Grateful for an Art-Filled Life • by Harmony Pyper
Art and I have a history ... we go way back. Growing up in the rolling hills and open fields of Wisconsin gave me the beauty to inspire my creative mind and the space to let my mind wander. My parents inspired me with their love of gardening, quilting, constructing, and photographing. My dad had a darkroom in the basement and my mom a sewing machine in the laundry room, so they were often creating.
A Peaceful Place
It wasn’t until high school when years of struggling with dyslexia had taken a toll on my confidence that I discovered how art can heal a wounded soul. My best friend and I found refuge in the art room that was tucked back in a corner of the school away from the chaos and drama of life as a teenager. I began to feel not only success but also a complete loss of time and space—an escape to a peaceful place where I felt right at home.
Once I left for college I had already set my sights on a degree in Occupational Therapy and left my art behind. I graduated and headed to Southern California where I practiced as a pediatric Occupational Therapist for 15 years. Once in a while in those 15 years I would pull out some art supplies and finish a piece, but it wasn’t a regular part of my existence.
An Inspiring Friend
About three years ago my best friend from childhood, the same one I sat side-by-side at the art table in high school with, took her life and left me very sad and confused. Shortly after her death, I had a dream that I was at an art opening and realized it was my art. I sat down on a heavy wooden bench and looked to my right and there was Heather, sitting right next to me. She smiled and said, “Good job Harm,” and all I could manage to whisper was, “I miss you.” The next morning I pulled out my art supplies and have not stopped creating art since. Even in her death she inspired me to follow my dreams and live the artistic life I have always longed for.
Art is a way to express my innermost emotions—the ones I can’t even find the words for. When I paint, draw, glue, write, and photograph, I still find that place where I lose track of space and time and let the process happen. It’s the process that heals me and I am thankful every day for my friend and for the art-filled life that I am now living.
To learn more about Harmony Pyper, visit harmonysart.blogspot.com.