One of six artists profiled in Creatively Coping, Kristin Jones’ essay on the therapeutic power of working with one’s hands during uncertain times
The Arts Board, with Rebecca Phillips
To be able to use my hands to create small intricate detail is a slow and meditative process that I thoroughly enjoy and continue to work on.
Photos submitted by Rebecca Phillips
A friend and his family have been able to relocate to a cabin in the woods throughout this current pandemic. He said this time of solitude has gotten him more into bonsai—which makes sense being that the potential purpose of a bonsai is to provide contemplation for the viewer. I think it’s natural for us all to turn to something in times of stress or solitude but I don’t know that we can identify it until we pause and look back at our behavior.
For me, I looked back and realized I had been stippling a lot. In fact, if you saw the number of small stippling pieces of artwork I have, you might assume I’m a hoarder.
If you’re not familiar with stippling, maybe you’ve heard the term pointillism or just think of artwork made solely with points or dots from a pen or fine-point marker. The times when I was stressed or feeling depressed, the number of stipplings I produced was higher.
I discovered it was my form of therapy. And like any form of therapy, it becomes a natural part of exercise. To be able to use my hands to create small intricate detail is a slow and meditative process that I thoroughly enjoy and continue to work on.
Beginning last year, I started to sell pieces of my work – during the quarantine, I’ve given away pieces. My hope is that the small stipplings I create can in return be a form of bonsai for someone else. <>