“Bring me your weird people!”
Bones and I were walking around the Bristol ren faire this past Saturday. It was later in the day, and I was a little overstimulated as we passed by a booth filled with Celtic knotwork art and a vendor calling out requests like the above quote.
We paused, then turned around and took a peek at what she was selling.
* image copyright Anne Ravensdaughter
Anne invited me to pick up a wooden stylus and do as she was doing: trace the path of the painted knotwork along the surface of one of the many disks around her booth.
“No, thank you. I just want to look…”
She picked up on my fried status, nodded, and pointed at a disk like the first one in the image above. “Try that one.”
I felt a little foolish, but I did as she said, focusing on tracing the labyrinth-like art around the edges of the plate. It was hard to think of much else, to even predict where the line would take me next. I was focused on the knot and not on my head noise. I’ve only walked one labyrinth, and I didn’t quite grok what I should be getting out of the experience. This “relaxed awareness” worked a lot better for me, drawing me immediately into the moment and not the need to complete the task.
Anne talked to us about how different designs work for different kinds of minds. People dealing with anxiety (such as myself) do better with simpler patterns – their brains don’t need more stimulation. Conversely, people with high-functioning autism respond better to complicated designs – something like the third design in the above image.
This Celtic Art Therapy is being used successfully by people with OCD, ADD, and ADHD as well as stroke victims and those dealing with other neurological conditions, and Anne’s art is being used by varied clinicians and educators…indeed, she’s always looking for more people that would like to use her art therapy in their classrooms or practices!
Of course, she’s also making some beautiful art, and that can be enjoyed in more traditional formats such as t-shirts and art prints. But if you’d like to experiment with her work yourself, you can visit https://celticart.webstorepowered.com/, click on a piece of art, and try it out for yourself on your monitor to see what design works best for you before you buy.
..And you’ll want to buy. Heaven knows a purchase is in my future! I was truly amazed at how much calmer I felt after tracing a pattern for just a few minutes.