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July 2008

July 2008 -- The Senses

Gallery

Columns

  • Behind the Art:
    Painting the Sphinx
  • Artist Spotlight:
    The Harmonious Work of Warwick Goble (1862-1943)
  • Myths and Symbols:
    From Triumphs to Tarots
  • Wombat Droppings:
    The Essence of Erotica
  • EMG News:
    EMG News for July

    Features

  • Cyberfunded Creativity In Context
  • Senses: Feeding Your Moods and Creativity

    Fiction

  • Poem: A Sense of You
  • Fiction: Eating Words
  • Poem: Senseless

    Comics

  • Tomb of the King: Valley of the Moon, Pt 3
  • Falheria: Senses


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  • Senses: Feeding Your Moods and Creativity
    by Lorna Cowie

    It is a well known fact that different foods can change your mood, but can they also help your creativity? And what about the scent of food and oils? Can you gain an upper hand in becoming a better artist through what some might call 'unconventional' means?

    The answer, for me, is easy. Growing up with parents who are (what the world prefers to call them) 'Witches', I was never in any doubt that learning a healthy and natural way to be creative was the way forward. Powered through many, many, many (about nineteen) years of study/use /listening to mindless ramble of essential oils (aromatherapy is the most common name to phrase it) and 'witch'craft I have found out a few tricks to keep my mind alert and ready for work.

    For some time it has become a joke that women always turn to chocolate at 'that time of the month' and there is a reason for this. Chocolate (especially dark more than 60% cocoa) contains Theobromine, which gives the chocolate a 'mood-lifting' effect. Also, chocolate is often eaten as a treat or even as a naughty secret, so the scent of a good chocolate oil burning in an oil burner can give that feeling of luxury and indulgence, providing an boost to your mental state.

    If you are like me and prefer the best things in your food life, then search out the ultimate chocolate for you. It's worth the money and once you have found it, you will never look back. Chocolate should not be stinted on and should be a delicious treat to keep you feeling better in mind and body. Remember, I said treat!

    Childhood scents should not be ignored. If you have a particular scent from your childhood, then enjoy and exploit it. If you are facing a dauntingly long day ahead, feeling secure in your work area should help balance you and set you n the right path. Find a scent oil that closely relates to your memory and let a few drops land on a tissue and keep that tissue on you. The warmth of your body will give you have the occasional waft of warm fuzzy memories and also it might cause a colleague to ask what that delicious smell is, uplifting your spirit through communication and giving yourself a big ol' smile. (This really shouldn't be done if your childhood scent is something 'different'... like manure or something other people might find offensive.)

    Rose is known for sophistication and is often used to banish fear. Letting the scent of roses wash over you as you work can uplift you and banish any doubts you have about how your work is progressing. Often it reminds people of sunny gardens and that on its own is a useful aid, especially if it is raining and miserable outside. Keeping your spirits high whilst working stops your work becoming depressing or dull.

    If you have a cluttered mind then try a splash of fresh lemon scent or burning oil. Known for its clarity and freshness, lemon can help you think clearly, start afresh or give you motivation in your work. It is also known for helping mental powers; that has to be good for creativity, no?

    Angry and frazzled? Can't get that last piece right? Then simply burn some soft lavender oil or use a spritzer to let the scent float through the room. Lavender is one of the most popular scents for relaxation and calming, and with good reason, too! It has been used for an amazingly long time to help calm and relax and is also associated with inner peace and soothing 'that time of the month'. Its win all the way in my eyes!

    Cinnamon is one of my most favourite scents to use. It stimulates creativity and is an anti-depressant. For me it is also my childhood scent so I get three things thrown into one with this scent! I love cinnamon sticks in bundles hung by a window that gets lots of sun. The sun gently warms the cinnamon sticks and I get a soft waft of my favourite smell through out the house.

    Another thing I love about cinnamon is that it is easy to find and you can add it to your food, both savoury and sweet. I add a sprinkle to a steak before grilling, mix a pinch in with mashed potatoes, add to custard and rice pudding and even a cup of well deserved coffee or tea.

    As you can tell by my ramble above, scents (in my opinion) can help in all manner of ways. Here is a brief on my most used oils to burn and what they can bring you.

    Bergamont is encouraging and also can be used as an anti-depressant scent to keep your mood high and light.

    Use Cedarwood to keep calm and in control and to strengthen your thoughts.

    Eucalyptus can be burned as a stimulant to keep you wide awake and ready to get going.

    Lilac clears and focuses the mind and aids in concentration and mixed with Magnolia it can add purity and the power to push on with your work.

    Dig out some Lemon Verbena (you should have this growing in your garden anyway for use in ice cream, syrups, vodka and on chicken!) and use it to aid your concentration. This one has a lovely juicy lemon smell and also looks great hanging to dry over your work area.

    A few rules about the safety of you and your oil burner. My conscience has made me write this, for there are still people out there who die from the misuse of candles and oil burners in their home and I would not like to hear that one of you lot has burnt your house down after reading this article.

    Never leave an oil burner unattended. If you are leaving the room for any period of time (over 5 minutes) then blow out the candle underneath. It can always be lit again when you come back.

    Never let your oil burner burn dry. This could cause to an explosion of your oil burner or just a nasty smell of burnt oil. Keep it topped up with hot water and oil and it should do you well.

    Never place your oil burner on a surface that can melt. Face the facts, candles get hot and so will your oil burner. Place it on a non-flammable and non-melting surface and do not move it once it is lit and warm. Burns from hot oil, water and wax are not pleasant.

    Keep your burner out of the reach of children and pets. Accidents happen and I would prefer they didn't happen to your children or pets otherwise its a trip down to the A & E or the vet for you and that is not a very creative way to spend your time!

    Be safe and keep safe and retain your inner spiritual calm to create a wonderful work of creativity for you and your home.

    Lorna Cowie is a crazy LARP loving latex sword wielding fantasy portrait artist who prefers to run about in the forest where she can be a 'real' shaman than sit inside on a nice day. She can be found in Deviant Art and, of course, Portrait Adoption. Oh, she is quite old, likes chocolate and has two mice. Go figure.
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