healing power of art…

Angel Shrine by Lawrence Aguilar

it’s no secret that 2013 has been rough for us.  end of last year – we were buying a house.  right now – we are living in my parents’ home since the sale fell through.  then – we had planned to live near both sets of parents.  right now – lawrence’s dad passed away unexpectedly a month ago.  we have been dealing with the unexpected happenings as best we can.

which, sometimes, isn’t too well…

like it or not, life does go on and you have to deal with things or stay where you are.  last night, lawrence and i finally allowed ourselves to talk about possible future plans.  one of the highlights for me was that he said he wants to start creating art pieces again.

On the “About Us” page on our website at Arte de Nuestro Corazon, this is what is says about Lawrence:

Lawrence Aguilar is new to art. He was introduced to the art world by his wife Susie Carranza. Lawrence prefers painting on wood and clay. He also enjoys working in mixed media.

Not much information, right?  truth is my husband has a full-time job, with a full-time income which allows me to work from home.  he doesn’t have the time to create that i do.  but when he does, he creates beautiful work.

i first saw what my husband could do at CJ’s Angels, an awesome shop in La Verne owned by the Armas family.*  we signed up for a Day of the Dead workshop – making your own “muertito” (small day of the dead figure).  it was a big step for me – i very much consider myself an introvert, and signing up for a craft class with individuals i did not know, at a business we’d never visited, was a bit overwhelming for me.  lawrence signed up with me for support.

little did we know he’d love it.   i’m sitting there obsessing over my muertito, and when i turn to see what lawrence is up to i see that his piece is awesome!

since then he’s created beautiful works of art, (and sold several) like the angel shrine at the start of this post.  i love that he often uses recycled & reclaimed items: the gorgeous angel piece is a clay figure that had broken off of a Nativity set.  he combined that with a wood nicho (shrine), small clay tiles, and paint, and created a unique piece of new art.

here are a few other pieces done by Lawrence. the cross pieces were also done at workshops we attended at CJ’s Angels.  again, for the larger cross, he recycled clay pieces from broken Day of the Dead figures.  (the clay pieces were available for any of us at the workshop to use.  we’ve learned a lot from the Armas family about recycling pieces and using what you have when creating original work!)

some of Lawrence's mixed media work...

some of Lawrence’s mixed media work…

back to last night’s conversation: i was so glad to hear that Lawrence was ready to start creating new work because it really is true that art helps the healing process.  no, it will not take away the pain of losing someone so important in your life.  but there is an emotional release to breaking clay pieces, hammering pieces of wood, brushing gorgeous colors of paint onto a surface, creating something unique and beautiful out of random items and a few supplies…it’s hard to explain it if you haven’t experienced the process yourself.  but it really does help.

when it came to my work, my father in law was a big supporter.  i know he’d highly approve of his son getting back to his creative work.


*CJ’s Angels deserves a blog post of its own, so look for it in the near future.  You can check out their website at CJ’s Angels.  lawrence and i have become very close friends with the Armas family – Jose, Annette, and Theresa.  that friendship led to our business venture:  Arte de Nuestro Corazon.