Archive for the 'creative places' Category

Adventure Visioning: A Page From My Smashbook

April 7, 2013
“Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.” ~W. Somerset Maugham

Adventure Visioning

 I started to play with doing some visioning in my smashbook. Using magazine photo collage, drawing & inking, I began to visually organize content & happenings for the next few months ahead by converting my to-do post-it notes and lists into image form. Above is a page for April, May, June, and July, which includes inspiration about appointments, proposal deadlines, projects, brainstorming ideas, upcoming events, bits & pieces of fun stuff, & more.

Twentytwelve On the Go Adventure Gluebook

November 4, 2012

Earlier this year I started an adventure gluebook to visually document some of my travels from this year and as part of the 6 Degrees of Creativity e-workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks.  I’m super excited that I’ve finally finished this book, which is made from four repurposed file folders.

#twentytwelve #onthego

The contents of the pages (as well as for the page’s fun pockets!) are collaged of mostly items I collected on the go which included, but was not limited to: receipts, maps, stickers, stamps, flight stuff (boarding passes, baggage tags, etc.), ticket stubs, business cards, food wrappers, thank you cards, mini art I created, pins, and print materials from local tourist magazines, brochures, or related to the events I was attending.

I also used my SMASH stamp to date most of the pages, distressed ink for some of the page edges, added a little hand stitching, as well as used the wonderful collection of paper and creative goodness I received in the 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 Paper Stash Swap.

Sometimes I took this gluebook with me while I was traveling to work on in the hotel, on the plane, or to stash stuff. I always had a quart size plastic bag (or two!) with me full of goodies and supplies.  Other times I worked on the pages when I returned.  Working on each page was a great way to process the experience and events.

May: Arts, Military + Healing Conference : Washington DC

I think my favorite gluebooking material for this spread was all the maps I collected from around the Washington DC area featuring the city, landmarks, and public transportation.

July- TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly: Michigan

In the pockets for this spread, I added mini art that I created at the conference or inspired by the program.

September- Ohio’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association Conference

I started to use some of my paper stash swap goodies I received in September for this spread.

September- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Just before I left for my visit to SIUE, I received a portion of an Illinois map in another paper stash exchange that fit perfectly for this page!

October- Kansas’ Art Therapy Association Conference

I probably collected the most things while visiting Emporia!  My favorite gluebook addition here is probably the fortune cookie wrapper and fortune that I saved from the Chinese Buffet!

Birthday in Vegas

This page is dedicated to the week-end getaway we took to Vegas for my birthday and the various keepsakes I saved from this trip: stuff from our adventure to In and Out Burger, the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum, my filet mignon birthday steak, and fun fortune telling encounters.

October- Florida State University, Tallahassee

This spread pays tribute to FSU’s campus, which was so beautiful!

Gluebooking fun continues in a different form this week: it is the deadline for completed gluebook pages to be received for our exchange @ 6 Degrees of Creativity 2!  Stay tuned for photos and more sharing about this soon… go, gluebooking, go!

Strengh in Hand: Merging the Perception of Reflection with Reality

October 23, 2012

“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine. ” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve been inspired by this art prompt from Lani and Susanna (thank you!) over at the 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life community that presents the challenge to find images merging the perception of reflection with reality:

Hand Reflection

On Sunday (also my birthday), I took this image of my hand surrounded my mirrors. The photograph reflects at the same time (via the mirror and camera lens) the outside/top of my hand, as well as the inside/palm of my hand.

The image of the hand and its meaning has a lot of wonder for me (to create, comfort, express, help, feel) but on this day my hand extends strength radiated by the light coming from my fingertips (like a superpower!) activated and visible only in the reflection.

Nelson The Traveling Sock Monkey Becomes OSM Operative

July 29, 2012

Remember Nelson, the sock monkey I made for my friend Donna this past spring?  He’s had an exciting summer making new friends, visiting new places, and sharing his travels.   Nelson even took a June trip back to Cleveland where I was able to meet up with him again and visit with Donna!  Good times…

Nelson in Cleveland: June trip

This week, I received exciting news from Donna that Nelson has officially become an Operative for Operation Sock Monkey (OSM) and will be accompanying her on an upcoming trip to Kenya. Yay! I am so proud!  While in Kenya to photograph an agricultural development project, Donna and Nelson will also take time during their trip to do some sock monkey making  workshops with youth in the community.

