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Posts Tagged ‘#ArtTherapy’

As I continued to struggle with working with color, I decided for some reason to try Pointillism in Robins Egg Nest in White Birch Branchesmy images. Using dots of color with magic markers, I created images that came to my mind. I found relief in the fact that I didn’t have to mix colors just choose them from a box of 100 markers with thin tips. The first image I created was an ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals 2.5″ x 3.5″) of a Robin’s Egg Nest in White Birch Branches. My cousin owns the original for this one. He said he had taken a liking to it and wanted to try it for himself.

I found as I worked that I could enjoy the process more because one stress factor was eliminated … that of mixing color. Another stress factor that was relieved was that the markers were strong and stable. Not like a paint brush with flexible bristles that you had to exert more control over. So the only things I had to worry about were choosing the colors and shading, and I could just enjoy the rest of the process.

Over the years I created more with pointillism until I got tired of it and wanted to try something else. But for the time I used the technique, it worked for me and served a purpose. Here are more things I created using pointillism in color.

How about you? Have you ever tried a form of art to relieve your stress. Did it cause more or less stress?

Psychedelic Butterfly

Two Butterflies Among Daisies Butterfly Pointillism

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When you are an artist, frequently you work with color. You apply it in different ways on Robins Egg Nest in White Birch Branchesdifferent kinds of surfaces with different types of tools. Your job is to control the colors, understand how they relate to one another, communicate something to others with them, and decide/plan what the visual outcome will be. What you can’t control 100% is another person’s thoughts or reactions to what you have made. They do not know the different decisions you made to arrive where you did and why. They may not even care unless they have a relationship of some kind with you. But even then, they only have their reactions to go by in the final analysis. They may love it, or hate it, or be indifferent to it, even if they know you personally.

The reason for this is thAbstract Japanese Waterfallat we react to colors, shapes, and textures differently. We are individuals and as such we have separate brains, emotions, preferences, personal history, and understanding. Often colors are an emotional choice for us. Many people love the color Blue. It’s endearing, it’s soft and romantic. It’s the color of the sky, the ocean, flowers, and more. Things we tend to love and be gently attracted to. Even a harsh Blue can still be enduring because at it’s base is Blue. Red on the other hand can agitate us if it’s too harsh. It is an aggressive color, loud, dominant, and also loved. Red is a very important color to the Chinese, especially for celebrations. Red is seen as a power color as well. If you have to give a business presentation and it is important for you to demonstrate that you are in control, wear Red. (Please note: Make sure your presentation is well prepared and delivered because just wYellow Cat In The Gardenearing Red won’t save you … smile). Green is a calming color. People associate it with growth, and living things. It makes us feel secure. The only time it doesn’t feel secure to me is when I see it on hospital personnel or hospital walls. Then it makes me feel sick.

There are whole websites devoted to the Psychology of Colors and how they affect us. Colour Affects is a website in the UK with some very interesting information on eleven colors and their psychological affects on us. This is a very interesting read. Click on the name in this paragraph to go to their website and discover the properties of color on our mind, emotions, and reactions.

Mel MaskFor me personally and as an artist, I’ve been gravitating towards creating art with a variety of colors. I’ve used watercolors and markers primarily to create realistic and unusual pieces that my mind and emotions come up with. I’ve displayed some of them throughout this blog post. How do you react to the colors used? Do you sense peace or irritation? Are you soothed or confused by the colors? Do you love them or hate them? Please share any thoughts you may have about your own color preferences.

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Another Art Therapy Technique that I experienced in Grad School was the Bridge to Life Drawing. This was actually an assignment that was given to the ladies in a drug rehab at my first clinical location. Bridge to LifeThey were to depict their current situation on the left of the bridge, and then what they hoped their situation would turn out like on the right side of the bridge. It’s akin to a time line. Mine is leaving conflict, uncertainty, fear, and the past clutching at me, and walking into calm, hope, a solid future, etc. It gives a person a visual idea of where they want to head with their life. A goal to achieve.

You can put yourself anywhere on the bridge. Mine came out a bit cartooney but it got the idea across. I put myself in the middle of the bridge because I felt that I hadn’t arrived yet, but was just getting out of the negativity, and beginning to cross into a cheerier atmosphere that was full of hope and sunshine instead of gloom and doom.

Visual depictions of our thoughts help to clarify and illuminate them. I have often found when I try to visually show what my mind and emotions are experiencing, things become more clear. Visual communication adds a dimension to what we understand about ourselves and others. It rounds out our perspective of life as well.

What about you? Have you tried to visually depict a problem you are having or something you wish would change by showing what it looks like now, and then what you wish it looked like? Please share your thoughts.

***Disclaimer***
As always, this technique is not meant to be a diagnosis. You need to work with a trained professional for that. However, if you do notice something that draws your attention as a result of drawing a situation in your life, seek professional help and allow them to guide you in an appropriate manner.

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The Scribble Drawing has been used as an Art Therapy Technique to reveal subconscious thoughts.

