Art for Healing

Posted by Harriet Hodgson @harriethodgson1, Oct 26, 2018

Kudos to the Montreal Museum of Fine Art for allowing physicians to write prescriptions for free admission to the museum. And kudos to Mayo Clinic for its art program. From the beginning, Mayo Clinic believed that art can uplift patients and foster healing. Whether it’s Rochester, Jacksonville or Scottsdale, Mayo Clinic displays a wide range of artwork for patients. The Rochester site published a brochure for a self-guided tour of artwork. I live in Rochester and every time I’m at Mayo, I take the time to look at the artwork.

@jenniferhunter

Here it is! My story as a Mayo Clinic patient using my own art for healing…. and thanks Dr. Fogelson. https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/

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That's really an inspired story. As an artist I understand how the expression of yourself in made whole and complete when put into terms of paint, pencil, canvas, and paper. I believe the goodness of the arts is to give us humans a cathartic tool, a metaphor, to express those things which need to emerge. He commented on your detail; and to me, that reflects the detail of Mayo Clinic. Integration of aspects of healing and art brought both you and the Drs skills to a level of excellent. Nothing less could have completed the surgery and recovery it seems to me.

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@healthytoday

That's really an inspired story. As an artist I understand how the expression of yourself in made whole and complete when put into terms of paint, pencil, canvas, and paper. I believe the goodness of the arts is to give us humans a cathartic tool, a metaphor, to express those things which need to emerge. He commented on your detail; and to me, that reflects the detail of Mayo Clinic. Integration of aspects of healing and art brought both you and the Drs skills to a level of excellent. Nothing less could have completed the surgery and recovery it seems to me.

Jump to this post

(This post is about my patient story in the Sharing Mayo Clinic Blog)
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/
@healthytoday

How insightful, and you're right. Thank you for commenting, as I had not realized some of the symbolism in the portrait until I read your words and thought about it. In doing this painting and making these connections on many different levels, I learn a lot more about the mystery and real magic in the healing power of art.

Everything at Mayo had the level of detail in all the care that I received very much like the detail in the painting. Often I find meanings like this long after I've painted something that has symbolism for what was going on in my life at the time I created the painting although I'm not consciously aware of it.

I feel like this is the most important painting I have done and it does represent my transformation into a patient who can embrace and celebrate the goodness and the gifts I've received from advanced medical care. I am a person who kind of bridges both worlds because my parents had encouraged me to become a doctor, and I had an interest in biology and earned a degree in it. During high school, I had been awarded a fellowship from the American Cancer Society, and learned about disease by seeing actual tissues and organs in the pathology labs of a hospital. At the age I was when those decisions were made, I didn't have the courage to face the trauma that doctors see. After college, I worked for a neuro-anatomist as a research assistant at a university and sectioned tissues from brain studies. I did some drawings for publication as well as coordinated the lab and assisted all the grad students and post doctoral fellows who were doing research with the professor. Eventually, I left the lab to go to art school. That background gave me the ability to visualize and understand the problems I was having with my spine.

That foundation gave me a unique way to look at things which is why it made perfect sense to me to use my art as a way to discover a pathway to face my fears. I first heard of Mayo from a doctoral student in the lab. During the time I was looking for surgical help, I was reading medical journals, and I found what the other surgeons missed.

I knew that in coming to Mayo, I had found my destiny and my science background brought me there. Just walking in the door and seeing all the art work at Mayo helped me feel at home. I loved the artistry in the carved doors of the Plummer building and all the history of Mayo in the symbols and figures on the doors. I saw Dr. Fogelson as part of that history which is why I used the doors as a background for his portrait to represent Mayo's history behind him and his place in it. It also gave me a good design of complimentary color to set off the blue and white of his lab coat and scrubs.

There are many circles here in the images and the connections. He suggested the photo of us for the story in front of the stained glass at St. Mary's Hospital. That is where my day began waiting to be called for surgery after check in which again is symbolic as I circled back there in meeting him, and the blue in the glass related to the colors in the painting. Dr. Fogelson met me that day in-between his procedures so he was dressed like the painting. In the painting, his clasped hands form a circle that takes the viewer up to his face and back to his hands, and I painted him that way because he often does this. The symbols on the doors of the Plummer building have many circles, and I think that in following my path to Mayo, I circled back to embrace the medical career path that I didn't follow. In painting this for him, I wanted to match the excellence of his surgery with my painting skills. It was a big mountain that I needed to climb after not being able to paint due to my condition, and to be able to do this as the first post surgical painting was pure joy, and I cried when I knew that my artistic gift had been returned to me.

