Flowers are a classic accompaniment to many of our lives special moments, but is there more to them than that. Why do we give flowers to someone in the hospital? Why do we have flowers at funerals or weddings? Have you ever wondered these same questions. Well, I did some research and I found some cool evidence.
First of all, research has shown that memory retention and concentration are improved by having natural elements like plants and flowers around us. In the early 2000's studies were conducted at the University of Michigan and showed that the effect of nature in the home and in the workplace served to stimulate both the senses and the mind, improving mental cognition and performance. (Bisco Werner 1996; Brethour 2007; Frank 2003; Pohmer 2008; Serwach 2008; Shibata, 2001, 2004; Yannick 2009)
Now this doesn't surprise me at all. For years I've known that plants within the home can improve our lives by simply cleaning the air if nothing else. So I find it reassuring that they actually improve out mental ability too.
Studies went on to find that flowers can actually help us develop a sense of happiness. This is due to the reduction in people's stress when there are plants around. When people have flowers in their homes they were found to feel happier, less stressed, and more relaxed. Which also means that the stress and experiences of depression in the home are reduced. Flowers can also help you achieve a more positive outlook, by bringing visual pleasure and an increased perception of happiness. (Brethour 2007, Collins 2008, Dunnet 2000, Etcoff 2007, Frank 2003, Haviland-Jones 2005, Hartig 2010, McFarland 2010, Rappe 2005, Waliczek 2000)
Now about flowers being in hospitals. "The presence of plants in hospital recovery rooms and/or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients to heal faster, due to the soothing affects of ornamental horticulture. "(Brethour 2007, Frank 2003, Friend 2008, Lohr 2000, Park, 2009, Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Assn. 2009, Ulrich 1984)
Being around plants can also improve our relationships. This is because of elevated feelings of compassion.
Reduced stress, increased compassion, decrease in depression, better relationships.... wonderful side affects of having plants and flowers in your life.
Having a painting of a flower in your home brings you into the naturally healing realm of horticulture any time of year. No longer are you dependent on the growing season or the cut flowers from the florist.
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If you are interested in where I found these research finding on the affects of flowers and plants you can take a look at it here: Research article link.
When you have an abundance of ideas it's important to put them in some sort or order.
Let me walk you through how I organize myself.
Currently, I have 110 images that I would like to turn into paintings. With each image I place it in a plastic sleeve protector, assign an inventory number and arranged them in order.
When I'm ready to choose new paintings I go to my big book of ideas and pick out some images. Often I choose a theme, like a particular variety of flower, or by the size of canvas. I remove those sleeve protectors from the big book and place them in a smaller, working, binder.
From the smaller binder of work I create a master list documenting the square inch size, the canvas size and the likely time it will take for me to paint that image. Then I go to my calendar and block out the time using post it flags. This really helps me see how many paintings I can get done during a week or a month.
This is so helpful for a couple of reasons.
1. I avoid the over scheduling that was happening before;
2. I stop my self criticism before it gets started.
Before getting organized I would look at what I had accomplished in the month and always feel like I should have done more. Now with the estimated times to complete a painting I can see what is realistically possible. For example, if I'm working 6 hours a day I can complete (1) 6 x 8 painting. That's it.
My self criticism would have me believe that I could get more paintings completed in that time. Not possible.
This might seem like a lot of work and this nerdy artist loves this part. Getting organized feels so grounding.
The other problem I have is that I've collected almost 60 canvases for these paintings. Where do you store them so you aren't tripping all over them?
You store them in your new canvas storage rack on wheels, of course. My husband helped me put this together a couple of weekends ago. Oh my gosh! I was so happy. I think I cried.
As you can see I have various sized all lined up in their cubbies. I can find the sized easily and they are not getting damaged. So happy.
This is what the nuts and bolts of getting organized looks like for me. It feels amazing to have this all in place.
Now I can relax, check my calendar, see the painting that is scheduled, and get down to business. Prior to all this organizing I wasted a lot of time fiddling around, trying to figure out what comes next.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my organizing system.
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