Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Art Become Therapy for My life

by Marilyn Redmond

Candy was a real dog that belonged to my friend. I usually was not taken with dogs, but Candy seemed special and unique. One afternoon as she sat in the front of my friend’s truck, I took several pictures.

Rin Tin Tin by Marilyn Redmond

My art teacher had wanted me to attend a particular art retreat where I would learn to paint with pastels. I had been hesitant about a new medium. Finally, I agreed to take the class at a woodsy resort in the mountains of Oregon. For my first pictures, I painted an owl, a rhododendron, an angel, and Candy.

Surprisingly, the other artists liked my paintings and they offered to buy them. Several people immediately saw Candy and wanted to buy it on the spot. This opportunity, however, gave me confidence I never had before. Not only did I find pastels great for animal and people portraits but also I take pleasure in using them.

I found pastels very therapeutic for me. When I am in an art mode, the pictures seem to paint themselves, easily. They are more forgiving then watercolor. I found great satisfaction in painting animal pictures including my own cat, Angelica. Many people have requested commissions of their animals from me. The owner of Rin Tin Tin requested a painting for a big fundraising gala.

There is something about painting their eyes that is magical, like they come alive on the paper. Their spirit seems to take over the picture. Candy is now passed, and it is as if she is still with me. This is most comforting to me. My cat has passed and her painting is over my fireplace, where we sat each evening together. I feel her with me for company, nightly.

The healing from painting and the energy from the painting for me is astonishing like a meditation.  It lifts my emotional state and fills me. This opportunity for painting animals and other subjects with pastels has emotionally opened a new door for me. It brings me self-assurance, and that people appreciate my efforts of a lasting memory of their loved pet.

About the Author

Marilyn Redmond won a citywide art contest as a child and found art again in college. It was not until she went to the Great Barrier Reef and wanted to paint the wonders under the water that she really took art seriously. She illustrates all her own books. Her art has sold in stores, from commissions, and from her website Marilyn Redmond’s angel portraits were featured in a two-page spread in a national tabloid for Christmas a few years ago. Join Marilyn on her blog or contact her at

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