Archive for the 'creative places' Category

The Joy of Art Abandonment

April 3, 2014

I was very excited to finally receive the new book, The Art Abandonment Project : Create and Share Random Acts of Art by Michael deMeng and Andrea Matus deMeng this week after promptly pre-ordering it back in February as soon as I read about it via this 14 Secrets Challenge.   (Thanks Lani!)

Wow! So much creative goodness fills this book’s pages!

The Abandonment Art Project

The Abandonment Art Project

Art Abandonment has a simple concept (but is so much more!) : to make art and leave these art expressions or creative happenings behind in various public spaces & places for others (to hopefully) discover and find.  Often these random acts of art share (but not limited to) visual and written messages of kindness, encouragement, and hope.  Art made for abandonment serves as a creative offering that extends beyond our individual artist self, but instead serves others, strangers, communities, and the universe.

This book is an inspiring how to guide about the wonderful purposes behind art abandonment, what it means to become an art abandoneer, ideas & examples of  art abandonment projects & challenges, helpful material and location considerations, as well as the meaningful and joyful impact art abandonment can have on those who stumble upon its gift.  Colorful photos of abandonment art and lovely testimonials from project participants and recipients also add to the book’s contents.  If you are interested in joining the Art Abandonment movement and meeting other Art Abandoneers, learn more about Michael deMeng’s Facebook group.

I’m looking forward to introducing & recommending this book’s creative goodness to participants involved in 6 Degrees of Creativity’s Random Acts of Art Adventure, as well as The Creative Deed Project.  It is a perfect companion for enhancing our creative fun and art journeys.  I hope keep sharing more inspired by this book!

*****

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26 Paper Hearts

Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness

Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving

November 27, 2013

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I’m super inspired by this news article I discovered today about the Gratitude Graffiti Project.

According to thegratitudegraffitiproject.com, this creative effort launched in New Jersey last month is “a forty day practice of purposeful appreciation of one’s life through interactive art.”  The project prompts participants to mindfully respond with an artistic or written response of about what you are grateful through post-it notes around town, community gratitude walls, sidewalk chalking, and storefront window marking to engage in the thankfulness together.

Check out #gratitudegraffiti on Instagram to view a growing collection of cool photos from people capturing the project:

Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving | creativity in motion

I got out my post-it pad tonight to contemplate and honor what I am most thankful for in this moment….

Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving | creativity in motion I honor loving kindness in my relationships, work, joys, frustrations, health, creative adventures, and so much more– I am truly thankful for the energy and patience of unconditional loving kindness I have been so very lucky to receive and grow from this year….  <3

I look forward to sharing/posting this note of thanks with the world tomorrow somewhere on my way to/from my family’s Thanksgiving get together….

What would you share on a post-it note in the spirit of the Gratitude Graffiti Project?

******

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14 Secrets Challenge: Adventure Supplies & Guerrilla Art for the Soul

Artful Adventure Treasures from Chicago

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Artful Adventure Treasures from New York

November 13, 2013

I just spent a few days in New York City where I attended some of the 4th Annual Expressive Therapies Summit.

Newlandscape

Expressive Therapies Summit

This year‘s program included over 200 faculty and 130 sessions over 4 days across New York City. There was a lot going on!

summitmeetups

Creative Meet Ups & Connecting

One of my favorite things to do is to connect with and meet up with art therapists, students, and virtual friends I have met, collaborated with or follow online, which this conference allowed plenty of opportunity for, including a Networking Meet Up at The New School on the first day of the Summit! It was great to meet many in person from the Art Therapy Alliance and 6 Degrees of Creativity communities who were also attending the Summit.

TNH

Thich Nhat Hahn Exhibit

One of the meet-up opportunities for the Art Therapy Alliance community included visiting the US debut of “Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh” currently on display at abc carpet and home.  The display , works of calligraphy, and their inspiring messages were beautiful.  I am grateful I was able to see it and take it in with other art therapists!

