Discover the power of art to help you on your grief journey

Grieving is a healthy response to a loss. Often when we feel "stuck" in grief, it's because we've hit a wall. It might be adversely affecting relationships, jobs, or day-to-day life. Or it might be taking over your thoughts, coloring your emotions, and infiltrating your identity.

Loss takes us beyond comfort and our words often fall short of expressing the pain we feel inside. That’s WHY it’s so helpful to use art as a tool for our grief recovery:

ART takes us beyond words, to express deep, painful, overwhelming, and abstract thoughts and feelings surrounding our losses.

Here are just a few reasons why I think that art is so helpful for those who are grieving:

1.) Grief and Art are both abstract. This is the reason why we can go to art (beyond words!) in order to express our deep emotional pain.

Try describing grief in words and you’ll end up describing a collection of symptoms that you’re currently experiencing. Try drawing or painting what grief looks or feels like, and you’ll end up with something that’s likely abstract and ugly, but that’s also undoubtably true.

2.) Art helps you externalize and evaluate your thoughts and feelings. If you dare to let yourself draw or paint how you feel, your artwork can then act as a mirror for seeing what’s going on inside. You can then ask questions of yourself Why does my grief look like that right now? Is that actually true? What about this is beyond my control? What is within my power to change?

3.) Grief and Art are both processes. There’s no set step 1, step 2, step 3, when working through a difficult drawing, or painting a masterpiece. The artist (child, amateur or professional) moves all over the paper or canvas, adding a little paint here and there, correcting one place, emphasizing another. Grief is also a process that unfolds over time. There’s no set steps on your way to healing.

4.) Art can help us being to imagine and reconstruct our lives post-loss. The “painting” of our lives before loss was beautiful and familiar. We liked it! When loss happened, it totally destroyed that image we had of how our lives would look.

While it is good to mourn that old life, after a while we begin to recognize that in order to keep on living, we must make a new painting on top of the old one. Art helps us imagine into the destruction and begin making something different, as well as new and beautiful.

Isn’t it cool how art can help us do all those things? I can hear you saying, yes, I believe that art could be a great tool for processing my grief, but I can’t use it. I like art, but I’m not an artist.

Let me reassure you, that’s the most common and exciting question I get!

When someone says, “I’m not an artist,” what they mean is “I’m not a fine artist.” They don’t paint in oils, have pictures in galleries, or wear a beret (does any artist actually wear a beret?). The thing is, you don’t have to be a fine artist in order to experience the benefits of art as a tool in your grief recovery.

"Fine Art" is about the quality of the final PRODUCT, but Grief Art is all about the PROCESS. That’s why anyone can learn to use art to express their grief.

Project Grief works with the idea that anyone can learn to be a "grief artist". Grief artists are people who take the pain of life & transform it into tools and lessons that help them to continually discover a new identity, to love deeper, be more present, and to better work through difficulties as they come. It all begins with a change in mindset from seeing yourself as a passive "victim" of grief, to approaching thoughts and feelings as a “grief artist”. You, yes you, can be a grief artist, too.

Project Grief will show you how to....

...Your grief.

Our online art courses are affordable opportunities that allow you to:

  • Process your loss on your own time (even the midnight hours when you can't sleep!)
  • Make art, think aloud, cry it out - whatever it takes!- from the comfort of your home.

What if you could learn to transform your loss into something beautiful?

An online student shares her perspective

on how ART helped her cope: