Picture yourself standing on the shores of a vast ocean. Feel the sand between your toes. Smell the salty air as you breathe in. Hear the hush of each wave as the cool water rolls over your feet. See the reflection of the sun majestically painting its rays onto the surface, a palette of blues and greens swirling together in front of you…

 

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Even though now my life is as peaceful as it can be, my days are filled with creativity, calm joy and happiness, there was a time when my hands were literally shaking from stress from the moment I woke up to the very late night when sleeping pills could finally nock me down to a couple of hours of shallow nightmarish sleep.

6 a.m. in the morning, time to get ready for classes :) My dorm table, Vinnitsa National Pirogov Memorial Medical University , 2007

6 a.m. in the morning, time to get ready for classes :)

My dorm table, Vinnitsa National Pirogov Memorial Medical University , 2007

Not too long ago, I was finishing up eight years of medical training in my home country – Ukraine.

I spent my evenings studying for exams and completing assignments, then instead of turning out the light, I would set up my easel and spend the rest of the night painting. Sometimes until 6am. I’d always wanted to be an artist: medical school was the sensible thing to do, but I loved to paint. Art was my calling and I believe that creativity is the ultimate form of expression.

 

A STRANGER IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY

See ya in 2 years, my beautiful Ukraine..

See ya in 2 years, my beautiful Ukraine..

When I met my husband, Todd, I found in him a source of strength and inspiration.  He encouraged me to follow my heart and become an artist.

Soon after, we moved to the United States, leaving my family, friends and medical career behind.

I was newly married, living in a new city, in a new house, surrounded by strangers whose language was not my own and I found myself overly stressed and anxious.

 

Author unknown

Author unknown

Then war broke out in my home country. Suddenly, I found myself an ocean and half a continent away from the people I loved, unable to help them.

I became obsessed – calling my mom and my sister relentlessly to check on them.  I lost my appetite. I couldn’t sleep and my mind was in a constant state of turmoil. That was easily the most stressful time of my life, and I didn't see the end to it back then.

 

A Different Form of Medicine

"No War", oil on canvas

It was during this time that I started taking daily walks on the beach, watching the sun rise above the water. 

I watched the ocean’s steady movement in and out, the glittering light dancing on the surface, the tiny rainbows reflecting off the sand – lulling me into a peace that I’d never experienced before.

I set out to capture this beauty on canvas. The result was a painting I call No War.

 

"No War", oil on canvas, 37.5"x42"

Then something astonishing happened: every time I looked at the completed painting, I experienced the same calm and tranquility I would feel while standing on the beach.

The painting was just as effective of calming me as the actual ocean.

Through additional research, I discovered that there was a growing interest in the calming effects of fractal patterns among scientists. You can read more about the science behind fractals here.

A Healing Environment

Since then, I’ve developed a painting style to highlight these naturally occurring patterns and colors on canvas. Each painting is specifically design to maximize the calming effects of shapes, colors and scenery.

These paintings have been a daily source of relief and comfort to me, and others, over the years. Now you can experience the calming effect of the ocean and the healing power of fractals in your home or office by ordering an original painting (a one-of-a-kind oil on canvas), or print reproduction

Every time you look at your piece of art at your home or office, I invite you to take a deep breath and feel how your whole body is getting a little more relaxed and your mind more peaceful. Over time the calm feeling will become stronger and will last for longer. And maybe one day you will become immune to the harming effects of every day stresses all together!