Kathline Colvin

Women of Resilience Conference 2024 Presentation

“Art Can Heal Your Life: Extraordinary Ordinary Creativity”
By Kathline Colvin, PhD
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, CA – October 24-27, 2024

Although we enjoy and celebrate the talents of highly creative individuals, we must also unravel their mysteries in order to be engaged ourselves in “extraordinary ordinary creativity” and to use art making as a healing tool to enhance our daily lives. Everyone has the ability to engage in ordinary creative pursuits, yet with practice and desire we can train our brains and evolve our skills into “extraordinary ordinary creativity” with talents that bring great personal satisfaction.

It has been suggested that creativity involves reshaping the materials in our lives in new and unexpected ways. So let’s unravel the threads of our own creative brains, and embrace and practice with new materials so we can find a useful balance for living an artful life infused with “extraordinary ordinary creativity” bringing beauty, contentment and happiness.

Past Presentations

Home is Where Your Art Is: Love, Resilience and a Sense of Place

By Kathline Colvin, PhD
Creativity and Madness Conference – August 3, 2023
Santa Fe, NM Convention Center

We have seen how there’s a deep emotional and psychological connection to the place where an artist belongs, and the drive to create is nurtured by the familiar, comfortable surroundings, that an artist’s “sense of place” inspires. Artists belong to their art with a deep sense of self, as the creative product is an extension of the true self. Artists infuse the work with their entire being, and fashion a creative object that somehow mirrors who they are … And Northern New Mexico was just such a place for many extraordinary artists who were deeply inspired by their Northern New Mexico home. 

A “sense of place” can be witnessed when artists feel a longing of belonging towards a special place they are familiar with.  This sense of having that deep connection with their place makes the ‘space’ become a ‘place’ of meaning and connection. 

For most artists, the “studio” is more than one room set aside for work – it is the whole environment where creativity is nurtured. This environment includes homes, gardens and all the places where family and friends gather and interact. And in this presentation we will see how the homes and studios of several famous Northern New Mexico artists were essential catalysts for their creativity.

Creativity and Madness
Featuring “Beverly Sills: Music as the Medicine that Heals”
by Dr. Kathline Colvin

In my Chapter, Beverly Sills: Music as the Medicine that Heals, in Barry M Panter’s Creativity and Madness book we see many examples of how Art healed her through her singing, through that deep engagement with the process called art making. When we focus in on the beauty of the piece, we can lift the blocks that circumvent the creative process.  Feeling oneself “living inside your art” conveys a sense of belonging – you are home and the familiarity of that “sense of place” brings comfort and joy and subsequent creative successes.

Over the past decade research studies have supported the idea that making art is as important to your health as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, sleep, and calming moments such as breathing exercises and meditation.  These studies concur that desirable outcomes include: reduced stress, depression, anxiety, and promotes wide-ranging positive effects on cognitive, emotional and physical well-being which then permits optimal coping strategies for dealing with daily personal and professional challenges.

Enjoy this extraordinary story of how Beverly Sills used music as her Art that Heals.

Beverly Sills: A Lifetime of Resilience with Music as the Medicine that Heals

Operatic soprano Beverly Sills in costume as Sonia in The Merry Widow in 1977.
Beverly Sills as The Merry Widow, San Diego Opera October 1977

By Kathline Colvin, PhD
Creativity and Madness Conference
Santa Fe Convention Center

For Beverly Sills, singing was always a joyous occasion, and her remarkable talent for communicating a great depth of emotion was one of the memorable gifts she bestowed on her audience.  During her performances she crafted a magnetism that drew the listeners in to share her intense dramatic engagement. This was a quality unique to her artistry – she had a special ability to share the very soul of her characters – for hers was a voice of extraordinary beauty.

Kathline Colvin, Alan Titus and Beverly Sills Backstage during the San Diego Opera Production of The Merry Widow, October 1977. Courtesy of the San Diego Opera.
Kathline Colvin, Alan Titus and Beverly Sills in the San Diego Opera Production of The Merry Widow, October 1977. Courtesy of the San Diego Opera.

Beverly also embraced performance as a haven from the painful reality of living with the tragedy of her children’s disabilities. Those who know her story will recall that her daughter was born deaf, and her son with severe developmental delays. She has described her experience of her children’s disabilities as a “kind of shattering that never goes away… a kind of hopelessness that sits on you forever”. Yet she became one of the greatest and most beloved artists of our time.

Kathline Colvin Presenting her Beverly Sills: A Lifetime of Resilience Workshop
Kathline Colvin Presenting at the Creativity and Madness: Women of Resilience Conference – Santa Fe, NM | Photo by Katie Johnson

In this presentation I will explore the powerful influence of art, with music as the medicine that healed and nurtured this resilient artist.  And since I had the great pleasure of having Beverly as a mentor, I witnessed first hand the remarkable resilience of this extraordinary woman. There are special people who come into our lives for a time and leave an indelible mark that forever changes us – my relationship with Beverly was just such a gift. To this day her legacy lives on through me, and through the many others whose lives she touched, and it will be my pleasure to share those experiences and again consider how Art Can Heal Your Life.

Healthy Artists and Mood Disorders: Slaying the Dragons without Killing the Angels – “Art Can Heal Your Life”

Carol Rosenberger And Kathline Colvin
Carol Rosenberger And Kathline Colvin

By Kathline Colvin, PhD 
Creativity and Madness Conference
Santa Fe, NM Convention Center

Artists describe a significant relationship between their moods and their creative process. For this Healthy Artists Presentation we will explored Neuroplasticity, Flow States, Sensory-Processing Sensitivity and Mindfulness Practices as they enhance art making. Pianist Carol Rosenberger shared excerpts from her autobiography To Play Again: A Memoir of Musical Survival, along with musical examples from the piano, illustrating the theme of using art itself as the “medicine” that heals. Carol was stricken with paralytic polio at age 21 and after 15 years of intense retraining she was able to resume her career as a concert pianist. Hers is an example of intense dedication showing us how an artist can “live inside their art”, take daring chances while in a “flow state”, and endure the process of healing to realize an ultimate victory.

Enjoy a sample of Carol Rosenberger’s musical artistry with the final movement of Beethoven’s last masterpiece for the piano: