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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Performance Painting: Geri's Memorial

Every once in a while I receive a special invitation to paint at a funeral or memorial service. My invitation this time came from a family who is grieving the loss of a beautiful woman who's life exemplified the arts. Creating art was not something she just did, it came from within. And so her loving spirit and vibrancy for the arts became the focus of the service. I was blessed to take part in a sacred experience of painting for her friends and family as they honored her.

Art has the power to touch people in a unique way. If I were to have a conversation about art therapy, I would have to include performance painting as a new but valid avenue for facilitating the healing process. Even though the audience is not creating the art, but seeing it created, that visual experience can be emotionally therapeutic. With each brush stroke it goes beyond entertainment -- reaching out to bring comfort, encouragement and peace. 
Painting the background: I usually have 20 to 30 minutes to do a complete painting (in front of an audience) that starts with a blank canvas. This time though, I was given 10 minutes of painting time on stage with the understanding that I would paint the background before hand. I painted this ocean/beach scene in my studio. With my composition plans in place I came ready to focus entirely on the subject's image.

40 x 30", Acrylic on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson (c)2014

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