4 Types of Visual Arts To Try

4 Types of Visual Arts To Try

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

Attribution to Kimberly RecorWhenever I find myself on the phone for an extended period of time, I always end up with a pen in my hand, doodling little flowers and shapes on whatever piece of scrap paper I can find. The act of moving the pen across the paper, absentmindedly drawing whilst holding a conversation is super relaxing to me. Creating something, even a small doodle can be a great way to relax and get out of your head.

Visual arts are a great way to express yourself. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have much artistic experience – expression is all about what you want to create. For many entering the second half of their life, becoming visually creative maybe a great way to bond with others, enhance their brain through creativity, and expand their sense of purpose in life. For those who are facing a tough time communicating because of health-related impairments, visual expression via painting or drawing may be a great way to feel empowered and heard.

A friend of mine recently retired, after being a teacher for 40 years. Finding herself with lots of free time, she decided to take up painting and pottery despite that fact that she hadn’t dabbled in the visual arts since she herself was in school. She spends most of her time now creating beautiful paintings of the California landscape or funky little pieces of pottery that she gifts to her friends and family. She says that she’s never been quite as happy as she is right now.

Read on to find out about different forms of visual arts and how doing them can benefit you.

Painting is one of the simplest forms of visual expression – mostly because it doesn’t require much in terms of supplies/space. You can take classes to learn different techniques – especially if you’re interested in painting “realistic” scenes. The great thing about painting is, there’s really no “right” or “wrong” way to paint. You can paint what you feel- relying on colors and shapes to translate your vision to canvas. If fine art painting isn’t your thing, you can also buy items, such as green ware for ceramics or unfinished wooden items, such as birdhouses, and use paint to decorate and finish them.

Sitting at a pottery wheel and transforming a lump of clay into an actual piece of art can be one of the most relaxing, transformative visual art experiences there is. Pottery therapy has been shown as a valid way of treating depression and bipolar disorder. Unlike painting, pottery takes a little more equipment and time, but the results can be well worth it.

Here is a slide show about the use of pottery therapy – CLICK HERE.

Floral Arrangements
If you have an eye for color and design, but aren’t interested in painting, floral arranging may be a great way to express your inner artist. You can use real flowers or artificial ones to create wreaths, centerpieces, and accents for any occasions. By combining flowers with other items, such as stones, leaves, ribbons, etc., you can come up with creative decorations that can brighten up any room.

Needlework, whether it is sewing, knitting, embroidery, etc., is a great way to express yourself. Aside from the fact that you can create useable art, such as clothing or quilts, needlework such as crocheting and knitting also helps you maintain great hand-eye coordination. Learning new techniques keep your brain young. Many people find the repetitive motions that you use in needlework to be super relaxing and meditative. So often, you can find others to join in these creative endeavors, and widen your social circle. This can be through stores that sell supplies for these hobbies, guilds, in “Meetup” groups, churches, recreation centers, and a number of other places in your community.

If you’re curious about trying one of these (or another) form of visual art, but don’t really know where to start, look up community college art classes. Community centers will have art classes as well. It is fun to do things with others, and will expand the social part of your life. If you’re unable or unsure about taking an actual class – you can find instructional videos online that can give you tips about techniques and supplies. You’re never too old to start creating!

Author: Kimberly Recor, staff writer at Designing Brighter Tomorrows

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