Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Art Therapy Renewal in the Redwoods- Connecting with the Tribe

This past weekend I went to the Northern Calif. Art therapy Assn. gathering in Redwood Valley in Mendocino, to connect, network and gather to do a workshop at art therapist Linda Chapman's wonderful studio, Art Therapy Institute of the Redwoods.

Her studio space is an inspiration, and the setting is exquisite.  Linda facilitated us in collaborative Eco Art Workshop, making collaborative art with recycled materials.  More than anything else we had fun.  We had to create a collaborative piece which was either a character or an invention that had a purpose.

For me the experience of playing with art with others in my art therapy tribe and networking was the highlight of the day and quite invigorating...So Here are some photos of the day.

old computer keys...what fun to incorporate into an art piece

This piece is a playful expression of the source of creative energy that art therapists draw from, or as Christi defined as the Art Therapist.
The beginnings of a piece made from recycled braille books.

The Amazing and Wonderful Art VARk

It purpose is to only speak in positive, life affirming statements. 

The Art Vark  was made by covering a cardboard box with many plastic bags, covering them over with masking tape and other recycled paper products to give form and substance to the body.  

Gathering with this group made me rethink going to the AATA conference which will be held in
Sacramento this year.  
Plus the drive up into Mendocino county was so, lovely.  Ciao

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Playing with Paint

My process:   I always try to make use of the paints that my clients and group participants leave on their palettes.  I hate to waste acrylic paint.  I have had a few canvases that I keep undercoating with left over paint.  The other evening after a young girl I work with left, I started dabbing away at the canvas with her left over colors.   This painting is what emerged.  I like it.  I had fun without attachment and the entire process made me happy.  I had so much fun with this piece that I moved to another canvas.
( both of these are 10"x10 by the way)

This time I took off in another direction, using a stencil and working around it with color, line and letters.

Now I am thinking about going back to the first one and adding the word Inspire in painted cursive.  What do you think?   I always love to play with words that have meaning for me.  If anyone is reading this post and has an opinion let me know.

I actually haven't painted with acrylic in quite a while, other than to do backgrounds for collage pages in my journals, but I had so much fun on these canvases, that I might do more.  Once again the appeal is in the play not so much the product, but when I like what happens, it makes me happy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Geography of the Soul Encaustic painting...

I thought that I would post this painting today.  This is the encaustic painting that I have been working on for a while in stops and starts.  My creative process moves in such a left brain way, but I have to trust the process, so this was in limbo for a while and then wallah...I came back to it.

It has changed a bit since I first began.  I think it is complete  but I am open to responses.  I have lost most of the map that is embeded under neath the images collaged into the beeswax, but it still feels like a personal journey map to me.  Traveling over the safe waters of my life towards my home in the heart.

If I had done something like this in years past, their might have been many more troubled waters, but these days, it doesn't feel like that.  I love getting the feedback of my souls state though my art.

I hope to post more here again in the near future.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Digging In...Trusting the Process

Digging in, excavating down to the heart of the matter, revealing the layers underneath, allows me to  find respite from the issues and problems on the surface  of life, as I dig in.  Sometimes when I am doing art, creating an image story, I feel like I am digging into the depths of my soul.  I work creatively in many media, but nothing seems to go  as deep as when I work in encaustic.

The nature of this media is perfect for digging in.  Tactile, and dimensional, it calls to the fingertips and aches to be touched.  After painting  and fusing  several layers of encaustic paint, the thickness of the texture of the beeswax begins to coalesce into  mountains and valleys of colored forms.  By digging into the wax, the layer just under the surface is revealed.  Light reveals dark, darkness exposes light.  A little like the soul of therapy, there is an opportunity to uncover the facade that is pervasive and brings something and hidden and new to the light of day.

When I participate in this type of excavating, I fantasize that I am on a journey through time, going back to an ancient  land, old and mysterious,  like the walls of a fresco painting, doing into the ocean of memories of ancient patterns of expression.  Making simple marks, crosses, spirals, repeated patterns of triangles, I touch into a part of my being more in touch with my instincts more open to patterns, that when repeated and combined in new ways, is in sync with a long, lost lineage.

So digging implies a process of commitment to a process.  Taking the time to go as deep as possible with out fear of failure, just following the thread of thought and experience as it reveals itself through the process.  Trusting the process, and hence trusting life.  Trusting my life.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Inspiration Monday - A Reminder : Why We Create- Take the Time to Make Art!

Today is a good day for a little inspiration, a reminder of how important it is for us to take the time to create, not for product but for how the experience of art making transforms us in unknown and known ways.  
So I am sharing this wonderful video  that reminds us why it is so important and powerful to create.

I tried to embed it here but, somehow that didn't work so here it the link.  Take the time to watch it, or rather make the time to watch it.  
Even if you already know why creativity heals and is powerful, this wonderful U-Tube video says it so eloquently and clearly.  It is a reminder for Monday!..Enjoy!

Click on the green link below, (that says why we make art!)