Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

Art As Therapy: Pain Hurts Feelings


I intended to save this piece for my 20 Hour Challenge post.  However, I am heading to Ohio to visit family and won’t have access to my time tracking notebook.  My internet access will also be limited so if you don’t hear from me it is because I am enveloped in the love and laughter of family.

The art work below was created as a result of pain. I have a fibroid that provides a level of discomfort on a monthly basis. I’ve always thought about using my art as a way to express this pain. On Sunday, when this pain raised its head, I lay on the couch and pictured what the pain looked like and how it made me feel.  In my mind, I saw a dark figure (me) crouched down on the floor in the corner.  I am cornered by the pain.  Surrounding me were various shades of red and black; the illumination of the pain.

The image in my mind was pretty vivid and I decided that I had to recreate this image as best as possible. So, after napping for an hour on the couch, I came up to the studio and started drawing, painting with oil pastels, and collaging a few images into the center figure.


The working title of this piece is Pain Hurts Feelings (Cornered). The title comes not only from the three words in the center but from the idea that our pain hurts our feelings as well as the feelings of our loved ones. You know how you feel when someone you care about is in pain. You see the look on your loved one’s face when they see you in pain. Pain hurts feelings.

The choice of words was rather serendipitous. I chose them individually and didn’t recognize the phrase they created until I laid them out on the art work.

Oh, in the upper right corner you’ll notice a ball of yellow. The yellow represents hope and release from the pain. Fortunately the pain is only temporary.

Have you used your art as therapy?  How has art helped you deal with difficult situations?

Check out this wonderful post on Beadlust on Witnessing Art from the Heart and this post from Jennifer Lee on Being Big with your art and your life (take the time to watch the video too. It brought tears to my eyes.)

Okay, just had to check my studio hours up till this point: I’ve spent 12 hours in the studio on art and 11 hours on business stuff. That is 23 hours just through Wednesday. Wow. Excuse me while I give myself a small pat on the back. Maybe I should make plans to be out of town more often as it seems to have made me more driven and focused.

8 thoughts on “Art As Therapy: Pain Hurts Feelings

  1. i love this post! thank for sharing, i must do more of this myself!

  2. Sorry to hear you are in physical pain. I used to go to an art therapist. She was wonderful. I worked out alot of pain and suffering that happened earlier in my life. I have been able to move on since I” worked with her.

  3. Amy, great art therapy. Seems to get across your feelings. I love the colors even though some of it, pain.

    • Hi Judy,

      Thanks for the comment. I don’t want to be a “tortured” artist but it is interesting to see what manifests when you let your feelings direct the piece of art.


  4. Thanks for sharing your story and your art. I have always been interested in art and music therapy and have felt lucky to be able to express physical pain through art. It is one reason I champion art and music in the schools. We have to teach our kids how to handle life.

    Recently I have been dealing with weeks of vertigo, and discovered that if I focus on Continuous Line Drawing, the dizziness stills! And the most unusal drawings have appeared!

    • Hi Cate,

      Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your line drawings. How interesting that the continuous line drawing is alleviating the dizziness. I hope this continues to help you in your recovery from vertigo.


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