gorman, “that allows me to focus solely on completing one task: the piece.  I connected with the characters in the book and they really came alive to me page after page.  It was an honor to illustrate a book that I knew would bring the same feeling of comfort I experienced to so many families, and that was a major motivation for me.”  READ MORE

 

The Creative and Healing Power of Nature,  Desert Health - News from Coachella Valley's Integrated Health Community, November/December 2019

There is something deeply meditative in hearing the rustle of the leaves of a tree, in watching a hummingbird kiss the petals of a flower, or in kneeling in a garden when planting spring bulbs. All of us have found ourselves calmed, reinvigorated and inspired both in mind and spirit by the desert colors at dawn, the crisp air in autumn and the moonlit sky on a starry night. Clearly, nature calls to something very deep within us, something that connects us to the universe.

Nature can overwhelm us with spiritual emotions that may surprise us. When we notice the expanse of the ocean or the vastness of the night sky, we sense our fragile place in the world. Thoreau extolled nature as a form of prayer and an antidote to the ‘smallening’ of spirit. Indeed, artists, writers and musicians often speak to the rewards of nature’s inspiration. Keep close to Nature’s heart, wrote John Muir, and break clear away once in a while, climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”  READ MORE

Talent and Resiliency, DELOS VAN EARL Embraces Change, Art Patron Magazine, February 2019

I have been told that the buzzword for 2019 is "resiliency."  That and longevity are the goals many artists seek in pursuit of a successful career, particularly success success in the field is often dependent upon world order, financial markets and the whims of collectors and agents.  Only the most talented and resilient survive.  Coachella Valley mixed media artist and sculptor Delos Van Earl fits that bill. He has successfully traversed the economic downturn of 2008 and continues to explore and evolve creatively.

Van Earl was born in the state of Washington, grew up in Crescent City, California, and went ton to earn his B.A. from Chico State University and his M.F.A. from Mills College in Oakland.  But living in a logging family amidst the beautiful natural environment of the Northwest, with its ocean waters, river and forests, was a key early influence on his sculptures, which employ bronze, steel and wood and which range from pedestal-sized pieces to large outdoor works.  His resume lists numerous solo and group exhibitions, and his work is in both corporate and public collections. Comfortable in his own skin, he is happy to discuss both the business and creative sides of an artist's life.  READ MORE

THE GIFT of Being an Artist, Lauretta Lowell's Whimsical Assemblages, Art Patron Magazine, Winter 2019

Wildly imaginative, passionately creative, intellectually curious ... Throw in touches of fantasy and whimsy, and you have a Ls Quinta-based assemblage artist, Lauretta Lowell, a creative life force whose artistic success was not fully realized until after a plane crash, a head injury and a miraculous recovery.

Lowell's father was in the military, and his career took the family overseas, contributing to his daughter's imaginative personality and her love of travel. She was raised in Japan, and that country's beauty and vibrant imagery would be another early creative influence. She says she inherited her artistic spirit from her stay-at-home mother, who was an accomplished artist and fashion designer.  READ MORE

Come Home to Who You Are Desert Health - News from Coachella Valley's Integrated Health Community, November/December 2018

The hot summer days are finally behind us, and it is now the time of year when snowbirds make their way back to their desert homes, reminding us that we live in a culture of movement. We move from our childhood home to a place of our own. In time we find something larger with room for the kids, and when we retire we look for someplace smaller or somewhere warmer. We reside “there” in the summer and “here” in the winter, and it seems we are always in movement.

The concept of home is part of how we define ourselves. It explains why many believe that our homes and all the objects that fill it represent the sum-total of who we are. None of that is true. The attachment we have to our homes and all the possessions we have collected in a lifetime only represent part of who we are and only part of who we show to the public.  READ MORE

Embracing a Creative Life, Desert Health - News from Coachella Valley's Integrated Health Community, September/October

Finding meaning in one’s life is both sacred and elusive. These aren’t lessons we learn easily but as we age, we reflect upon them and seek to find a more purposeful life. While there is no one answer on how to do that, I suggest we look to the artist as a creative, life-expanding model.

While artists share the same struggles we all share, the very nature of the creative process requires the artist to stay open to life’s surprises and see the world with curiosity and wonder.

Consider the science of the creative brain. Science tells us that creative activities are literally therapy for the mind, whether it is writing a book, playing music, baking or gardening. A creative outlet improves mental clarity, relieves stress, increases brain function, improves mood and plays a huge role in long-term wellness. In addition, there are traits that artists seem to embrace naturally that have proven to be beneficial in living a purposeful life. READ MORE