Window into the Soul
Greetings to all!
This month I want to touch on the importance of art in our lives.
It enhances each and every one of us. I personally have been reflecting on how art ties in with my homeopathy practice. I realise both are very much intertwined.
A few years ago I was struck by something one of my homeopathy teachers said. He was emphasising the importance of accurately perceiving what needs to be cured in a patient and brought to our attention Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy's thoughts on the subject.
Hahnemann stated in his book The Medical Observer,
"In order to be able to observe well, the medicinal practitioner requires to possess, what is not to be met with among ordinary physicians even in a moderate degree, the capacity and habit of noticing carefully and correctly the phenomena that takes place in natural diseases..."
Hahnemann went on to recommended three things that would help sharpen the medical practitioner's observation skills. They include first, "an acquaintance with the best writings of the Greeks and Romans" as he put it. Second, a knowledge of mathematics. Third, the art of drawing from nature.
"The art of drawing from nature is also useful, as it sharpens and practices our eye, and thereby also our other senses, teaching us to form a true conception of objects, and to represent what we observe, truly and purely, without any addition from the fancy."
At the time I learned this, I had no idea I could draw, let alone paint. The only drawings I could manage were little stick figures. It's only since I started painting that I fully appreciate the importance of Hahnemann's words. We each have a lens through which we observe the world around us. One person's perception of a situation, an object, an emotion or even another person, will invariably differ from that of another individual's perspective. As a homeopath, I endeavour to stand in my patients' shoes as it were, and view the world as they see it. My next job is to find a remedy that matches their symptom picture. The remedy thus acts as a mirror and through the homeopathic principle of 'like cures like', will gently bring the person back into dynamic harmony and health. So how does this tie in with art you may ask?
Looking over my artwork, I realise just how much I enjoy painting eyes. It gives me a chance to dive into my subject matter and visually depict its very essence. Eyes are the window into the soul. They really do bring the painting to life.
Are we really seeing what is out there with objectivity or do we see what we want to see? Our minds play tricks on us all the time. As one of my mentors put it, "The mind is a minefield'. How do you view the world around you? What is your lens on life? It's worth pondering upon this.
Since I started painting, I've noticed that the way I observe my surroundings is shifting. I'm beginning to see things as they really are. Painting teaches you to do that. Art is, without a doubt, a very healing process. Enjoy it!
Quote of the month
'Rabbit's clever,' said Pooh thoughtfully.
'Yes,' said Piglet, 'Rabbit's clever.'
'And he has Brain.'
Yes,' said Piglet, 'Rabbit has Brain.'
There was a long silence.
'I suppose,' said Pooh, 'that's why he never understands anything.'
(Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh)
Perspective - oil on canvas
32" x 24"
I loved painting this Tuareg warrior. His eyes have so much depth and soul. A good reminder to see things as they are! This painting was inspired by a photo I came across - photographer unknown.