Five Things To Do in an Art Gallery to Problem Solve

Here is my list of Five Things to do when visiting an Art Gallery to help you solve problems. Art bypasses the cognitive brain and your rational thinking and works in the liminal space between the subconscious, where you are much more likely to access solutions from deep within and your soul and heart center.

Have you ever experienced when something seemed to be going well and then suddenly, out of the blue, it all went pear-shaped? I am sure that this has happened to many of us at one time or another. Whenever I have been through emotional struggles with relationships or problems at work, I want to know what my part in the situation was or if it had nothing to do with me at all. Although I am sure, there is always a part that we play in the relationship or work situation in the first place. My first port of call is not the Psychologist but the Art Gallery.


We are all wired differently, so choose the Gallery you feel most likely will help you today. This may not be the Gallery you choose on another day with a different set of problems. If you are not sure which Gallery, just select any, but have an open mind about what you may see and learn. I have been to the National Portrait Gallery and seen artwork portraying different famous or infamous people’s lives and have found solutions just by reading the story of the exhibition and their life. They, too, had problems and found solutions.


Sit quietly for a few moments and pray. Open your heart space to be turned into whatever God may turn your attention to. This is done by sitting quietly with centered breathing. It can be a silent prayer or just a silent listening heart, but make sure it is opened to be ‘tuned in.’


Walk around the Gallery slowly, looking at each painting or sculpture, not in detail yet. If there is an exhibition, read the notes on the artist, see if there is anything that strikes you. If not, walk on. Keep walking until a painting or description ‘speaks to you.’ Once you are standing in front of this painting, whatever it is, stop. Don’t give up on the unexpected. Some of the best solutions I have found were in the Tate Modern. I entered an exhibition hall that was made up of installations from a builder’s rubbish skip. I was about to walk out muttering,’ What a load of rubbish.’ I was stopped in my tracks at the door. A still small voice inside said, ‘go back in there until you have found the solution.’ I was given such incredible insight into my problems at that time through the discarded builders’ rubble! Don’t discount how God can break through to you in the most obscure of places.


Stand or sit in front of this painting and just look at it with an open heart for ten to twenty minutes, asking what am I seeing? What is this trying to tell me? Is there wisdom is it sharing? How am I feeling? What emotions arise when I look at this? How does this painting address my problem? Parts of us have been suppressed deep in our souls, is there anything bubbling up that is an insight?


TAKE A NOTEBOOK AND JOURNAL OR SKETCH WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING. Start writing or sketching what is coming up for you. Sometimes the thoughts are so fleeing they need to be captured at once. Describe your feelings and what drew your attention. Are there any ideas that you are getting? Can you join the dots between two different thoughts or ideas? Once you have captured everything that has come up for you, go to the cafeteria or a quiet place and meditate on your sketches or writing, and you will be surprised at how you will be most likely to have solved your problem or found a new perspective to look at it through.

If you can get out to an Art Gallery, take a browse through online artists, or visit my Amazing Gaze Gallery to find some inspiration.

Grief, Retirement, Seasons of Life, Transitions, Widowhood



January is the month we usually set our goals and resolutions for the year. One of my goals during this season is to find my artistic voice. I was looking back through my old sketchbooks and journals, to my amazement I came across a sketch I had made in 2001 of black and white geometric patterns, with a rainbow through the center, with the words “Transformation” and “Integrations”. A few years ago, after I had been widowed, my church had been going through a program of transformation and reconciliation, and responsible renewal in which they examined scripture in the light of today’s societal problems, updating their thinking and policies accordingly. This had inspired the sketch.

Fast forward ten years, I have been through nine years of working in a new country attending another church, which was not as progressive in their thinking and teaching. I knew I had to get back to the place spiritually I had left in South Africa. Moving to a new country yet again, I had the freedom to be discerning as to where I would worship, I was blessed to have found a local church that stood for all I believed in. I still had places to go in my past to clear up wrong thinking about God, which I dealt with.  I was invited to answer “My Most Difficult Question” at one of our church services to tell my story. I was also participated in writing a chapter for an Anthology “How Seven Women of Faith Manifest Godly Success Through Spiritual Intimacy”, The name for my story was ‘From Black and White to Rainbow Colored Thinking’. So, why was I so surprised when found my old sketch when looking to find my artistic voice?

With many interests and being able to enjoy drawing different styles, objects and thoughts I had not been focused on developing any specific style.  It now dawned on me there was a common theme to many of my pictures, geometric patterns, both abstract and natural, I liked my pictures to tell a story. God’s story in my life has taken a long time to unfold and is still unfolding. Perhaps I was not focused on following His lead to where I should be or maybe I was following Him through the forest and could not see for the trees!  Why do I want to write and paint on this theme of black and white and rainbow colors? Black and white rigid thinking only within your known parameters can seriously hold you back from experiencing the best God has planned for you. I want to be able to share my perspective and perceptions with people who struggle to let go of fundamental thinking.

The starting point is the character of God, I had been indoctrinated at an early age of a God who was always angry and only wanted to punish me, reinforced by family and church discipline. So how could I possibly know Him as a God of love when this was not demonstrated to me? My journey through life has taken me through divorce, widowhood and loss of homeland. It has been a long journey to get from black and white to rainbow colored thinking. To work through the belief systems that did not serve me well, to come to a place of rest in the God of Love. That is why I write and paint what I do, inviting you my readers and viewers to participate in this journey, hoping that if you too have struggled trying to find that God is Love, you may also have the scales from your eyes removed so instead of seeing everything within rigid black and white lines, you can see the radiant burst of color and light that emanates from Him through His creation and eventually be able to appreciate that He is Love and loves you with an everlasting love.