“How my trait of high sensitivity informs my artwork is something I’ve never thought about before. But I have always had an extreme reaction to things I see that I perceive as beautiful. Whether it’s a beautiful painting by one of my favorite artists, an amazing sunset in Phoenix during the winter, or the way the plants, sky, ocean and lava interact in Hawai’i, I get feelings of excitement, love, curiosity and amazement. In all honesty, my favorite part of going to Hawai’i is, what I call, the “eye candy.”

Vibrant, high contrasting colors give me a zing! Soft colors that blend and unblend calm me. Unusual and unexpected shapes, like a lot of the interesting plants in Arizona, surprise me and make me curious. I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve taken at the edges of parking lots in Hawaii or just walking through a neighborhood in Central Phoenix, when I’m supposed to be exercising. I just have to capture this beauty that most people would never even notice. I know I spend too much time absorbing these scenes through my eyes. It’s almost like I’m listening to a favorite song. I need to experience it for as long as I am enjoying it. And sometimes, replay it over and over if my pause isn’t stopping someone else from moving on to the next thing.

Another thing I can’t explain, but it’s true for me, is that I feel like I process (deeply) things I see and they come out as images in my paintings in unexpected ways. I’ve always thought that if you wanted to see something look like it’s supposed to, you should take a picture. Though I am able to draw and paint realistic images, I really don’t see a point, for me. (Not to say that I don’t love beautiful photographs.) I just wouldn’t be part of the painting. And I do feel like I am part of my paintings. One in particular. Laupahoehoe Point, has lava that is orange and purple. I don’t know why. But it just felt like the thing to do. I didn’t think about it, I felt it. So there you have my very first thoughts about being a Highly Sensitive artist. I am sure there is a lot more to say. Maybe we’ll have a conversation about it sometime!”

Dedra, Painter

Are You An Artist with High Sensitivity?

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