Artist and Psychologist? Now that’s CRAZY!
Or is it?
I’ve been ‘dabbling’ with art ever since junior high school when I was asked to draw and paint the drama room’s mural. It wasn’t a good mural-but it was fun and I liked it.
Some pretty bad art attempts continued throughout high school : portrait of my grandma and grandpa? Not bad. A large painting of a man’s face? Kind of creepy. Oil painting class? Gross.
I soon became an elementary teacher, where I was given a lot of trust by my administration to do what I wanted with my classes. Massive art experimentation (within the core curriculum) resulted. I mixed art into science, math, social……everything! I learned how to make use a of all types of mediums. It had me interested in doing more art, and more importantly, had my class interested in learning…through art. I even learned (with a small instruction manual) how to use the Kiln and make pottery. Dangerous? Perhaps. Thrilling? Yes! I was hooked.
Art became a part of the way I taught. Integrating the students brains with left brain logic and reason, with right brain creativity and imagination. Those were some great years, and the beginnings of mixing art with psychology…….
The career switch happened soon thereafter and I became a psychologist. I was so darn busy during my residency, getting my registration hours and opening my own practice that art took the back burner .
Until recently. I met an amazing artist Samantha daSilva (www.samanthadasilva.com) and took numerous classes and workshops from her. I was hooked again. And I haven’t really stopped. Paintings started selling and I really began to trust my skills. Now for the pursuit to make this happen on a bigger scale……..
My artist statement describes why I believe the combo of art and psychology are the perfect pair, and how all my pieces represent something in the psychology world.
Thats why I love hearing people’s interpretations of my work and what it represents to them. Not usually what it represents to me – hence why I love the combo, and will continue to do both.
“Ugly Portrait” by Mandy Stobo
The creative process of art is good for me – it calms my brain, settles my thoughts and helps me work through the stresses of my day. Turn off the left brain- the ruminating, the noisy chatter and hook up the right brain- creativity, confidence and imagination. Through the sometimes unconscious integration of both my hemispheres : art is created.
All my pieces are named after brain anatomy or functions. My work as a Psychologist & School Counsellor – helping people shift their brain patterns within the therapeutic process – has inspired all of my art.
Some pieces are more contained and linear, mirroring the logic and orderly functions of the left brain. Other pieces are more chaotic and emotion-laden, integrating the characteristics best defined by the right brain.
Left brain speaking to right brain, right brain to left. Waking each other up, exploring all nuances of me – both my thoughts and feelings. Out of my head and onto a canvas! This is what the beginning stages, the middle process of making art, and the end product represents to me.