Nelson and Donna will also be arriving with a batch of OSM Delegates that will be given to children in need and help spread sock monkey love & joy!

Operation Sock Monkey Delegates Going to Kenya w/ Nelson

Follow Nelson’s updates in Kenya over the next 2 weeks and beyond on Facebook via his Nelson- Traveling Sock Monkey page. And check out this link to learn more about Operation Sock Monkey‘s good work and how you can help!  OSM is currently seeking sponsorships to send sock monkey delegates to camp around the world.

I’m looking forward to seeing more from Nelson’s and Donna’s new adventure together-Sending lots of love!

Safe travels!

Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt Then & Now

July 20, 2012

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”  ~Herman Melville

A project with a very special place in my heart marks its 25th anniversary this year: The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.  I was introduced to The Quilt while in college at Bowling Green State University and soon became a volunteer for the project when sections of The Quilt would be shown on campus.

Words cannot describe the amount of honor and emotion I felt to be part of this experience and how humbling it was to be surrounded by such love, sadness, loss, humor, life, grief, and celebration stitched, painted, glued, ironed on, and uniquely created on each of the 3 x 6 foot panels in memory of a loved one’s life who had died of AIDS.  It was overwhelming.

My senior year at BGSU I dedicated to volunteering and interning at a community AIDS service organization in Toledo, Ohio called David’s House Compassion that provided a continuum of services for individuals living with HIV and AIDS, including residential housing, case management, respite, home visitation, and more.  I have many special memories of spending time at David’s House (making and eating Saturday night candle light dinners), making home visits to drop off food, providing respite to family members at the hospital to stay the night with their loved one, or helping out and making some art in a support group with children whose parent had died from AIDS.  I learned so much from everyone I met at David’s House about life, death, compassion, gratitude, and respect.

There were also sad and difficult moments. Several of the women and men that I visited or spent time with throughout my work at David’s House died before I finished my internship. This experience of multiple loss was important for me to process through journaling, supervision, as well as spending one night on the floor of my small dorm room working on a fabric panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt in memory of these seven individuals: Arnetta, Bob, Frank, Jack, John, Nancy, and Neshelle.  I then mailed my panel to the NAMES Project in the Spring of 1995 to honor, celebrate, and recognize their lives and the significant impact they each left on my life.

In the Fall of 1996, my brother and I decided to travel to Washington DC to view The Quilt displayed in its entirety at the National Mall over three days.  To my surprise on the train ride from Cleveland, the stop in Toledo (to pick up my brother) also included picking up some of the staff I knew from David’s House, as well as surviving family members who were also in route to see the display and had panels attached to the same block my panel was sewn into. There were so many people who attended this display, which stretched from one end of the Mall to the other with a sea of fabric.  Again, the visual surroundings, emotions, and sensory experience was overwhelming. It is a moment I will always remember.

In Memory of Arnetta, Bob, Frank, Jack, John, Nancy, & Neshelle

In June 2012, The Quilt was shown throughout the DC area to mark the 25th Anniversary in various institutions, centers, and organizations serving as hosts.  The Quilt has become so large, several locations were needed to accommodate the space needed to show it.  The panel I created was on display as part of Smithsonian Folklife Festival in late June.

Click on this image to view a short video introducing this event:

Creativity & Crisis: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt [VIDEO]

Beginning July 21 through July 25, The Quilt will be on display again in its entirety through rotated stages on the National Mall in Washington DC , as well as throughout 50+ venues around the DC Metro area.  For those who cannot attend this special event, this year’s anniversary also launched the application and site AIDS Quilt Touch, which allows locating panels online through keyword search of an individual’s name and will track panels as they travel to other venues for future displays.

