Why I Paint - Mental and Physical Health

Someone recently asked me a question in my instagram stories that I've been wondering about for a while. Mainly, how to respond and how in depth I should get. It's a strange thought, because the reason why I paint is so very personal for me, and I tend to keep my instagram relatively neutral, without getting too personal. Some people think that's a mistake, but that's just how I feel comfortable. Maybe that will change as I connect with more people, or maybe I will feel the need to share with a larger audience, but for now, I feel comfortable here; I am sharing it with you. 

Someone asked me, "Why do you paint?" 

So many reasons - I just love it. I learned art for many years and discovered I was good at it. It didn't frustrate me. I see myself improving constantly, and that gives me satisfaction. I love art supplies. I love creating something I can place in my house. 

But specifically, when and why - about five years ago, I reached a point in my adult life (I'm 36 now), where I found myself getting frustrated with and feeling overwhelmed by the way other people would react to things; things far beyond my control. Within my family, or circle of friends... whatever it was. This grew to me needing to feel control and to always help, which in turn led to anxiety and more frustration because as I have since learned, you can't control how others behave. Around the same time, I had my first daughter and during a routine blood test, I learned that I have an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's. I was angry, but mainly confused because I didn't have any of the typical symptoms. I began to take a daily medication that I was told would help produce what my body needed, and that was that. Fast forward a few years and I lost my grandma and dad two months apart, so now grouped with grief and sadness, I felt like I had lost all control. This turned into horrible anxiety. Then the pandemic hit and that was very scary at first when we knew nothing about it, and that's when all my physical symptoms started to surface - anxiety, fatique, brain fog, moodiness, too hot or too cold... but mostly anxiety. And it was bad. 

My grief therapist suggested I increase my self-care time - exercise, take walks, baths, yoga, meditate.. all things that I had already been doing, but now to do them with rigour and intention. My husband suggested is that I paint again. He knew I had always loved art, studying in university, high school, as far back as I can remember. And he knows how happy I am when I'm surrounded by art and creativity. 

So that's what I did. I went into our previous homes' old dusty shed and dug around for my old art supplies, and started to dive into watercolour. I have always being creative. I work as an architect and that is a very creative outlet for me, but I miss the pen to paper (brush to paper?) that I would soon learn would begin to heal me.  I painted everyday; when I felt good but also when I felt really bad. And slowly, art became a daily ritual for me that allowed me to release all my stored up energy and stress.

I also drastically changed my lifestyle to help heal and manage my condition naturally, adjusting my diet, adding supplements, meditation and self-care to suit my body better.

But art is fundamental. These three things - healthy eating and proper supplementation, self-care and art are now my absolute conditions. And I feel so much better now. 

I've since grown this healing mechanism into a business, and I focus on producing art that calms the mind. I paint what relaxes me, and I hope that that translates in the art I share with you. 

If you have any questions or want to chat, please please reach out! 

With so much gratitude,

Donata 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.