River Dee Designs
Bringing Comfort and Calm of Art into the Healthcare Environment
A clinically-functional setting can be greatly enhanced with soothing pieces of artwork to improve patients’ overall health and well-being.
Patient care within a hospital, medical office or other clinical setting is and always should be a top priority. This may translate to medications, physical therapy, surgeries and the like, all of which are necessary components of quality health care. However, there is also another element that can be an integral part of a patient’s overall health and well-being: artwork.
Studies have shown viewing art can reduce stress and anxiety, and when we are immersed into a clinical setting, those stress and anxiety levels have been known to escalate. Calming pieces of artwork can have a significantly positive effect on those stress levels. In addition to reducing anxiety and fear, it can also serve to inspire and distract. When looking at a piece of artwork, it can bring to the surface a wave of emotions and invite the viewers to use their imaginations.
Artwork is not just a luxury. In fact, it is quite advantageous for healthcare facilities to invest in this modality, most notably because of its potential healing powers. Exposure to creative expression such as pieces of art have been shown to help patients overcome pain and help them on the road to healing and recovery. Hanging beautiful and unique pieces of art in and around a health care environment can make patients feel relaxed and at home. It also tells patients that those who work there have greater compassion for their well-being.
Catharine Deever is one local artist with a deep appreciation for how art can soothe the soul and provide a space of calm, comfort and encouragement. Deever founded her company, River Dee Designs, in late 2017. Deever’s prior career was in the field of education, where she was a public school classroom teacher from 1977-1981. From there she transitioned to corporate positions in Industrial Training and Marketing. In 1990 she became Executive Director of a couple of non-profit organizations and subsequently worked in executive sales positions until she decided to hang up those professional hats.
When she crossed the threshold into retirement, Deever knew she still had so much more to offer through her talents and experiences. Describing herself as a digital artist, Deever has acquired her skills on the job and adapted them over the years as workplace technologies continually improved. Deever earned an M.A. in Communications from Pittsburgh State University and noted her work developed from the “muscle memory” of the talented individuals who taught her “on the job” and the life experiences of trial and error.
“My purpose is to color environments with comfort and lines of inspiration where people live and work,” she noted.
The tools of her trade are not the typical brushes, paints and palettes expected of an artist. Instead, Deever relies on pixels to create her stunning and breath-taking images.
“All of my images begin with a photograph, one I have taken personally or by a family member who collaborates with me,” Deever explained. “Then, I transform the photographs into something new by blending software support from Adobe and Corel. The blending includes overlaying images onto one another, morphing colors, applying filters and painting effects.”
Deever takes great pride and care in delivering exceptional works of art. Her work not only comes from her hands and her mind, but also from her heart.
“The images created under my name are, at times, collaborative and are fulfilled by the care and concerns I have for those I serve, and for those who have come before me,” she reflected.
Because client satisfaction in her work depends upon quality printing as well as framing and installation, Deever feels she owes a debt of gratitude to many people who have supported her throughout her endeavors. As such, she offers sincere praise to AC Printing and Leawood Fine Art and Framing. Deever understands one cannot thank enough people, and this includes not only the support and talent contributions of her family, but also the services provided by numerous fine businesses with whom she partners to provide the final product.
“AC Printing is the first sounding board on the quality of my/our work and Leawood Fine Art and Framing is a provider I recommend for clients that want their artwork to receive quality care,” noted Deever.
Deever’s talents are not only appreciated by her clients. Her work has captured the hearts and minds of many through the various competitions in which she has participated. The highest honor to date which she has received is the Maryland Federation of Art awards, Second Place (out of 307 entries) given to her image “Strive Forward,” which was featured in the #WOMAN Online Exhibition and awarded the honor by juror Lynn Russell of the National Gallery of Art.
Additionally, Deever has been recognized by Lens Culture, an organization with an audience of three million subscribers of photographers and professionals in related careers representing 160 countries. In a review from an international photographic expert affiliated with Lens Culture, Deever received notable accolades, noting her abilities to dive into “compositional color layering in a natural manner while also noting Deever has a “firm and confident grasp of the medium and the direction(s) (she) has been developing.”
A compassionate artist to the core, Deever is not only exceptionally talented, but equally inspirational. She defers to the famed quote of Maya Angelou to speak what her heart reflects.
“People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“That is why the purpose of my work is to create art that comforts and encourages clients in their homes and offices, to dream and conquer every day,” reflected Deever. “Thank you for allowing me (and through me, my family) to present our work to you. This opportunity allows me to share our work’s purpose and (also) the point of view that artistic creation begins with the focus on the clients it will benefit.”
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