AIDS Quilt Touch | Block #4083

I was able to search for and locate (on the first try!) the block that my panel is a part of through the AIDS Quilt Touch website, as well as discover its recent showing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. What a helpful resource through the use of technology to connect this community together, as well as create a virtual, worldwide environment for memorializing and still much needed awareness through the power, stories, and history of The Quilt.

You can read more information about the 2012 AIDS Memorial Quilt Display and 25th Anniversary here:

Learn how to host a display of The Quilt in your community herecheck out upcoming displays for viewing, or how to contribute a panel.

Where We Create: Wonder, Inspiration, Motivation, Connection

May 31, 2012

Today marks the last day for the art therapy photo documentary Spaces & Places: Where We Create, an online project that Magdalena Karlick and I launched back in February inviting art therapists, art therapy students, and art organizations to submit digital pics and descriptions about the creative spaces they work & create in, as well as favorite or common materials and media used.

Over the last 4 months it has been a pleasure to see this project unfold…with wonder, inspiration, motivation, and connection.  Over 200 photos from Italy, India, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, the US, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Australia were shared via The Art Therapy Alliance community on Facebook, through Flickr, and posted on the go with Instagram.

I’ve enjoyed experiencing through with project and its collection of photos where art therapy happens, art materials that are offered, and the creative spaces we make our own art.  Equally enjoyable  for me has been the connection the photos have inspired.  Through the power of social media, there’s been many supportive exchanges & interactions in the form of sharing, tweeting, liking, or commenting  that have helped foster community, connection, and creativity.

More to come soon from Magdalena and I on the Art Therapy Alliance’s posterous, as we share our reflections and thoughts regarding Spaces & Places: Where We Create.   A big thank you to Magdalena for co-organizing this project with me, the project’s endorsers, and to each and every art therapist, art therapy student and organization who contributed photos and shared their Spaces & Places.  I invite you to take the time to view all the photos, comments, and connection inspired by Spaces & Places: Where We Create here on Facebook.

I wanted to make my final photo contribution to Spaces & Places: Where We Create with some pics of the art therapy space I worked in today: my art therapy office (below from my previous #wherewecreate submission) where I facilitate individual and group community based services with youth.  In this space today, it was the last session of a children’s trauma and loss art therapy group that I have been meeting with over the last 8 weeks:

Art Therapy Office Space

Art Therapy Supply Stash for Groupwork

For many of my last group sessions, but especially for this children’s trauma & loss group because it helps reinforce themes related to resiliency, I like to spend some time focusing on an experience I introduce as “Stones of Strength”. Each child has the opportunity to select their own personal stone to embellish, make his/her own with permanent marker and by writing one word on the surface that brings him/her feelings of comfort and safety.

The stone can then be used as a tangible, creative, and personalized reminder to keep and use for coping in times of worry, stress, or  difficult days.

A batch of stones from the photo below were creatively developed & dedicated by this group of 6-12 year olds for kindness, love, friendship, and hope, to  just to name a few.

Stones of Strength

Bridging Papermaking & Art Therapy at GMU

May 21, 2012

CPP Exhibit @ Corcoran Gallery of Art

I just returned from an amazing week of events and helping co-lead a Papermaking as Art Therapy for Trauma Intervention workshop with Peace Paper’s Drew Matott at George Mason University as part of Arts, Military, + Healing: A Collaborative Initiative, — a project developed by Tappert & Associates as part of The Arts and the Military.  This week long event was hosted by the Veteran Artist Program (VAP) and included organizations and programs such as Art Therapy Without Borders, Combat Paper Project, Combat Paper NJ, Peace Paper, The Telling Project, and Warrior Writers facilitating workshops at various sites throughout the DC area.

Studio 1009 @ GMU

The workshop that Drew and I presented at GMU included presenting considerations important to papermaking, art therapy, and trauma, as well as provided participants the hands on opportunity to take a significant article of their own clothing to learn the transformative process of making it into paper.

Papermaking!