In the circle in the stained glass window behind me is another symbol (cropped out in the story). A friend pointed out the meaning of the Latin words on the stained glass window in the photo.. "DEVS MEVS ET OMNIA" which translated is "Mine prepares all" or "God is my all" and perhaps this is another reason that I was drawn to Mayo to be healed, and I think about the spiritual history of Mayo and the sisters who founded the hospital. The "fleur de lis" symbol in the stain glass represents "perfection, light and life." I do know that he was meant to be my doctor as much as I was meant to be his patient and we've learned from each other. I also see connecting with others here as completing this circle, and my wish to share my story as part of that circle.

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@gingerw

@jenniferhunter Great story. Kudos to you and the entire team at Mayo!
Ginger

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@gingerw Thank you, Ginger. It was meant to be.

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@jenniferhunter

(This post is about my patient story in the Sharing Mayo Clinic Blog)
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/
@healthytoday

How insightful, and you're right. Thank you for commenting, as I had not realized some of the symbolism in the portrait until I read your words and thought about it. In doing this painting and making these connections on many different levels, I learn a lot more about the mystery and real magic in the healing power of art.

Everything at Mayo had the level of detail in all the care that I received very much like the detail in the painting. Often I find meanings like this long after I've painted something that has symbolism for what was going on in my life at the time I created the painting although I'm not consciously aware of it.

I feel like this is the most important painting I have done and it does represent my transformation into a patient who can embrace and celebrate the goodness and the gifts I've received from advanced medical care. I am a person who kind of bridges both worlds because my parents had encouraged me to become a doctor, and I had an interest in biology and earned a degree in it. During high school, I had been awarded a fellowship from the American Cancer Society, and learned about disease by seeing actual tissues and organs in the pathology labs of a hospital. At the age I was when those decisions were made, I didn't have the courage to face the trauma that doctors see. After college, I worked for a neuro-anatomist as a research assistant at a university and sectioned tissues from brain studies. I did some drawings for publication as well as coordinated the lab and assisted all the grad students and post doctoral fellows who were doing research with the professor. Eventually, I left the lab to go to art school. That background gave me the ability to visualize and understand the problems I was having with my spine.

That foundation gave me a unique way to look at things which is why it made perfect sense to me to use my art as a way to discover a pathway to face my fears. I first heard of Mayo from a doctoral student in the lab. During the time I was looking for surgical help, I was reading medical journals, and I found what the other surgeons missed.

I knew that in coming to Mayo, I had found my destiny and my science background brought me there. Just walking in the door and seeing all the art work at Mayo helped me feel at home. I loved the artistry in the carved doors of the Plummer building and all the history of Mayo in the symbols and figures on the doors. I saw Dr. Fogelson as part of that history which is why I used the doors as a background for his portrait to represent Mayo's history behind him and his place in it. It also gave me a good design of complimentary color to set off the blue and white of his lab coat and scrubs.

There are many circles here in the images and the connections. He suggested the photo of us for the story in front of the stained glass at St. Mary's Hospital. That is where my day began waiting to be called for surgery after check in which again is symbolic as I circled back there in meeting him, and the blue in the glass related to the colors in the painting. Dr. Fogelson met me that day in-between his procedures so he was dressed like the painting. In the painting, his clasped hands form a circle that takes the viewer up to his face and back to his hands, and I painted him that way because he often does this. The symbols on the doors of the Plummer building have many circles, and I think that in following my path to Mayo, I circled back to embrace the medical career path that I didn't follow. In painting this for him, I wanted to match the excellence of his surgery with my painting skills. It was a big mountain that I needed to climb after not being able to paint due to my condition, and to be able to do this as the first post surgical painting was pure joy, and I cried when I knew that my artistic gift had been returned to me.

In the circle in the stained glass window behind me is another symbol (cropped out in the story). A friend pointed out the meaning of the Latin words on the stained glass window in the photo.. "DEVS MEVS ET OMNIA" which translated is "Mine prepares all" or "God is my all" and perhaps this is another reason that I was drawn to Mayo to be healed, and I think about the spiritual history of Mayo and the sisters who founded the hospital. The "fleur de lis" symbol in the stain glass represents "perfection, light and life." I do know that he was meant to be my doctor as much as I was meant to be his patient and we've learned from each other. I also see connecting with others here as completing this circle, and my wish to share my story as part of that circle.

