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

Sometimes words are just not enough to say thank you. I am a fine artist. For a couple years, I had been unable to control my brushes and was in constant pain because of spinal cord compression in my neck. I stopped painting because I couldn't produce the quality of work that I expected. I was getting worse and couldn't find a surgeon to help me until I came to Mayo Clinic and met Dr. Jeremy Fogelson. As the days drew closer to my surgery, I had to find a way to be confident and calm, so I used sketching and listening to music to relax. I had been drawing pencil sketches of Dr. Fogelson as my own art therapy to help me on my journey. It helped me get to know him in my own way. I did other things to confront my fears as well, but I always returned to art and music when I needed to escape for awhile. I was calm on my surgery day and everything I did to prepare myself worked like a charm. While I was recovering, I wanted to paint again and to create something for my surgeon. Prior to my surgery, I was loosing what I cherished most, and my surgeon returned that gift to me.

I called his nurse and we arranged for my followup appointment to be on his surgery day, so I could get photos of him in his scrubs. He enjoyed posing for my camera in the exam room for a few minutes and even made me laugh. I had to work out how to match the photos of him with my photos of the Plummer building to make it look believable. I put the history of Mayo behind him with the beautiful carved doors of the historic building, and that was a challenge to draw and paint them in accurate detail.

It took about a month to create this watercolor painting, and I would have to take breaks and lay down to rest when my muscles fatigued. At my one year followup, I hid the finished painting behind the curtain in the exam room until we finished the exam part of the appointment, and then Dr. Fogelson saw this for the first time. It was a complete surprise to him and he loved it. I really painted this for both of us… to say thank you when words were not enough, and to challenge myself to see if I could do it since it had been so long since I had been able to paint. I'm honored to know that he will enjoy this for years to come. I makes me feel good to be able to do this for someone who gave me back the ability to do the job, and knowing how much it meant to him is priceless.

Art has healing power, and creating art takes that one step further for me. I told Dr. Fogelson that there was an emotional side to healing and recovery, and for me that was to overcome the fears that had help me back in my life. Facing major surgery has a way of bringing all of that into focus. This was truly life changing for me in many ways. All of my experiences at Mayo, and my courage are all in that painting. It also represents the talent, the kindness and compassion of my surgeon. At Mayo, medicine is an art. It's also true that art is medicine.

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I wanted to let everyone know that my personal story about my Mayo spine surgery and the portrait gift that I painted for my surgeon is scheduled to be published on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog on January 9th. I can't wait! We took a photo together for the story with painting in front of the nice stained glass windows at St. Mary's Hospital. It's a story that focuses on me using my own art to overcome my fears and express my gratitude to my wonderful surgeon for saving my ability to paint.

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@jenniferhunter

I wanted to let everyone know that my personal story about my Mayo spine surgery and the portrait gift that I painted for my surgeon is scheduled to be published on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog on January 9th. I can't wait! We took a photo together for the story with painting in front of the nice stained glass windows at St. Mary's Hospital. It's a story that focuses on me using my own art to overcome my fears and express my gratitude to my wonderful surgeon for saving my ability to paint.

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How wonderful, @jenniferhunter. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

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@jenniferhunter

I wanted to let everyone know that my personal story about my Mayo spine surgery and the portrait gift that I painted for my surgeon is scheduled to be published on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog on January 9th. I can't wait! We took a photo together for the story with painting in front of the nice stained glass windows at St. Mary's Hospital. It's a story that focuses on me using my own art to overcome my fears and express my gratitude to my wonderful surgeon for saving my ability to paint.

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What wonderful news! I can hardly wait to see it.

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@hopeful33250

How wonderful, @jenniferhunter. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

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@hopeful33250 @harriethodgson1 It is a nice article. I can't wait either! (even though I've already read it and made some suggestions). Robin (the author) did a great job writing the story.

