WELL-BEING THROUGH ART WITH INDIAN ARTIST ANURADHA THAKUR
Here in Palo Alto, California, we have been on “lockdown” for almost a month. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, with the first few weeks characterized by a sense of loss, confusion, worry and uncertainty. But gradually, I have begun to feel an acceptance of this new reality and even an appreciation of what it offers: the opportunity to slow down and focus on the things that truly matter.
For me personally, I have always found a sense of centeredness and well-being in yoga, meditation and pranayama (control of breath). Painting also eases me into a ‘flow’ or meditative state, and I have been doing more of it lately. It has reminded me how art can be a form of therapy, a way to re-connect with oneself. So, over the next few weeks here on Laasya Art‘s blog, we will be publishing a series of posts by various visual and performing artists on how they are responding to the situation today and how art contributes to their well-being.
Contemporary Indian artist Anuradha Thakur will kick off this new series. I have worked with her closely over the last few years, and have found that she exudes positive energy throughout the ups and downs of life. She has also conducted multiple art workshops for women and children over the past two decades. In her experience, art can reduce stress, inspire greater self-esteem and help connect with one’s inner voice, thereby getting more clarity on dealing with challenging situations.
In her words:
In present times, each day is like a collage… a collage of creativity, of feelings, of thoughts. Today has begun just like any other day. Two or three canvases have been put up on an easel stand. Some unseasonal rain indicates a pleasant morning. I think of the exuberance of the peacock in this first rain. Then I try to capture these moments on canvas, completing a painting for my new series that I have started.
Colors of dawn, fragrance of the mango tree leaves, chirps of morning birds, sipping the hot morning tea… my brush continues to color the canvas with various tales. When the first golden rays of sun fall on my canvas through the corner of the window, my canvas becomes a glittering, mesmerizing experience.
Since my daughter and little princess granddaughter are at home, my days are filled with joyous events. The nights are lively as well. Trying to explore my culinary skills, while finishing the cleaning work at home, is helping me to survive in this hot summer. Yet it has become necessary to balance a good diet and regular exercise to keep the body fit and healthy.
I get anxious by the news on the TV channels and always worry about my loved ones at the back of my mind. But I feel proud of our government and healthcare services for handling things well. What brings positivity to me is seeing people risk their lives by coming out on the road to help the unfortunate ones most affected by the current lockdown.
Everyone is worried about the future, wondering how to survive this time. While speaking to others, I realized that even though we have lost the calm of our mind, we need to realize what we have and use it positively to find ourselves.
In my years of experience, I have realized that creativity takes us to a positive state of mind. I thought that we could use this to help people stuck at home to create something beautiful with the things available for them at home. Hence the The Idea Tree page was created with the help of my student’s team on Facebook and Instagram.
So the day goes by. While going through all these thoughts, the canvas keeps inviting me, and I get back to depicting joyful tales with various shades of colors.
– Anuradha Thakur
Thank you to Anuradha for sharing this beautiful reflection on art and positivity during these trying times. I highly recommend visiting her FaceBook page The Idea Tree for daily creative prompts and inspiration. For any sales inquiries on Anuradha Thakur’s painting, please get in touch at +1 650-770-9088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best wishes to everyone for good health and peace of mind.
— Sonia Nayyar Patwardhan