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@jenniferhunter Hey Jennifer, I think you could have easily become a writer (or still could!). You not only have artistic skills, but literary ones as well. I so enjoyed your discussion about the portrait. You go girl! Good for you!……..Karen

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@jenniferhunter

(This post is about my patient story in the Sharing Mayo Clinic Blog)
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/
@healthytoday

How insightful, and you're right. Thank you for commenting, as I had not realized some of the symbolism in the portrait until I read your words and thought about it. In doing this painting and making these connections on many different levels, I learn a lot more about the mystery and real magic in the healing power of art.

Everything at Mayo had the level of detail in all the care that I received very much like the detail in the painting. Often I find meanings like this long after I've painted something that has symbolism for what was going on in my life at the time I created the painting although I'm not consciously aware of it.

I feel like this is the most important painting I have done and it does represent my transformation into a patient who can embrace and celebrate the goodness and the gifts I've received from advanced medical care. I am a person who kind of bridges both worlds because my parents had encouraged me to become a doctor, and I had an interest in biology and earned a degree in it. During high school, I had been awarded a fellowship from the American Cancer Society, and learned about disease by seeing actual tissues and organs in the pathology labs of a hospital. At the age I was when those decisions were made, I didn't have the courage to face the trauma that doctors see. After college, I worked for a neuro-anatomist as a research assistant at a university and sectioned tissues from brain studies. I did some drawings for publication as well as coordinated the lab and assisted all the grad students and post doctoral fellows who were doing research with the professor. Eventually, I left the lab to go to art school. That background gave me the ability to visualize and understand the problems I was having with my spine.

That foundation gave me a unique way to look at things which is why it made perfect sense to me to use my art as a way to discover a pathway to face my fears. I first heard of Mayo from a doctoral student in the lab. During the time I was looking for surgical help, I was reading medical journals, and I found what the other surgeons missed.

I knew that in coming to Mayo, I had found my destiny and my science background brought me there. Just walking in the door and seeing all the art work at Mayo helped me feel at home. I loved the artistry in the carved doors of the Plummer building and all the history of Mayo in the symbols and figures on the doors. I saw Dr. Fogelson as part of that history which is why I used the doors as a background for his portrait to represent Mayo's history behind him and his place in it. It also gave me a good design of complimentary color to set off the blue and white of his lab coat and scrubs.

There are many circles here in the images and the connections. He suggested the photo of us for the story in front of the stained glass at St. Mary's Hospital. That is where my day began waiting to be called for surgery after check in which again is symbolic as I circled back there in meeting him, and the blue in the glass related to the colors in the painting. Dr. Fogelson met me that day in-between his procedures so he was dressed like the painting. In the painting, his clasped hands form a circle that takes the viewer up to his face and back to his hands, and I painted him that way because he often does this. The symbols on the doors of the Plummer building have many circles, and I think that in following my path to Mayo, I circled back to embrace the medical career path that I didn't follow. In painting this for him, I wanted to match the excellence of his surgery with my painting skills. It was a big mountain that I needed to climb after not being able to paint due to my condition, and to be able to do this as the first post surgical painting was pure joy, and I cried when I knew that my artistic gift had been returned to me.

In the circle in the stained glass window behind me is another symbol (cropped out in the story). A friend pointed out the meaning of the Latin words on the stained glass window in the photo.. "DEVS MEVS ET OMNIA" which translated is "Mine prepares all" or "God is my all" and perhaps this is another reason that I was drawn to Mayo to be healed, and I think about the spiritual history of Mayo and the sisters who founded the hospital. The "fleur de lis" symbol in the stain glass represents "perfection, light and life." I do know that he was meant to be my doctor as much as I was meant to be his patient and we've learned from each other. I also see connecting with others here as completing this circle, and my wish to share my story as part of that circle.

Jump to this post

Yes, circles and competition. Visual art is a metaphoric language. Might be "Mind prepares All." And now, where is all of this taking you? Where do you live? Career, retired? I studied Pueblo Pottery in 1997 and on for about 10 years. One aspect of the Pueblo Pottery circle is the line is not completed, the opening releases the spirit. Plenty of poetry in art. I'll share some pictures of Pueblo Pottery for your enjoyment

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

(This post is about my patient story in the Sharing Mayo Clinic Blog)
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/
@healthytoday

How insightful, and you're right. Thank you for commenting, as I had not realized some of the symbolism in the portrait until I read your words and thought about it. In doing this painting and making these connections on many different levels, I learn a lot more about the mystery and real magic in the healing power of art.

Everything at Mayo had the level of detail in all the care that I received very much like the detail in the painting. Often I find meanings like this long after I've painted something that has symbolism for what was going on in my life at the time I created the painting although I'm not consciously aware of it.