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@jenniferhunter

I wanted to let everyone know that my personal story about my Mayo spine surgery and the portrait gift that I painted for my surgeon is scheduled to be published on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog on January 9th. I can't wait! We took a photo together for the story with painting in front of the nice stained glass windows at St. Mary's Hospital. It's a story that focuses on me using my own art to overcome my fears and express my gratitude to my wonderful surgeon for saving my ability to paint.

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Jennifer @jenniferhunter that's great news! I really look forward to seeing it.

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I also did some art and wanted to present it to one of my cardiologist specialists. But which one?

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I saw this today and wanted to share this. My dad used to do things like this in his wood shop, and he would donate his projects to fund raising efforts to the group Canine Companions for Independence who donate trained service dogs to disabled people. It's nice to see this and it reminds me how wonderful this is for everyone. It's a nice story. https://intheloop.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/03/beautiful-boxes-for-courageous-kids-with-cancer/?cauid=100502&fbclid=IwAR0d3MMFWPWjvJbYs957N-JnUC93-XO2ruklU7rJF34HDDf8QY7Xq3Wum_g&geo=national&linkId=61961232&mc_id=us&placementsite=enterprise&utm_campaign=mayoclinic&utm_content=post&utm_medium=sm&utm_source=facebook

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@jenniferhunter

I saw this today and wanted to share this. My dad used to do things like this in his wood shop, and he would donate his projects to fund raising efforts to the group Canine Companions for Independence who donate trained service dogs to disabled people. It's nice to see this and it reminds me how wonderful this is for everyone. It's a nice story. https://intheloop.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/03/beautiful-boxes-for-courageous-kids-with-cancer/?cauid=100502&fbclid=IwAR0d3MMFWPWjvJbYs957N-JnUC93-XO2ruklU7rJF34HDDf8QY7Xq3Wum_g&geo=national&linkId=61961232&mc_id=us&placementsite=enterprise&utm_campaign=mayoclinic&utm_content=post&utm_medium=sm&utm_source=facebook

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@jenniferhunter Thank you for posting this! Truly little works of heart made by a caring man.
Ginger

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Isn't it interesting how ideas are just in the mental realm and we pick up on them. I did these wooden horse heads when we had a horse rescue for fund raising. After we closed the horse ranch, we moved to a city. I had about thirty of these. Looked online and found two horse rescues in California, contacted them, they were interested in the donation, and I passed them onto them. Got an email explaining how well they were received.

Almos trip2 163

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@healthtoday those are beautiful Love different woods I see Redwood is one oak? Very nice

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@healthytoday Thank you for sharing. The grains of different woods has always fascinated me. I enjoy the staining and watching the grain come to life. I have also used Tung Oil which is a labor of love. How gratifying to receive a letter from the horse rescue.

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@lioness

@healthtoday those are beautiful Love different woods I see Redwood is one oak? Very nice

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They are all carved, cut, and sanded from a spruce from Mt Taylor NM. I stained them different colors. Also made a set from red cedar. Have another set made with masonite and painted. That's the one set that I still have. Picture came in side ways?? (Tilt your head). I see them as a horse waterfall.

horse_assemblage_sw

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Really struggled with afib after Christmas being too strenuous. As I am recovering and close to normal rhythm again, someone suggested to me to turn off the nightly news and instead watch funny tv/movies or listen to peaceful, harmonious music. When you think of afib, you realize it's the heart in a state of chaos. With this understanding, I want to restore harmony to my heart and the rest of me. Adding more harmonious music while I do yoga stretches adds this ingredient. Apparently, I need a lot of harmony to keep my heart in the state of harmony. Maybe my motto might be, if it isn't harmonious, I'm not interested, ie, nightly news.

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I love this.

Liked by healthytoday

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@healthytoday

They are all carved, cut, and sanded from a spruce from Mt Taylor NM. I stained them different colors. Also made a set from red cedar. Have another set made with masonite and painted. That's the one set that I still have. Picture came in side ways?? (Tilt your head). I see them as a horse waterfall.

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@healthytoday Your work is really striking and creative. Beautiful.
JK

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