On the last day of the Summit, I offered my workshop focusing on art journaling & trauma intervention with women survivors of domestic violence, as well as using art journaling for professional self care. It was a very nice way to end the Summit: a room full of brown paper bag journal making that provided the time & space to explore and honor self-care in relationship to trauma work.  Many thanks to everyone who attended!

SummitWorkshop

Art Journaling as a Visual Voice for Trauma Intervention Workshop

Some themes and prompts I introduced for consideration in relationship to professional self care were inspired by these topics and inspiring work:

Self-Care Proclamation/Mantra: Christine Arylo
Anchoring/Safe Place: Kathleen Adams
Gratitude: Laura van Dernoot Lipsky
Affirmations, Strengths: Martin Seligman
Relaxation Inspiration: Lani Gerity
Vulnerability: Brené  Brown
Mind Mapping / Cluster Writing
Relational Enrichment: Bruce Perry’s 3 P’s

You can also learn more about these themes in relationship to art therapy & professional self-care from my past posts about Self Care through Creative Practice and Intention.

Much gratitude to the Expressive Therapies Summit and its team for an inspiring time and bringing us all together!

*****

Related Posts:

Artful Adventure Treasures from Chicago

Art Journaling: Brown Paper Bag Style

Trauma Stewardship, Gratitude, and Wordle Making

Artful Adventure Treasures from Chicago

November 3, 2013

It’s been a week since I returned back from Chicago to attend the Illinois Art Therapy Association Conference- What a great few days!

Chicago’s Beautiful Landscape

So here’s a little bit about my adventures while visiting one of my favorite cities:

Before the conference festivities launched, I spent some of my time on the streets of Chicago leaving some of the art messages I made with my adventure supplies inspired by this recent 14 Secrets Art Challenge. I also kindly left these artsy messages in books where I was staying in the city. Lani also contributed to the stash with very cool “You are Here” stickers and typed up phrases that I adorned with washi tape.  One of these messages was even gifted to our dinner waiter as a little something extra with his tip….  :)

Distributing these handmade & artful notes into the universe was an amazing joyful release of gratitude for me, as it helped share & finally pass on these messages of hope, unconditional love, & kindness.

To get started on your own Guerrilla Art adventure, check out this Cloth Paper Scissors guide.

Guerrilla Art for the Soul

Following these art adventures, I visited the Adler School of Professional Psychology and lucky me got to drop into the end of Lani’s workshop with IATA members where they created paper puppets & paper houses as a tool for storytelling…It was great to hear about and see what everyone created!  Following the workshop, I attended the kick-off for the conference, also hosted by Adler and its art therapy students, which was an evening of intention setting, art-making, networking, and convo good for the soul.

Healing Narratives & Rekindling

The following day the IATA conference was officially here at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and included a day full of inspiring art therapy presentations, workshops, panels, and presenters. Before getting started with the keynote presentation we all participated in a lighting ceremony led by the Conference Committee to set our individual intentions for the day, which I loved and thought created a collective positive vibe!

Below is the awesome keynote presentation given by Lani, which is filled with lots of treasures intersecting art therapy, positive psychology, neuroscience. and healing narrative:

You can also read Lani’s End Notes from the IATA Conference here for more good stuff!

*****

During the conference’s afternoon, it was an honor to offer a workshop on Art Journaling’s Visual Voice for Trauma Intervention, as well as explore art journaling as a way to process a trauma therapist’s journey related to self care.

Art Journaling as a Visual Voice for Trauma Intervention | IATA Conference

Art Journaling as a Visual Voice for Trauma Intervention workshop @ IATA Conference

Download the handout from the workshop here:

Art Journaling as a Visual Voice for Trauma Intervention | Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, CTC-S

I am looking forward to also doing another workshop on this topic this week at the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City.

Chicago Smashbooking

And lastly, from all the creative goodness & treasures I collected along the way during my visit, I did a new spread in my smashbook to honor my experience and adventure!