I feel like this is the most important painting I have done and it does represent my transformation into a patient who can embrace and celebrate the goodness and the gifts I've received from advanced medical care. I am a person who kind of bridges both worlds because my parents had encouraged me to become a doctor, and I had an interest in biology and earned a degree in it. During high school, I had been awarded a fellowship from the American Cancer Society, and learned about disease by seeing actual tissues and organs in the pathology labs of a hospital. At the age I was when those decisions were made, I didn't have the courage to face the trauma that doctors see. After college, I worked for a neuro-anatomist as a research assistant at a university and sectioned tissues from brain studies. I did some drawings for publication as well as coordinated the lab and assisted all the grad students and post doctoral fellows who were doing research with the professor. Eventually, I left the lab to go to art school. That background gave me the ability to visualize and understand the problems I was having with my spine.

That foundation gave me a unique way to look at things which is why it made perfect sense to me to use my art as a way to discover a pathway to face my fears. I first heard of Mayo from a doctoral student in the lab. During the time I was looking for surgical help, I was reading medical journals, and I found what the other surgeons missed.

I knew that in coming to Mayo, I had found my destiny and my science background brought me there. Just walking in the door and seeing all the art work at Mayo helped me feel at home. I loved the artistry in the carved doors of the Plummer building and all the history of Mayo in the symbols and figures on the doors. I saw Dr. Fogelson as part of that history which is why I used the doors as a background for his portrait to represent Mayo's history behind him and his place in it. It also gave me a good design of complimentary color to set off the blue and white of his lab coat and scrubs.

There are many circles here in the images and the connections. He suggested the photo of us for the story in front of the stained glass at St. Mary's Hospital. That is where my day began waiting to be called for surgery after check in which again is symbolic as I circled back there in meeting him, and the blue in the glass related to the colors in the painting. Dr. Fogelson met me that day in-between his procedures so he was dressed like the painting. In the painting, his clasped hands form a circle that takes the viewer up to his face and back to his hands, and I painted him that way because he often does this. The symbols on the doors of the Plummer building have many circles, and I think that in following my path to Mayo, I circled back to embrace the medical career path that I didn't follow. In painting this for him, I wanted to match the excellence of his surgery with my painting skills. It was a big mountain that I needed to climb after not being able to paint due to my condition, and to be able to do this as the first post surgical painting was pure joy, and I cried when I knew that my artistic gift had been returned to me.

In the circle in the stained glass window behind me is another symbol (cropped out in the story). A friend pointed out the meaning of the Latin words on the stained glass window in the photo.. "DEVS MEVS ET OMNIA" which translated is "Mine prepares all" or "God is my all" and perhaps this is another reason that I was drawn to Mayo to be healed, and I think about the spiritual history of Mayo and the sisters who founded the hospital. The "fleur de lis" symbol in the stain glass represents "perfection, light and life." I do know that he was meant to be my doctor as much as I was meant to be his patient and we've learned from each other. I also see connecting with others here as completing this circle, and my wish to share my story as part of that circle.

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I just posted this to my personal FB page, @jenniferhunter !

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@healthytoday

Yes, circles and competition. Visual art is a metaphoric language. Might be "Mind prepares All." And now, where is all of this taking you? Where do you live? Career, retired? I studied Pueblo Pottery in 1997 and on for about 10 years. One aspect of the Pueblo Pottery circle is the line is not completed, the opening releases the spirit. Plenty of poetry in art. I'll share some pictures of Pueblo Pottery for your enjoyment

Jump to this post

@healthytoday It seems this time of year the Circle that is life comes forward. Things are in hibernation or covered due to the weather and snow. In the warmth of spring and summer, things will spring forward once again in the great Circle that is. This time of year my Zentangle and my quilts tend to take on a rhythmic and circular pattern to them. As the Native Americans believe, so I believe. I have a tattoo on my left wrist that was done in 1986. It is a band with flowers and leaves, the stems twining around. However, there is not a completed Circle because as I told the artist, "there has to be space for the spirit to get out".
Ginger

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@gingerw Thank you for your insightful words. I have started working in pen and ink and I really find it calming. I call them doodles. They are much like zentangle. The rhythm is what I find calming. Also much easier to put down and pick back up. When I close my eyes I can still see what I am working on and it fades in and out. Helps bring on the sleepiness.

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@parus

@gingerw Thank you for your insightful words. I have started working in pen and ink and I really find it calming. I call them doodles. They are much like zentangle. The rhythm is what I find calming. Also much easier to put down and pick back up. When I close my eyes I can still see what I am working on and it fades in and out. Helps bring on the sleepiness.

