Tag Archives: creativity

New art journals

I realized earlier today I forgot to post the journal class project… didn’t end up doing what I had intended, but it’s OK. The art has a life of its own. It’s not totally finished, but this is as far as I got (and I’m not sure what else it needs)…

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I was originally going to do “my 5 strengths” but I ended up putting the guy in the corner. It felt appropriate to flick him off the page. Then I accidentally smudged it, and it looked like he was being rained on from the umbrella… I guess he represents the things I need to get rid of this year (or try to: depression, hopelessness, fear, ptsd, self harm, suicidal ideation, flashbacks)… still unsure what else to put in this piece, but it’s got meaning (and again the darkest subject matter in class). Whatever, right?

Two nights ago, I finished this piece. The background was done one night, the words two nights later… more lyrics that mean something (words fail you by Kris Delmhorst)… words often fail me, but images can be more reliable.

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It also did not turn out exactly how I had intended, but close enough. I may add to it at some point, but I’m not sure I want to. The original layer is torn pages from APA’S journal of psychotherapy. Fitting that words and neat categories are covered by the darkness. Sometimes there are highlights, but the tiles holding the words are falling… because words fail sometimes.

Heard Kat Dahlia‘s “gangsta” again on a show tonight. I know I had noted liking her music when I heard it somewhere else, but I had lost the Shazam tag before I could find the song. Got it again tonight and proceeded to download the song. I guess her album is not available in the us till Tuesday… I like what I’ve heard so far. I’ll probably get the album when it comes out. She kinda reminds me of a cross between Angel Haze and Kat Von Dee… and she used a rainstorm in this song… worth checking out.

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2014 100-Theme Challenge #46 & #47 (WIP)

I’ve been trying to catch up on my theme challenges lately. I also saw (again) the art therapy prompt to make a mask representing what you show to the world, and what goes on inside (similar to last year’s “inside-out box”). I liked the idea of the duality, but didn’t want to do an actual mask. I decided instead to do a single piece with a face split down the middle (combining two of the 2014 theme challenges: #46 – to the world & #47 – on the inside).

wpid-20140920_232157.jpgI tried to sketch out the basics first. I kinda like the way the right side came out (the “inside”), though I still need to work on my color-shading skills and painting skills in general for faces. I can get more inanimate objects painted well, but facial features elude me… Anyway, I wanted to make the inside kinda gross and zombie-ish, because it’s how I feel most of the time (and pretty much always like that deep-down). I would have prefered a more realistic look to it, but I’m going to say it’s ok because my painting skills have never been on par with my drawing skills (back when I could draw better). I added the words around the image to convey more specifically my inner dialogue… Needless to say, my self-esteem is below pond-scum most of the time (though with my continued practice of art, it’s growing a bit at least around my artwork).

to the world; on the inside IP)I wasn’t sure what to do with the left side. I thought of trying a painting of a happy face with a happy, confident, and calming image in the silhouette and then marker in the features, but I couldn’t decide on an image I wanted to use that would convey all the stuff I project.  I remembered I had found some cool “inspirational” tissue paper on clearance at the store the other day and had yet to find an art application for it. I tried that for the bg of the “outside” half of the face. I forgot tissue paper gets pretty transparent when glued, so the words are sadly not easily read (had to use multiple layers and over-lapping pieces). I have yet to decide how to do the rest fo the face… There will be positive words around that head, ones that represent all the stuff I display to the world so they don’t see what’s really there.


asking to slow things down & therapy coupons!

I was able to leave TL a message earlier today asking her if we could slow down a bit. I was able to express that I am really triggered and overwhelmed between sessions, and that it is making me question returning each week… :gulp!:

I am in the process of trying to come up with a new list of things to talk about for this week’s session. Closer to session time, I will leave her another message asking if she could help remind me to address the list (I forgot to ask her in the above message, and I don’t want to go over-board with the message thing just yet. I’m sure I will get there eventually, but for now I am exercising self-control)…

On another note, an online friend and I have agreed to exchange “therapy coupons”. They are aimed at helping make sessions go a bit easier, or at helping us address difficult things. I had sent mine out last week, and this week I got the ones my friend sent. I LOVE them!!!!

wpid-20140915_171445.jpgShe made me: 1) An Ounce of Patience (lol, for when I will be trying TL’s last nerve!), 2) One moment of Inspiration (therapeutic or otherwise), 3) Courage for Two (that 20 seconds of insane courage to start on something difficult to address), 4) A Daring Intervention (accepting an unusual or uncomfortable intervention that TL may suggest, within reason), & 5) One Free Trespass (to help when talking about difficult, shameful, scary, embarrassing, hurtful, or otherwise “inaccessible” topics).

wpid-wp-1410839089008.jpegThese are the ones I made her: 1) A Moment of Inspiration, 2) A Daring Intervention, 3) An Ounce of Patience, 4) Courage for Two.