*****

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14 Secrets Challenge: Adventure Supplies & Guerrilla Art for the Soul

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention

twentythirteen on the go

Firewalk Inspired Smashbooking

September 9, 2013

This week-end I participated in something I’ve wanted to do for years…the experience of firewalking.  Every September, Common Ground Center for Renewal in Oberlin, Ohio holds an annual firewalk and this year I finally made it…and wow…it was so very worth it…

Firewalk Preparation | creativity in motion

Firewalk Fire Preparation

For me, something about taking on this challenge greatly called to me as an unique opportunity for continued transformation and growth, as well as to explore trust & faith.

Our certified firewalking instructor Dave Tuscany led us through an amazing empowerment workshop while a fire 15 feet long burned for 90 minutes. A news piece about the evening can be read here.

Firewalk Feet | creativity in motion

Firewalk Feet

As I silently approached the sacred space of hot coals and embers, this glowing pathway was something I was surprisingly eager to travel on rather than fearful. There was such a strong energy and atmosphere of positive affirmation and intention that when it was finally my turn to walk, I did so without hesitation.  I felt no pain or burning on my feet…only a warm, nurturing & determined feeling coming from within and surrounding me.  Beautiful.

Firewalk Ashes | creativity in motion

Firewalk Ashes

As I was leaving the event that evening, I took some of the firewalk’s ashes as a special keepsake of this important experience. The charred pieces of ember were still smoking and full of heat as I shovel them into the wooden box I brought with me.

Firewalk Ash Create Hand | creativity in motion

Creating with Firewalk Ash

As I reflected on my experience the next morning in my smashbook, I did so with a shifted sense of freedom, peace, renewal, and astonishment. As I worked, my fingertips smudged the images and pages with the sacred pieces of charred embers:

Firewalk Smashbooking | creativity in motion

Firewalk Smashbooking- Filtered (Click to enlarge)

To help the young soul, to add energy, inspire hope, and blow the coals into a useful flame; to redeem defeat by new thought and firm action, this, though not easy, is the work of divine man.”         ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Art Therapy Happenings and Goings On: twentythirteen fall on the go

August 19, 2013

I’ve been gearing up for art therapy fall happenings and goings on that I’m looking forward to this year… Lots of good stuff on the calendar! Check it out:

This week begins the first day of Art Therapy Studio I that I’ll be teaching for Ursuline College’s Art Therapy  and Counseling Program.  I’m very excited to meet the students and work together throughout the fall semester exploring concepts about the creative process, developing their unique self-expression, and symbolic language through art.  This course engages students in tons of personal art making in and outside of class, as well as time to reflect about their identity as an artist, which I believe is so essential in the on-going work of an art therapist. Students will be creating a portfolio of work, exploring artist mentors, and telling their own path as an artist through digital storytelling to help facilitate this discovery.

Next month, I’ll be attending Ohio’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association’s Annual Symposium (September 28 & 29) featuring  Dr. Harriet Wadeson as the Keynote Speaker. Dr. Wadeson “will focus on the use of creative self-expression in facing severe illness as an experienced art therapist and from the subjective vantage point of her own cancer diagnosis and treatment as highlighted in her recent book, Journaling Cancer in Words and Images: Caught in the Clutch of the Crab.” On-line registration is still open until August 26 to attend this 2 day event of art therapy offerings!

toplogoIn October I’ll be visiting Mount Mary University in Milwaukee again to teach a week-end class about Art Therapy Interventions and Strategies with Survivors of Domestic Violence. Content related to group work & appropriate themes, using art to help re-establish safety, build resiliency, manage traumatic stress, as well as art’s role to empower a visual voice in trauma intervention will be explored. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to spend time with Mount Mary’s art therapy graduate students and to share my experiences over this 3 day offering.

Also in October, I’ll be attending the Illinois Art Therapy Association Conference (October 26), Collective Rekindling: Healing Narratives in Art Therapy being held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  The Keynote Speaker for this conference is Dr. Lani Gerity, which is so perfect for the conference theme!  As part of the conference, I’ll be presenting a workshop on Art Journaling’s Visual Voice in Trauma Intervention. This hands-on workshop will explore the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for processing emotional expression, promoting self care, and sharing ones personal narrative and intentions. Content will include themes and the benefits of art journaling as a visual voice and means of trauma intervention with youth and women survivors of trauma.  Participants will engage in creating their own mini art journal with mixed media to identify and support their own professional self-care practices and intentions related to working with trauma & loss issues.