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@parus Indeed the doodling is very rhythmic and soothing. I find Zentangle and the repetition of lines and the swirl of pen to paper to be hypnotic and very calming. In my crochet work, the rhythm of the hook and the yarn together will almost invariably put me to sleep after about 45 minutes! As a passenger in the car, with my crochet, I'm a happy camper and asleep after a short amount of time. My husband says I never drop the hook or the yarn I just fall asleep very quietly. He knows I'm rarely so relaxed.
Ginger

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@gingerw I,m going to have to try this the weekends are boring fkr me so will get into doodling

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@jenniferhunter

(This post is about my patient story in the Sharing Mayo Clinic Blog)
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/
@healthytoday

How insightful, and you're right. Thank you for commenting, as I had not realized some of the symbolism in the portrait until I read your words and thought about it. In doing this painting and making these connections on many different levels, I learn a lot more about the mystery and real magic in the healing power of art.

Everything at Mayo had the level of detail in all the care that I received very much like the detail in the painting. Often I find meanings like this long after I've painted something that has symbolism for what was going on in my life at the time I created the painting although I'm not consciously aware of it.

I feel like this is the most important painting I have done and it does represent my transformation into a patient who can embrace and celebrate the goodness and the gifts I've received from advanced medical care. I am a person who kind of bridges both worlds because my parents had encouraged me to become a doctor, and I had an interest in biology and earned a degree in it. During high school, I had been awarded a fellowship from the American Cancer Society, and learned about disease by seeing actual tissues and organs in the pathology labs of a hospital. At the age I was when those decisions were made, I didn't have the courage to face the trauma that doctors see. After college, I worked for a neuro-anatomist as a research assistant at a university and sectioned tissues from brain studies. I did some drawings for publication as well as coordinated the lab and assisted all the grad students and post doctoral fellows who were doing research with the professor. Eventually, I left the lab to go to art school. That background gave me the ability to visualize and understand the problems I was having with my spine.

That foundation gave me a unique way to look at things which is why it made perfect sense to me to use my art as a way to discover a pathway to face my fears. I first heard of Mayo from a doctoral student in the lab. During the time I was looking for surgical help, I was reading medical journals, and I found what the other surgeons missed.

I knew that in coming to Mayo, I had found my destiny and my science background brought me there. Just walking in the door and seeing all the art work at Mayo helped me feel at home. I loved the artistry in the carved doors of the Plummer building and all the history of Mayo in the symbols and figures on the doors. I saw Dr. Fogelson as part of that history which is why I used the doors as a background for his portrait to represent Mayo's history behind him and his place in it. It also gave me a good design of complimentary color to set off the blue and white of his lab coat and scrubs.

There are many circles here in the images and the connections. He suggested the photo of us for the story in front of the stained glass at St. Mary's Hospital. That is where my day began waiting to be called for surgery after check in which again is symbolic as I circled back there in meeting him, and the blue in the glass related to the colors in the painting. Dr. Fogelson met me that day in-between his procedures so he was dressed like the painting. In the painting, his clasped hands form a circle that takes the viewer up to his face and back to his hands, and I painted him that way because he often does this. The symbols on the doors of the Plummer building have many circles, and I think that in following my path to Mayo, I circled back to embrace the medical career path that I didn't follow. In painting this for him, I wanted to match the excellence of his surgery with my painting skills. It was a big mountain that I needed to climb after not being able to paint due to my condition, and to be able to do this as the first post surgical painting was pure joy, and I cried when I knew that my artistic gift had been returned to me.

In the circle in the stained glass window behind me is another symbol (cropped out in the story). A friend pointed out the meaning of the Latin words on the stained glass window in the photo.. "DEVS MEVS ET OMNIA" which translated is "Mine prepares all" or "God is my all" and perhaps this is another reason that I was drawn to Mayo to be healed, and I think about the spiritual history of Mayo and the sisters who founded the hospital. The "fleur de lis" symbol in the stain glass represents "perfection, light and life." I do know that he was meant to be my doctor as much as I was meant to be his patient and we've learned from each other. I also see connecting with others here as completing this circle, and my wish to share my story as part of that circle.

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@jenniferhunter Beautiful painting, and beautifully written story to go with it. You are surely a person of many talents, both creative and scientific.
JK

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@lioness

@gingerw I,m going to have to try this the weekends are boring fkr me so will get into doodling

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@lioness It can be cathartic.

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