I have always enjoyed creating art. But I’ve never understood how it feels so good to create—to draw, to paint, to dance, to take photos, to make beautiful dishes.
Yesterday I sat by the Turtle Pond at Central Park and decided to sketch what I saw. I took out a tiny pad and started sketching. Suddenly, an hour passed, people came and went, the fiddlers came out to play and the sun started to set. And I finished my sketch. Through this time, I was 100 percent focused on what I saw and what I drew. I was devoted to each line and each stroke. All the while, my body was enjoying the warmth and the breeze of this perfect summer’s day.
It dawned on me, that when I sketched in Nature, I was totally present. The past didn’t exist, neither did the future. My mind was focused on the moment. Since anxiety is often induced by regrets of the past and worries about the future, it cannot exist when the mind is solely focused on the present. And that, my friend, was what I had experienced.
No wonder art heals. Art is the quintessential activity of the current moment. It is an existential gift—a present.
And, as Jim Carey said in his amazing new video about his art-creating process, “I Needed Color,” that there is nothing right or wrong about art, and nobody can tell you what you should or should not do. And that is LOVE. And that explains why I love art so much, and why I find it healing.