Continued interview with Art Therapist Stefanie Hinman:
Stefanie: “Art can be many things to a person. It can be a way to dream, to create order and peace when the soul feels chaotic and out of control. It can be an outlet for wild emotions that would otherwise remain hidden. We often can’t control our circumstances or the choices and behaviors of those around us, but we can control what we create on a canvas. Your artwork, Rosemary, the peaceful scene you created in “Quiet Moment“, it really invokes in me longing to experience such a moment. Tell me about it?”.
Rosemary: “Yes, “Quiet Moment” represents a longing in my heart, and a longing for a peace that I didn’t have in my childhood. It’s almost like my paintings are a snapshot of peace. When I think back to my childhood and what it was like to live with an alcoholic mother…she could drink for two to three weeks at a time, so a moment of peace was just a snapshot….they may have been seconds or minutes in all of the non-stop commotion and confusion.
So I work alot from my photos to compose my paintings because I can see something very quickly, and spot exactly the scene, exactly in an instant what I want to portray. Am I connecting to what I’m painting. Yes, totally, but it’s hard to put into words at first. Sometimes there’s a shortage of words to express things and connect to what I’m feeling; but that connect can also come suddenly, like flooding, and I understand and am able to find the words.
I grew up where I was not allowed or encouraged to talk about my emotions and had to “shelve them”, so to speak. I lived between two households (my parents divorced, my dad remarried), and after each traumatic visit with my mom, I’d arrive back at my dad’s greeted with blank stares that dictated that feelings were not to be talked about, admitted, or even felt. All that shutting down had a huge impact on my ability to voice emotions, or even identify or name them. As you say, ‘story and art brings order to chaos’. My art gives me a time of peace, like moving to the country so I can surround myself with tranquility.
Stefanie: “It sounds like your art has become a safe place for you when life feels chaotic, it’s a way to self-soothe and calm your soul. I am also hearing you say that it’s a way to connect with the longings of your heart.
“I’ve had the privilege of hearing your story, Rosemary. Yours is a beautiful story of healing and redemption. I loved reading your thoughts on “Quiet Moment”…two phrases stood out to me in your blogs: you wrote “belonging to our environment” and “away from the shore”. I wondered about the longing behind the ‘belonging to our environment’. I also am curious about what was on the shore that you were getting ‘away from’.
Rosemary: “The longing, belonging…those paintings are a place I did not fully inherit, so I am longing to see the end of that story come out right. And a deep longing is to be in that environment.
Stefanie: “I was also curious about the two people on the boat. When you were painting them, were you conscious of who those two people are?
Rosemary: “As a child, I grew up hand-in-hand with my brother through the chaos, and we were the only solace to each other that there was around there when we were little. Later, my brother took up sailing, and I loved being on those boats, away from shore and all the choas, and just enjoying the peacefulness of being out on the water. I wasn’t aware of who those people on the boat were when I painted it. I find my paintings can be very subconsious, and later I figure it out, what that was about.
Stefanie: “That to me is the beauty of Story. It is the process of connecting the head with the heart. Giving the heart a voice and telling the stories that have been written there. Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing your heart with us!”.
Rosemary: “And thank you Stefanie for such an enlightening dialogue and I look forward to talking in the future about more artwork and also my Disney work”.
To learn more visit Healing Expressions KC.