If you have ever stepped into a car and made your way to Stinson Beach on the weekend, you’ve likely sensed the benefits of nature's technology on your psyche. Taking in sunshine, ocean waves, sounds of the beach and open space can give you an immediate mood booster. There is a scientific meaning behind it: biophilia, the term for our human primordial affiliation with the environment and the way it serves as a magical antidote for the stresses of modern day living. In the hectic and high-pressure Bay Area, we can all benefit from a little biophilia in our lives.
Most likely you won’t make it to Stinson Beach every weekend, but when you do, make a point to stop by Blissful Gallery in Stinson’s tiny downtown. It is full of treasures, including Emmeline Craig’s healing art. "Most people entering my gallery express a sense of relief or remark how peaceful it is," says Craig.
Originally from France, Craig is a lifelong artist and breast cancer survivor who transplanted to California in 2000. She has dedicated herself to what she calls "intentional art.” She says, "One can make art for the sheer pleasure of it or in a cathartic way and it's already wonderful, but one can also harness the fabulous power of art and deliberately use it to have a purposeful impact on the world. For many years, my choice has been to uplift, soothe and quieten the mind through serene, positive imagery, hence eliciting inner peace."
What if you could hang a picture like Craig's "Unbound" in your home and each time you walk by it, your body produces the same benefits to your health, well-being and mental performance that a weeklong, relaxing sunny vacation would provide? While no specific clinical study has been done that proves the benefits of looking at art, there are scientific studies which have proven that the act of creating art can increase immune function, decreases negative emotions and relieves stress, anxiety and depression. A report from the Business Committee for the Arts Inc. (BCA)shows how art exhibited in the workplace boosts productivity, lowers stress and increases wellness. Researchers have found that when nature videos were played in prisons, violence between the inmates was reduced. Thus nature's soothing influence translates through a screen.
With patrons both locally in Europe, Hong Kong and beyond, Craig is an expert in beautiful aesthetic art encoded with spacious relaxation and healing. At Blissful Gallery in Stinson Beach, as well as on her web site, there is an array of serene original oil paintings, watercolors and archival copies spanning from whimsical to minimalist.
Craig leads workshops and classes to help those interested in the healing benefits of creating art. She also offers one-on-one coaching to bring forth your own inner healing artist in a more foundational and pervasive manner.
Sally Greenberg is a Mill Valley resident, writer, urban shaman, Hatha yoga instructor, minister, "biohacker," shower singer, wife and mother of three. Her mission is to express her highest potential every day, while being of service to others and having fun doing it!