I’ll also be presenting my art journaling and trauma intervention workshop at the 4th Annual Expressive Therapies Summit while in New York City this November. Check out my offering on November 10 and others related to Story, Journaling, and Poetry in Therapy available at this year’s Summit here. This year’s Summit includes over 175 faculty presenting on 7 Creative Arts over 4 days throughout NYC!

I hope our paths will cross to meet up or say hello at one of these offerings this fall!

*****

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Group Strategies & Interventions with Traumatized Children and Adolescents | Online Course

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[Buried Treasure] What Ought to Be: On Untangling and Putting Fragments Back Together with Art

June 11, 2013

The treasure hunt begins on 6/12 over at The Altered Page, as participating art bloggers come together to share past posts we love & to collaborate as part of Seth Apter’s Buried Treasure Project. The concept is awesome: Seth will be posting a list of all our posts so we and others can discover lots of artsy online hidden treasure and creative goodness.

I’m re-posting one of my favorite blog posts, What Ought to Be: On Untangling and Putting Fragments Back Together with Art from the Creativity in Motion archives in 2010.  I selected this post because it symbolizes many core beliefs I have about art-making’s ability to create transformation out of moments full of uncertainty and vulnerability.

I also decided to create some updated fragments of me to add to the box…

Fragments of Me: Twentythirteen | What Ought to Be: Untangling and Putting Fragments Back Together w/ Art | creativity in motion
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What Ought to Be: On Untangling and Putting Fragments Back Together with Art | Originally posted on Creativity in Motion: 2/28/2010

Earlier in the week I was reading a post about what daily meditation can do for your creativity and wrote down these words that the author, Mark McGuinness highlighted: Focus, Patience, Calmness, Clarity, Insight, and Perspective with the intention to reflect on the state of my own mental clarity and what McGuinness described perfectly as “getting tangled up in thoughts”.

As the week went on, I lost track of this intention. What did follow was lots of tangling and static coming from many sources and by the end of the week, my mind felt like it was in tight knots unable to make sense of anything or what to do next.  Except for one thing: to make art.  When I am having a hard time understanding what’s happening around me or within, art-making usually helps me start to untangle everything and invite many of the qualities listed in McGuinness’ post.

This past week in particular, I was really thinking about themes related to shattering, fragmenting and scatteredness… feeling this within and wanting to do something constructive and meditative to make these pieces more containable and start to put them back together for my sanity and my ability to keep moving forward with fresh eyes, a clearer head, and creative mind.

I used several square and rectangle plastic “Fragments”  from Tim Holtz’s idea-ology and adhered the words I wrote down from McGuinness’ list and others important to my untangling process.   Holtz’s “Fragments” are small clear tiles that can be embellished by adhering patterned paper to, inking, or gluing on printed paper for creating “a concept or thought developed by the mind of what is desireable or ought to be“.

I also collaged a box to hold and contain these fragments of “what ought to be”.

Developing and containing these fragments through this process reminded me (again) of my core intentions, purpose, and helped “untangle” most of the “thought knots”, as well as put back and contain all the little pieces of me that were scattered everywhere and ought to be paid attention to for continued creativity, energy, and collaboration.

From My Smashbook: April Inspiration

April 21, 2013

Thanks to Artsyville’s Glue It Tuesday and the revival of a local Saturday art-making get together I enjoy attending, my smashbook has been filling up with lots of the things I love to stick, collage, and glue down during the month of April:

April Smashbooking: Gretchen Miller | Creativity in Motion

Here I’ve used magazine photo images sent by Lani in 2013’s Creative Pay It Forward, pages from a vintage Reader’s Digest book I discovered, dictionary pages, and other collage bits & pieces I’ve been collecting.  Looking for to this week’s Glue It Tuesday’s fun!

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!

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