Most of them are meant to be re-used multiple times (some have restrictions around use, but the user can modify that if they choose… though my friend disagrees on that point. I just don’t want to have to throw the ones I was given out because they are way too cool to be disposable). I’m definitely taking the ones I got in to show TL on Saturday.


On creativity

I’ve had many an argument with people about creativity, and whether or not they are “creative”. This editorial is a nice back-up to my argument that everyone is creative in their own way, they just need to foster it. (To tie this in to mental health, you were very creative in your strategies to deal with your symptoms before you “knew” what you should or should not be doing. While you may not have ended up with the healthiest coping skills, you ended up with something that helped you survive but that you were not outright taught. This is creativity)…

Get out there! Be creative with art or technology or fashion or writing or games or play or building or whatever, but give your creative side an outlet.

Much love to you all. (And let me know what you create!)


art journal workshop #2 – “I’m still learning”

It’s actually workshop #6 being offered by this teacher, but it’s the second I have been to.  I am totally loving these!!! The teacher used the phrase “take a deep breath”, but allowed us to pick our own if we wanted.  Since I already have more than one page on breathing, I thought I would try something different.  I went through some inspirational images I had on my phone and found the phrase “I’m still learning”.  I thought it was appropriate enough.

wpid-20140807_192302.jpgWe started by decopaging colorful paper onto our pages.  The instructions were to use one or two colors to make the choice of a top color easier.  Me being me, and being on my black/white/grey kick of late, I chose to do clumps of all sorts of colors for this part. I happened to pick paper that was too thick (closer to cardstock than regular paper), so I needed more gel medium to get it to stick.  Looking back, I would recommend using thinner paper so the gel medium can dry properly before you move on to the next step.

wpid-img_20140807_212721.jpgAfter that first layer, we were given our phrases cut out in vinyl lettering (you can also do this free-hand using masking, but make sure your gel layer is completely dry either way or you will pull it up when you take the letters off). We arranged the phrases on our background, then carefully painted a thin layer of gesso over it to help with depth and texture.  Over the gesso, we added our foreground colors.  Like I said earlier, I am on a black/white/grey kick, so I blended those over my letters.  Before the  layer of paint was allowed to dry, we peeled off the letters revealing the colors of the background (easier with the vinyl than with masking I am assuming, though could be accomplished with the masking if you are careful enough). We then dried the paint layer, and added details. I don’t have more in-between photos, but the final product came out pretty cool I think… (I know the teacher took more pics, but she has not put them up yet. I will keep checking back on the meetup page to see if I can find more progress shots, and maybe even examples that followed the instructions properly ;))

I kept the vinyl lettering to use for another project down the line. I think that, if yesterday’s record-reading taught me anything, it was that I am most certainly still learning.

Also, I really want to get my hands on a cricut machine.  While I like the freedom of doing things free-hand, sometimes it’s nice to have something make life a bit easier…


our beautiful brain – the altered book

very cool idea. I think we have to try this L…

Where I Stand

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What you will need:

– A Hard Cover Book to alter – if you don’t have one -Thrift Stores often have hard cover books for a dollar or less.

– Something to stick things down with – I use all types of things when gluing, Mod Podge, White Glue, Double Stick Adhesive, you can use whatever works for you.

– Mod Podge to seal your Masterpiece

– Acrylic paints, colored pencils, crayons, pastels, markers, and pens to doodle with and to add color

– Anything that you would like to use to collage – virtually almost anything can be used in a collage. My favorites are pictures from old books, vintage jewelry, and patterned textured paper.

