Art for Stress Management

On May 28, 2019, group’s repeat guest speaker, artist Linda Hurd presented to the group on the benefits of art making for stress management.

Linda cites one of her friends who says that 99% of art is seeing.

“Seeing something interesting or beautiful and pausing to observe it, letting in something creative – this is art. When I allow myself to pause and appreciate things, it helps with stress,” says Linda.

According to Linda, drawing what she observes, including things that aggravate her, like mess or unfolded laundry, helps to see them in a different light. It also helps her find humor in life. For example, when she started drawing dirty cups left by her husband on the table. He later washed them, so she had to put clean cups instead in order to finish the drawing.

Linda advises, again citing her friend, “Don’t paint to make a pretty picture. Paint to learn something!” Linda states that art taught her that she does not need to fully understand people and situations in order to respect them.

She is currently working on a theme of fire. She created a number of drawing depicting houses damaged by fire and later restored. Linda says, “Sometimes in life we get damaged and hurt; emotionally, for example. Recovery takes a lot of time, a lot of people get involved in it [as in repairing a house damaged by the fire]. For example, this dumpster [pointing to a dumpster in the drawing] – it is like therapy for people, helping letting go of things that are of no use.” Linda states that art helps her process some of own injuries in life.

Linda uses art for many purposes. Sometimes she likes to doodle for fun. Sometimes she paints to focus amids a chaos. Sometimes, as mentioned above, drawing helps her to process things.

Linda led group members on an art exercise in which she asked group members create an image or write their name in a way that reflected their current stressors and/or hopes. Group members eagerly engaged in this art activity and later shared their work and related stories with each other.

To read about previous Linda’s presentations at the group, go to:

Embracing ADHD Challenges through Art: https://drawingonstrengths.home.blog/2016/08/03/embracing-adhd-challenges-through-art/

Challenges and Gifts of ADHD: https://drawingonstrengths.home.blog/2015/03/31/challenges-and-gifts-of-adhd/

Accepting LD/ADHD Challenges Through Art: https://drawingonstrengths.home.blog/2013/08/01/accepting-ld-adhd-challenges-through-art/

ADHD Through the Lens of Art: https://drawingonstrengths.home.blog/2012/05/18/adhd-through-the-lens-of-art/

To learn more about Linda and her artwork, go to https://www.lindathurd.com

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