Posts Tagged ‘#Relief’

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.

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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The following are some thoughts that I composed as I sat by my father’s bedside Dad Lobbyin October of 2010, at the Lake Erie Facility of the Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. At one point I did a watercolor painting of him which has come out too light to photograph. He was very gaunt at the time and slept much of his last days.
I’ve peppered this story with photos of him just a month prior to going into Hospice. I had him doing some artwork which I framed and hung on his walls in the memory care unit of the nursing home he lived in at the time. My thoughts are unfinished, because an uncle came into the room for a visit and I never got back to those in-depth moments to get in touch with my thoughts and feelings. He died that night as well while my sister and her husband were there. It was her prayer that she would be there when he died, and God granted her request.

After having gone through this experience with my father and also the death of my mother, I’ve come to believe my own thoughts that:

“They birth us, and we bury them. And they got the better deal!” 


What is it like to watch someone die?

As I sit next to my father’s bed in a private room in a well known hospice facility, I watch and listen for signs of continued life. Breathing, gasping, coughing, limbs moving, warm skin, veins pumping blood, eyes opening and closing, and any other sign that he is still here.

The occasional administering of medication to keep him comfortable and painfree by the nurses, brings welcome comfort not only to him buy family as well. I is a relief knowing that his suffering is minimal. In my older years, I have wondered what it was like to die. How would it happen? When would it happen? What would be involved prior to it happening?

I’ve attended the funerals of family and friends beginning around 5 years old when my mother’s grandmother died, but it was always after the fact. Now as I sit with my father, watching him in his final days, it is a new experience of my 58 year life. I was not with my mother as she declined and died, but I prayed her into heaven the moment she took her last breath. She in a nursing home and I in my own bed at home. I was suddenly awakened by an impulse to pray strongly for God to remove her suffering and take her to heaven. I learned later that she died at that very moment.

Dad Dinner TongueSo now I sit quietly watching my father breathe and occasionally cough fluids out of his lungs and slightly flail his arms as if trying to escape something or free himself. His hand hot as I stroke it, and his grip strong as he squeezes my fingers inside his palm. Unable to communicate verbally or put words and thoughts together or see anymore, he is still a man, a father, a person, and still here for now.
I notice his gaunt face, almost skeletal, but still with a hint of handsomeness left, and his bald head that lately had started to grow new peach fuzz. A funny thought occurs to me. Could it be that one of the drugs he has been given, doubles as a cure for baldness? Could it be Halidol, Seraquil, or Atavand? Could it be one of the  pain medications perhaps?
As I wax philosophical, I am jerked into the reality that his body is shutting down. The perfectly timed normal functions, unable to receive messages from the brain, are malfunctioning and dieing. Eighty-five years of perfect timing, a few months short of eighty-six, slowly progressing towards a permanent halt. At some future point they will have nothing more to give.
His moment by moment occupation now is to progress towards another reality, a heavenly and eternal one. The gestault of his current physiology will give way to a new and perfect reality in a world where there are no tears, no pain, no hell, and no suffering. A place of promise, hope, unending love, and the gestault reality of the presence of God.
As I strive to ponder and understand his present experience while grasping the future that awaits him, I can hear the whir of some type of equipment through the wall in the next room. A quiet hum resembling a Charles drawing in chairvacuum cleaner, voices in the hall, and the sight of the therapy dog’s tail who has just passed by. All of these things that would seem to distract me from my mission and vigil of watching and waiting.

When will I see his chest raise and lower for the last time? What will I think? How will I feel? And will I cry? I’m grateful for this experience – its intimacy – its reality. Momentarily my attention turns to thinking of other families, waiting and watching with their loved ones as well. Isolated in their individual realities yet connected by the common theme of death. How many will have a place on the other side? How many can die peacefully, knowing that something more grand awaits them on the other side? And arms stronger than they’ve ever known wait to embrace them in that future reality and new life.

I grieve for those without that future and rejoice with those who have obtained it. Knowing one’s future in the heavenly realm, makes all the difference in accepting physical death. It gives us the ability to fully and wholeheartedly embrace the next life.

My Father’s Artwork
Charles cat crosshatch drawing2 Charles crosshatch drawing2
Dad Abstract Painting Dad Shell Sculpture
We invite you to comment on this post below. Can you identify with this experience? Share your own.

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