THE PROCESS OF PEACE


LIZ HLAVEK

Self Portrait in Shadows
Oil on Canvas
2010

I am very aware of my art process. My training and experiences as an art therapist have shown me the value of artistic process, and I believe that this awareness has only strengthened my artistic identity.

In the past few years I have allowed myself to be more experimental in my artwork. Like many, I use art making as a form of emotional release and self-expression. It is a safer tool than verbal communication, which only increases my sense of awareness.  Sometimes I don’t even realize that something is worrying me, until I see signs of it in my artwork. 

In December my husband left for a 6-month deployment in Afghanistan. Though he has been deployed to combat zones before, our current situation feels especially challenging. I have some ideas as to why this is, but use my art process for further exploration. It’s easy for me to explain the circumstances to others, offering a detached account of what is going on. Only in art making do I give myself permission to experience my feelings in an unrestricted manor. Creating art is my process for finding answers and making peace with my reality. 

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