Learn how animals are helping to relieve people's mental and physical ailments.
Do you suffer from depression? Or are physical ailments getting you down? My advice for you: get a pet.
Animals are succeeding where psychiatrists are not. What is their secret? It's certainly not drugs, or long couches. It is, rather, their nature, their warm, open, selfless nature. Now pets are showing up as key players in nursing homes and institutions for homeless or retarded children.
Doctors are realising why animals are accomplishing so much. The problem with people in similar institutions is that they are in isolation. Many have lost their sense of responsibility. So having a pet to care and nurture is ideal for these people. For instance, dogs give unconditional love. They ask for attention, and when they have got that, they shower you with love and affection. This can make a lonely person feel loved and wanted.
Still, many psychiatrists are skeptical about this new form of treatment. Many feel that all animals can do is help a person to open up and communicate. But they do not cure patients. So in a lot of cases seeking professional help is still recommended. Some psychiatrists use cats and dogs as co-therapists and this seems to be bringing in good results.
In America there is a maximum security hospital for the criminally insane which uses small animals in a pet-therapy program. Birds, fish, gerbils and guinea pigs are the most common animals used. Here are some examples:
A patient did not talk for around four months. The staff decided to give him a pet cockatiel. At night, the bird slept in a cage by his bed. During the day it would sit perched on his shoulder. He started to talk to the bird, and two months after receiving his pet, he started talking with people.
Something similar happened to a suicidal patient serving time for armed robbery. He too was given a bird to care for. His uncooperative, antisocial behaviour changed. He said his problem was that he had never felt compassion. His pet bird help him gain this quality. He is now a student of ornithology & when he was released he encouraged other institutions to use animal therapy programs.
Boys from the age of 7 to 18 years were sent to a certain boys home by court order. Some had never had a real home, some were abused by parents, some were mentally retarded, and others were sent by state reformatories. This home had one other special member- a cat named Tiger. This cat helped transform once very wild & uncontrollable youths into calm & trusting boys.
Children who have been hardened by a cruel outside world, know that a dog or a cat that approaches them for affection doesn't have some sinister ulterior motive. Thus, in a children's psychiatric hospital in Maryland a dog named Skeezer can be seen wandering freely between the wards offering affection to the children. The kids know that they won't be rejected ? they can, therefore, feel safe to show their emotions to the animal. This is a crucial step on the road to recovery.
Studies have also shown that having a pet leads to some very real physical benefits. For instance people who have pets generally have a lower blood pressure level. It has even been stated by medical experts that a heart patient's chances of survival increases by three times if he has a pet. When a person calms a pet, the heart rate of both of them falls. A study conducted by the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore in 1993 showed that heart patients with pets had a much better chance of survival after they left the hospital than those patients who did not have pets. Of 92 patients, one year after release 11 of the 39 without pets had died, whereas just 3 of the 59 with pets had died.
A pet can also fill a lonely void for older persons. As their own children get older, such persons can feel more and more that they are a burden and, worse, that they have been abandoned by their loved ones. The sad result is often depression. A pet can, though, help to fill the gap left in the live's of the elderly.
Pets, then, can be wonderful aids in helping people through difficult times. They should never, though, replace professional assistance. Use the two together for best results.
Some basic guidlines and suggests a logical, step-by-step process to colour mixing.
In order to understand color in painting one first has to have a basic knowledge of color theory. The retina of the eye receives input from objects outside. Sensitive cones in the eye translate these sensations form the outside. These cones in the retina respond the wavelengths of light and "decode" or translate these signals in terms of color to the brain. A tree appears green because the cone in the retina responds to the light energy and this overrides the other cones. Because of this process, and due to that fact that the signals to the brain determine the color of an object, we could say that things in themselves do not have color. If this is the case then there can be no objective colors. The point is that seeing color is a personal and individualistic experience. The process of being an artist is making yourself aware of color and this awareness can only be achieved through training and practice.
A first experiment in color: complementary colors
One of the most important aspects of color in painting is to understand complementary colors. Complementary colors are opposite colors and are very important when mixing colors for painting. Green and red are complementary colors. They are opposites in the sense that they are diagonally opposed in the color wheel. This means, practically, that they tend to react against each other if put side by side.
