Art Therapy With Manet

Lucía Duque

Art Therapy With Manet

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Art Therapy With Manet

Under the silence and solitude of this dark night it is sometimes difficult to look at the sky and enjoy the stars' hearts beating.

This is a feeling I've been perceiving in a lot of conversations lately. Yes, it is so difficult not to see each other face to face and to have to keep our distance. I really miss things that we previously took for granted and today they have become a type of riches that we long to get back.

Our moods come and go,  you wake up one day with optimism and the next day despair returns. In Spain we have a saying: "Hard times of many, consolation for everyone".

And although I wish it were not true, when I talk with a friend or read an article about the state of mind that people are experiencing worldwide, I can see that I am not alone going through this and in some way, it helps me to get up and continue fighting.

At the end of December, I went to see a very interesting exhibition at the art museum in Jackson with works by Gauguin, Sisley, Degas etc. I felt that I was immersed in an ocean. It was as if the museum were the bottom of a mangrove and I could dive deep enjoying the riches that the ecosystem wanted to show me.

The paintings spoke to me about many things: one of them about composition. I enjoyed painting compositional schemes of the works that impacted me the most.

I was also able to remember that my identity as an artist is in color. I had put it aside for a while but realized it was time to get back to it.

A feeling of seeing hope for the next phase I was going to work on in my paintings rose up. I was realizing that each work spoke of everyday moments, so why didn't I do the same? That really lit a fire under me.

And between each painting, a work by Manet was therapeutic: “On the beach, Boulogne-sur-Mer”. Seeing it I literally started crying.
I wondered why? What is it about this painting that moves my heart strongly?

I grew up in a town by the sea, so when I was stressed, sad or overwhelmed, that was my refuge. Walking along the shore, feeling the water at my feet, the gentle breeze and the soft whisper of the waves breaking, renewed me. And this work made me rediscover it.

Seeing the people that Manet painted walking around, close to each other, without masks, does anyone else miss it?

The color of the water in this painting reminded me of my afternoons when I lived in Cancun, Mexico. Those gratifying emotions as I painted the horizon with my watercolors learning an infinite range of blues and turquoise.

If somebody would have told me that morning when I left the house that Manet would do art therapy with me, I would not have believed it.

With this experience I want to send you a little encouragement. It is not easy for anyone to have to go through this dark night, but there are things that can light our way to help us cope. For me it can be art, painting, visiting a museum, reading a book, practicing contemplation while taking a walk. And for you, what are they?

From time to time, in the midst of these forced moments of loneliness, I am discovering new things, experiencing moments with myself that I needed, and this one that I wrote to you today has been one of them.

I hope you have a good week and, if you feel like me, I would love for you to write me a comment about things that are encouraging you!

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