How it works:

An altered book is an artist-made book recycled and modified into something new in appearance, and meaning. An altered book offers a long-term art-making process for healing. Altered books can be…

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Friday

I’m not quite sure what happened in session with De on Friday. She talked a lot. I colored a drawing I had done in my Wreck This Journal. I know she recognized something was up because at the end of session she asked what kind of space I was in. She wanted to know if I was more or less triggered than the beginning. I really didn’t figure out I was spacing until she asked about it. She wanted to see what I was coloring, and I didn’t want to show her at that moment. I rarely have issues showing her what I’m doing, but I guess I didn’t want to let her in right then. It was too raw, too close to the moment, too vulnerable. It was the only time she has ever leaned in without permission and I recoiled when she did that. She sat back and changed the topic. I changed what I was coloring. She then asked if she could see it later on, but I wasn’t sure.  After session, I wish she had asked to see it again. I would have shown her (I was removed enough from it by that time). I don’t really remember what else we talked about though (she talked about, I colored quietly for the most part I think. I don’t remember talking much). I think she validated my statement that I was in a weird space all week.  I think she was trying to have me be ok with it. I kinda wish she had asked more and talked less. I think I might have gotten someplace with stuff if she did that. I think she asked if I had made space to cry, but when I said no, she just launched into it being an important release and that I should try to make space for it. She acknowledged that it was difficult to do at home, blah, blah, blah… if she had left silence and space in session, I probably would have gotten around to it there, but it didn’t happen.
She talked more. I know there were points where I slowed in my coloring, and I just started doing very small lines of color, very controlled, but I don’t remember what she was talking at me about at that moment. I just made mental note that my coloring style changed. I don’t think she paused, though she might have asked me questions then, I really don’t remember. I guess I was pretty checked-out. I think this is the first time I regretted coloring during session. It was easier to check out, and she didn’t figure out what it was that I needed to talk about (I certainly have no memory of it now). I know there were a few points where I just couldn’t say anything because the only words that made it remotely close to my mouth were nowhere near the meaning I was looking for, so I didn’t say them. I wanted to, but the words were all wrong for my meaning. I think we had been talking about being kind to myself and my body. I wanted to tell her that my concept and her concept of being kind are very different, but I didn’t know how to explain that. I couldn’t bring voice to the idea that hurt is kindness in my messed up little brain. Cutting is kindness. Being put into uncomfortable situations is kindness. Being forced into things is kindness. Pain is kindness. I didn’t know how to explain that, in that very moment, as much as I should know better, I couldn’t see beyond that line of thinking. I didn’t think I could handle her challenges to it at the time, so I stayed quiet. I tried to voice it a few times, but silence prevailed and all I could repeat was mumbled, half-uttered “I don’t know.” She continued talking on at me for most of the session. I know she had asked something about small steps towards something or other, but again, I’m not really sure what she was talking about. I knew at the time in that I understood her words, but I didn’t retain it past nodding at what she had said. There was also something about not necessarily getting to everything in the time we have left working together, but that we could at least get to something. Again, I didn’t retain what that something was.

It’s so frustrating not to remember. It happens more often then not again. It frustrates everyone around me, not only myself…

I think she also tried to point out the progress I had made, but I disagreed with her assessment. She said I’m better at communicating a lot more to her through writing. She said we got through a bunch of stuff, and she said my coping is much better than it had been when I first started seeing her. I know I was in a really bad space at the time, but I don’t see my progress in such leaps and bounds. I think it’s because I know I’ve pulled back into myself a lot including with her. My walls are up for everything and everyone. The thinking hasn’t really changed, but my presentation has. A huge fear of external consequences coupled with a lack of available help has me stuffing a lot. I guess I use art a ton more lately, so I guess that’s progress. But it doesn’t feel that big inside. It feels like I’m holding my breath with everything because I have to. Care down here sucks. Networking help sucks. There’s no additional support, so my survival instinct has kicked in. Falling apart is not an option unless I’m ok with falling completely to pieces and losing all hope of freedom or any right to have a say in my treatment. Fear and having no choice but to do stuff on my own forces that old thinking to kick in again. I can’t rely on anyone but myself. I guess that’s a good thing…

I really want to do some more graphic art, but I’m afraid it would be a trigger rather than a release at this time. So I’m sticking to tame subjects. And I’m just sitting here staring at the page with no results. Maybe tomorrow I can collage or something to get some of this out. It’s there under the surface. It has been for a few weeks, but I have not been able to safely look at it and get it onto paper.

I really wish we would have talked about that drawing this week. I know she is not a mind reader, but at the same time I didn’t know how to ask her to talk about it. I didn’t know how to start, or what to say, or even how to ask her to ask about it and push the subject. Sometimes it sucks when therapists take the safe road and avoid pushing the things we try to avoid (at least outwardly). I get the concept of meeting clients where they are at, and letting them direct how much they reveal or what they talk about, but sometimes I need a push because I’ll tiptoe around things to keep from making others uncomfortable, or out of embarrassment and trepidation… I wish I didn’t have to wait again until Friday. It’s so damn far away. And the weeks are creeping by.