The Healing Power of Art

Watercolor artist Larry Lombardo reveals how traumatic moments have impacted his art and helped him heal.

“As artists, we see life differently than others,” he says. “There are moments we capture in our head that sometimes just won’t go away. For me, it is a healing process to express those moments in paintings.

“In this video, I share the story behind Hopefully Helping Haiti. While doing some volunteer work in the country, I was struck by a particular encounter. Luckily, I had my camera on me so I was able to capture the moment. I spent about a month brainstorming ideas and making sketches before I was ready to paint.

“No matter how well we live life or how many good decisions we make, there are always circumstances or people who can turn our lives upside down. After going through a particularly tough time, my family and I decided we needed to stop looking back; we needed to let go so that we could move forward. This was easy to say but hard to do. I wanted to make a painting I could look at daily to remind me to let go. I thought about what images would convey that sentiment. After I finalized my idea in a sketch, I bought a sky lantern/Chinese Lantern and had my daughter model for me. This painting brought a lot of healing for us, and I had many others who purchased prints to serve as their reminders as well.

“Letting Go” (watercolor)
Make Art a Healing Experience

“If you find yourself struggling with a difficult emotion or experience, put your feelings into a painting. Don’t be afraid. You are painting for you; don’t think about how others will respond to the painting. Take your time and do many small sketches of what you want the artwork to say or feel. At this point, don’t put any rules or restrictions on your explorations.This is about you and the feeling or moment you are trying to convey. It’s part of the healing process. Once you have hit upon the idea and sketch that embody your feelings, it’s time to paint.”

Larry Lombardo is a watercolor artist who resides in Central Pennsylvania. He is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society and a member of the International Guild of Realism. His art has won numerous International awards including several best of show awards. Larry Lombardo’s watercolor paintings have been published in magazines, books and seen on TV programs. Lombardo has been on the board of many art organizations. He enjoys teaching his unique watercolor style throughout the United States. Lombardo is best known for painting human culture in a unique realism style which miraculously brings his figures to life.

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  1. Larry, your video is very emotional. What a challenge to do service for others yet realize your limitations as the children watched you eat. Your painting tells a powerful story. Also found your painting “Letting go” meaningful and relatable.


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