Participants de-constructed/cut up the article of clothing (rag) they brought, had this rag made into pulp, and then learned how to pull and form sheets of their own paper with an introduction to western papermaking.  Participants were also introduced to creative sheet formation (layering pulp of different colors), how to make and use screens from a meaningful photograph for pulp painting, and how to bookbind with the paper we made throughout the week.

AMH Papermakers @ GMU! | Photo: Erwin Thamm

The week flew by!  Lots of meaningful, thoughtful paper and art was reclaimed and made in Studio 1009.  It was an honor to be part of this experience and work with everyone who attended- thank you to all the participants!  Another thank you to the VAP team, George Mason University’s School of Art and Design, Helen Fredrick, and Patrick Sargent for being our hosts during this workshop…such wonderful facilities, equipment, inspiration, and support!

You can check out photos from all the amazing workshops, receptions, performances, and AMH events by viewing this slideshow from VAP.  You can also learn about upcoming Peace Paper activities & papermaking workshops in 2012, as well as follow Peace Paper’s travels and happenings through Facebook.

Update (5/23):  View this video & news piece by Nicole Goodrich from the workshop published via The Army Times.

Have Sock Monkey, Will Travel- Part 3

March 10, 2012

Last month I made a sock monkey for my friend Donna in St. Augustine, Florida to adopt.  Meet Nelson:

Here’s some of the fun he’s been up to:  (Lucky sock monkey!)

Nelson on the go

Nelson in New Orleans

It’s been lots of fun receiving Nelson photos and updates from Donna to check out  & share.   I know he is in great hands  and will enjoy his new home and adventures!   Stay tuned for more of Nelson the Traveling Sock Monkey!

If you’re interested in learning how to make your own sock monkey, check out where I learned everything I know about sock monkey making from the fabulous Kat Thorsen, an art therapist in Vancouver, British Columbia:

Also check out the amazing sock monkeys and sock animals Kat and youth artisans create and sell on Etsy via Post Street to support her Sock Monkey Art Therapy program for at-risk youth.

Have Sock Monkey, Will Travel Past Posts:  Part 1 | Part 2

Spaces & Places: Where We Create Now Accepting Submissions | Art Therapy Photo Documentary Project

February 13, 2012

Spaces and Places: Where We Create is now accepting submissions from art therapists, art therapy students, expressive art therapists, and art organizations for this photo documentary project that aims to provide education, awareness, inspiration, and understanding about the spaces & places, settings, populations, and materials that the art therapy community works in and uses within their practice.

This collaborative event using social media and digital photo sharing via Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram invites participants to submit a photo or photos of their creative work space and favorite tools of the trade.  The project will be accepting submissions until May 31, 2012.

Learn more via the Art Therapy Alliance website for more information and details about how to participate: http://www.arttherapyalliance.org/WhereWeCreate.html

Creative Compass of Hope: Happy Artist’s Life Navigating, Reflecting

February 4, 2012

I have been starting to take in and review everything from Lani Gerity’s 6 Easy Lesson’s for a Happy Artist’s Life adventure in 6 Degrees of Creativity and now up to working on Lesson 5.  I am already very interested in one of this lesson’s concepts of walking through all the previous lessons to make observations and insights about my journey so far.  Here’s a little of my initial art journaling I have been working on:

My Happy Artist's Life Collage Map

This page above is a collage map of sorts through my first four lessons.  I have been reflecting about how much growth and awareness the lessons, Lani’s inspiration, and the Happy Artist’s Life community on 6 Degrees of Creativity have offered throughout the last few months around all the content being offered in this workshop.  I am still working on my lesson review, but so far I’ve already noticed image themes connected to happiness & my exploration of this in relationship to personal growth, time, direction, and sustaining a strong message of hope.

My next art journal page: My Creative Compass of Hope is dedicated to the lessons and concepts that have navigated me throughout all of Lani’s lessons exploring themes of kindness, goodness, resilience, and strengths.

I can’t wait to share more of my art journal from this workshop, as I finish up this lesson and more of my reflections.

If you’re interested in learning more about Lani’s Lessons check out Lani’s 14 Secrets Blog and on Facebook (14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life) to keep connected to her wonderful community of inspiration and creativity!

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