Try this exercise as a first experiment in color. Paint a red rectangle on a piece of paper. Once this is dry, paint a smaller green block in the center of the red rectangle. Take another piece of paper and paint a blue rectangle and then a green block in the middle of the blue rectangle. Place the two pieces of paper side by side and step back to look at them You should notice that the green block placed against the red background is far sharper and more predominant than the same size green block against the blue backgrounds. This is due to the fact that the green block was painted directly over its complementary color. Complementary colors contrast and therefore tend to complement or "show up" each other. This knowledge will come in good stead when painting a landscape or a human face. The purpose of this experiment is also to emphasize that the mastery of color requires study and practice.
Complementary colors also have another painting advantage. Try the following experiment. Place equal amounts of red and green paint next to each other on a tray or palette. Take a palette knife and begin mixing the two colors in the center of the tray or palette. You will notice that the mixture turns darker and muddier the more the colors are mixed. This is an important principle in using color. Commentary colors contrast and tend to produce gray tones or variations of the original colors that are darker. There are many tonal variations of colors in nature and mixing complementary colors can produce these different tonal ranges. Here is another experiment to try out for yourself.
Paint a tree in nature or from a picture. As you begin to work on the green leaves, you will soon begin to notice that there are various differences in the tone of the green. Some greens are lighter and some darker and some purplish. Mixing the original green with complementary and similar colors creates these variations. Variations of green, for example, can be made with a mixture of red. Shadows and purple tones can be made in this way; and if green and red are mixed in equal parts, a nearly black color will be produced, which is perfect for dark shadows. A note on this aspect is important there. Instead of using ordinary black for your shadows, you should mix the colors that you are using with their complementary colors to create a deep black. For example, by mixing the green with the reds you will eventually create a deep black which will have the advantage of having elements of both the original colors, and so create a shadow area which is much more realistic.
All that you need to know about color.
The basics of color are disarmingly simple. You will, however, find that working with color is a lifelong and complex practice.
Primary and secondary colors: Primary colors are basic colors that cannot be mixed from any other colors. These colors simply exist by themselves
The primary colors are: red, yellow and blue Secondary colors are those colors formed by mixing any two of the primaries together. Secondary colors are: Red and blue mixed creates purple. / Read and Yellow mixed together creates orange. / Yellow and blue create a green.
If one mixes all three primary colors together the result will be a neutral brown-gray. The rule with regard to determining complementary colors is that it is the primary color not used in the mixing of any secondary color is its complement. For example, mixing yellow and red creates orange; the primary color that is missing here is blue. Therefore the complementary color of orange will be blue.
There are numerous theoretical rule that can be cited about color. The artistic truth is that none of these rules will truly teach you about color and color mixing. The following is a far more practical method of learning about color.
Once you have understood the basics of color theory and how complementary colors are produced, then begin with the following procedure.
Take some paper and begin creating swatches of color. The paper you use will depend on the medium in which you are workingin. For example, if you are working in oil, then use paper that has been prepared for oil painting. Alternatively, coat the paper with a layer of acrylic paint. You can also, of course, paint on a prepared canvas surface, but this may prove to be somewhat expensive. If you are working in acrylic, then any paper will do.
Begin experiencing with mixture of primary colors. In other words, mix red with blue, and red with yellow to produce a range of different hues and tones. The key word here is experimentation. Taking one color at a time, experiment with mixtures of other colors and find a range of possible variations within that color. For example, if you start with red, then mix blue and create swatches of different gradations of blue and red. Move onto red and yellow and create swatches of different degrees of orange. Once you have worked your way through he primary colors you can begin creating variations on the complementary colors. The entire purpose of this process is to train your eye to the endless variations within the three basic primary colors. Keep these swatches or place them where they will be visible while you paint. Add to these swatches as you work on your paintings, and use them as a reference point when searching for as special tone or color.
Remember that working with color must be essentially intuitive. Applying rules will not be sufficient. Color is most of all about awareness and perception. Study the colors around you. Study and sketch the objects that are commonplace in your home and garden. The purpose of this is to begin to actually see color. This is something that many people think they do, but very few actually achieve.
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