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"Polson Trees and Girls Like These"

My girls asked me if I could paint them so I decided to tackle a landscape view of a recent walk we took at Polson Park (while challenging myself with a smaller surface and a wood panel).

To much delight, the park hosts a thicket of gigantic old mysterious trees right in the middle of town. It’s like a tiny oasis or adventure, depending on your age and mood. And it happens to be right underneath the hospital that sits in the background. The hospital where one of my girls was born. The same hospital where I had my recent psychiatric stay.

Having very recently been formally discharged from my psychiatrist’s care (with my spot now going to the next person on an insanely too long waitlist), that latest stay has been on my mind. It occurs to me that should be some way to bring some of what is outside to those who are literally steps away from it, and that art is a way to help do that. So many things come to mind—pairing individual trees with individual patients, and even allowing patients the opportunity to explore trees-their trees, any trees. Just to get outside for a reason that is not a smoke break.

There is so much solid scientific evidence for the benefit of access to nature for mental and physical rehabilitation. For very little investment and tremendous return, there are actual enhancements to hospital care for all patients at our disposal. (If you are interested in this topic, I highly recommend the book “Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild” by the British journalist Lucy Jones.)

As a first step, my girls and I are going to get to know each of the trees in the park. Identify them, catalog them, draw them. Hug them.

Stay tuned.

#mentalhealth #depression #endthestigma #art #arttherapy #painting #acrylic #vernonbc #okanaganlife #polsonpark

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