January 25, 2009

Attention Restoration Theory!

That's putting scientific terms around the concept of what art means to me -- a time to focus and immerse myself in nature, which restores reserves that have been depleted by everyday stress.  It's the title of my show, March 21-22 at the Yellow Barn Gallery.  

ART (attention restoration theory) was developed by a U. Michigan professor, Steven Kaplan, who demonstrated that not only could viewing nature restore focus to an otherwise stressed-out person, but could even provide a hedge against future stresses.

So -- if you can't get out and take a hike or paint en plein air, the clear answer is to buy a painting of something so beautiful, so transporting, that it gives you the experience Kaplan describes as "soft fascinations" like clouds, sky, and trees and then enjoy focusing on it... instead of kids, work, deadlines and the great forces that make the world stressful.

Now -- I'm back painting in the studio, as the weather has not been cooperating one bit with my plans to paint outdoors.  Still, I'll be posting paintings again in the coming week and get back to regular updates on my ART -- attention restoration theory.