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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Amazing new diet plan! Take up drawing!

Watermelon & Cherries, by Brad Marshall, oil on canvas board, 11x14. Executing this luscious painting probably elevated Brad’s mood by 22%, but who can tell when he’s already so darn cheerful? It’s for Rye Art Center’s annual Painters on Location in September, and I imagine it will elevate the mood of some lucky collector too.

A report in the Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science suggests that drawing pictures of so-called comfort food can also have positive effects on mood, reported the Wall Street Journal.

It’s hard to imagine drawing Texas-style comfort food like King Ranch Chicken Casserole or Frito Pie, since they basically look like lumpy stew. So it’s a good thing this research was done at St. Bonaventure University (here in upstate New York) where “comfort food” means pizza and cupcakes.

Wayne Thiebaud, Four cupcakes, 1971. Oil on canvas, 27,9 x 48,3 cm. Is Thiebaud a very happy man? He certainly should be; he painted enough cakes.

Drawing pizzas improved the subjects' mood by 28%, while depicting cupcakes and strawberries boosted spirits by 27% and 22%, respectively. Drawing peppers improved moods only by 1%.

Peppers, 6X8, oil on canvasboard, by little ol' me. They made me more than 1% happier to paint, I swear.
Maybe it’s because they made the poor test subjects do their drawings on empty stomachs, but I find it hard to imagine that drawing anything would fail to elevate one’s mood. Especially peppers.

I know one thing that's going to make me very happy: my July workshop in mid-coast Maine. Nothing is happier-making than painting with great friends in a brilliant place. There's one more residential slot left in July; I'm dying to know who is going to fill it. August and September are sold out , but there are openings in October! Check here for more information.

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