This was an image I created after my experience at a drug rehab working with women in Scribble Drawing HandsArt Therapy and Counseling, as a student in Grad School. I chose to do a scribble drawing because I’d had a lot of personal success with my own emotions and thoughts coming out whenever I did one. I saw a lot of hands among the scribbles, so I created them in different colors. Afterwards I realized that I was working with alot of different types of women, different colors outwardly and inwardly and they were all helping one another come to terms with their lives and make changes for the better.

What is a scribble drawing?

It is a line drawing on a piece of paper that meanders over the entire surface of the paper. Lines must cross in order to create shapes.
Here’s how to make a scribble drawing:

1. Choose a light color of pencil and a piece of paper. 8 1/2 x 11 inches is a great size.
2. Allow your hand to gently and leisurely move over the paper and all around on the paper. Cross over lines so that images and shapes will form.
3. Fill the paper up but don’t make it a tight chaotic mess of winding lines.
4. Stop and look at the images on one side. Do you see anything in the images? If not, then turn to another side, and another until you’ve looked at all sides.
5. Take the side you see something in and begin to shape it into the thing you see. Use colored pencils or crayons to make the image come alive. You can add shading, and even color outside the lines if this will help to develop the image you see. You can add anything you want to it to keep the image as true to the image you see as possible.
6. Once finished, take a look at the result and write down your thoughts about what you see, why you think you saw it, what significance you think it might have for your life, etc. In other words, analyze what might have been stuck deep inside your mind or emotions that is now revealed. Please note that all of your lines will still show unless you erase them, but it isn’t necessary to erase the lines not used.

Here are some Google Images for Scribble Drawings that have used the technique explained: https://www.google.com/search?q=art+therapy+scribble+drawing&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CB4QsARqFQoTCK_FyvK92MYCFYIqPgod71wNKA&biw=1790&bih=765&dpr=0.75
**** Disclaimer **** Please do not use this technique in an effort to diagnose yourself. Use this technique for fun or to help you to see where you need to get more trained and professional help. It is a tool, not an end all for diagnosis. And sometimes, with someone else’s eyes and impressions on it, it can expand what you know about yourself and how you come across to others.

Have you ever made a scribble drawing? It can be used to keep children occupied or as a way to start a drawing when you have no ideas but feel like creating something. If you try one as a result of this post, share your results if possible. Also share the results of one you made before reading this post. We look forward to reading your comments.

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What is a Mandala? It is an image that has equal designs on several sides. It can be compared to a kaleidoscope or snowflake image. If you Google either of these words or mandala, you will see some very beautiful designs. These have been created in stained glass windows, on paper, with sand, mosaics, and more. Here are two of the mandalas that I have created in the past. One with magic marker on paper and one on foam core with natural elements. The natural one has different birds and butterflies in it and those parts aren’t uniform but the rest is as uniform as possible.

Mandala by Mel MossMandala by Mel

Wikipedia has a detailed page on the history of Mandala’s, different cultures creating them, and lots of samples to look at. Mandala’s have been used spiritually and psychologically. Psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that the whole self was found in a mandala. Some of his thoughts can be found at CreatingMandalas.Com . He had a habit of sketching them each morning. I’ve also heard it said that while creating or coloring a mandala, a person can become calm and peaceful. Are you irritated with something or someone? Start sketching or coloring a mandala!

An easy way to get a mandala started is to take a square or round piece of paper and fold it several times. If you want 6 spokes, fold it 3 times, if you want 8 spokes, fold it 4 times. A square paper will yield 4 to 8 spokes but a round one can yield 6 or 8 or more. My magic marker mandala above has 8 spokes and the natural one has 4 spokes. Unfold the paper and smooth it out so it lays flat. Then simply create shapes on one spoke. Repeat them exactly the same way on the remaining spokes. Then color them.

Anyone can create a mandala. When I was in Junior High I used a fountain pen (Bic wasn’t invented yet) to draw these mandalas. I drew them about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I simply enjoyed figuring out shapes and repeating them. When I had created several, I decided to save the paper until I figured out what to do with them. It wasn’t until I was going through Grad School in 2009-2010 and majoring in Art Therapy and Counseling, that I found out that they were called mandala’s. I knew if I waited long enough I would eventually find out what they were. It only took me 50 years to come across this knowledge … LOL!

Mandalas do not have to be fancy and perfect. Sketches will do. For some people creating a mandala might be too much. If so, start one and don’t complete it in one session. Do a little at a time when you feel like doodling. It will get done eventually and you’ll be able to see the final result. For me as an artist, I just enjoyed seeing what shapes I could create and also control a wet medium such as ink in a fountain pen. These were welcome challenges for me, but not everyone has that kind of bent. You can still benefit from making simple mandalas. Mandala images to be colored can be printed off the internet. Google free mandala coloring images and see what you come up with. Then just simply add color. Kids love to color these.

If you’ve ever created a Mandala or colored one, what did you think about doing it?  Please share your experiences.

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