Posts Tagged ‘art journaling’

Inspiration from the 2014 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly

July 23, 2014

It’s been a super busy last couple of weeks and I am grateful within that time I was able to schedule in attending a day of the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children’s Annual Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly.

One of the workshops I attended was facilitated by Nora Stanger  and focused on overcoming childhood trauma through reframing experiences, exploring & discovering life purpose, as well as the connection of foundational values and personal leadership in finding that calling.  Check out Nora’s TEDx talk Embrace Your Past…. Define Your Future (8:39) to learn more about her powerful, inspiring story of post traumatic growth:

On reframing, Nora shared these four steps (also available here in handout form):

  • Acknowledge and Apply Your Strengths- What personal strengths can you bring to the situation?
  • Find & Use the Positives- Using your strengths, how can you make the situation better?
  • Accept the Uncontrollable- What parts are not in your control? What are you willing to give up?
  • Focus on the Controllable- What can you control (thoughts, feelings, actions)?

Reframing invites a different way of seeing the experience and challenges us to explore our beliefs about the situation and to change or reverse its meaning.  This perspective can help us manage the experience better and from a strength-based and empowering mind set.   I was super happy that this workshop also included shout outs to the pioneering positive psychology work of Dr. Martin Seligman and his site authentichappiness.org.

On life purpose, Nora discussed how looking beyond ourselves and situations helps discover, give voice, and action to the bigger meaning and calling of our existence, no matter what our past and circumstances.  She cited the work of Dr. Bill Millard and his Life Calling Model, which outlines a series of values rooted in character, faith, and service connected to our strengths, passion, and experiences to explore life purpose. Foundational Values are at the core of our being and helps form the way we think about the world, ourselves, and others. Our values are the basis of our choices (Millard, 2012).

I was inspired by Nora’s content and these presented models not only in relationship to my work in trauma with survivors, but as another addition to  covenant based caregiving that I learned about last month.  More inspiration and awesome ideas for transforming this stuff into altered book form!  Thank you Nora!

Also at the TLC Assembly, I was able to present a workshop on art journaling, trauma intervention, and self care, which was a nice way for attendees to end the week.  This part lecture/part art-making workshop explored the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for processing emotional expression, promoting self care, and sharing ones personal narrative and intentions related to trauma work. Content also included themes and the benefits of art journaling as a visual voice and means of trauma intervention with youth and women survivors. The group engaged in creating their own mini art journal with paper bags with mixed media to help identify and support their own professional self-care practices:

Inspiration from the 2014 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner's Assembly | creativity in motion

Inspiration from the 2014 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner's Assembly | creativity in motion

Inspiration from the 2014 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner's Assembly | creativity in motion

 It was such a pleasure to work with this group! Thank you to everyone who attended!

You can check out all the photos from the Assembly’s great week via TLC here. :)

Journey to Resilience: Takeaways & Creative Offerings

June 5, 2014
Journey to Resilence: Takeaways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

3×5 365 day 154 takeaways : journey to resilience

This week was our annual staff retreat and this year the day was completely dedicated to the impact of trauma exposure, self-care strategies, and resiliency.  The retreat’s main speaker was Cynthia Vrabel, MD, who is the Medical Director of FrontLine Service here in Cleveland. Dr. Vrabel’s work includes an interest in research and program development to address the issue of secondary traumatic stress in clinicians and first responders.

I found the content presented throughout the day really spoke to the realities, challenges, & struggles of trauma work and exposure related to compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout, as well as provided nurturing and encouraging staff self-care strategies and takeaways to implement and build upon as individuals, within programming, and agency wide. It was re-energizing to spend the day receiving Dr. Vrabel’s teachings and reminders rooted in the work of Dr. Bruce Perry, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, Brene Brown, and many others who offer support & inspiration related to trauma focused work.

There were countless takeaways from the day, but my top 3 were these:

  • Create a Transition Zone: A space, ritual or practice that supports us to create a healthier boundary and balance between our personal life and work. In the same spirit, this idea reminded me to re-visit the article, 10 Easy Steps to Creating a Peaceful Home Retreat published by the Joyful Heart Foundation‘s Reunion Magazine (Issue 2).  This resource provides many sensory based suggestions that can help cultivate routines and areas within the space we live to shift into a place of calmness, peace, and relaxation.  Using symbolic objects, scents, music, journaling, creative expression, & more are all offered as options to integrate this into self care practice.
  • Covenant Based Caregiving: A covenant can be defined as “a written agreement or promise…especially for the performance of some action.” What are your covenants, values, or intentions related to bringing your “best self” to your life, work and service….to not only others, but to yourself as well? We were given a worksheet created by Dr. Vrabel to explore discovering our own covenants that I thought could easily be explored in visual form as well (I thought about making a collage or book!).  What are your own values and promises to yourself that you can make about living, working, loving, being, becoming, believing, promoting, striving, and seeking that support covenant caregiving vs. “on demand” caregiving?
  • Compassion Satisfaction: Compassion satisfaction is the enjoyment created from being able to help other people. It is the opposite of Compassion Fatigue (the emotional and physical exhaustion of caring for others) or Vicarious Trauma (becoming traumatized ourselves as a result of being exposed to stories and images of suffering).  I am always interested in learning more about concepts connected to Post Traumatic Growth and how very stressful or traumatic situations can transform into positive and life affirming experiences. Compassion Satisfaction supports this experience for the helper or caregiver, which I love!  Check out this resource: Transforming Compassion Fatigue into Compassion Satisfaction – 12 Top Self Care Tips for more ideas and suggestions.

In addition to the cognitive learning throughout the day, there was also dedicated time to mind/body & sensory based activities to support and explore self-care themes.  Part of the morning included engaging in stretching, movement, & deep breathing and during some of the afternoon I was able to introduce and lead everyone in an art experience focused on art journaling as a tool for nurturing emotional resilience.

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

Nurturing Emotional Resilience through Art Journaling

 Everyone created paper bag art journals (check out this past post on how to make one!) as a tangible reminder of our supports, strengths, positive affirmations, and comfort.  Each person also received an Artist Trading Card as an invitation to create an anchoring image that reflected a sense of peace and relaxation inspiration.  A variety of creative goodness was offered for materials such as acrylic paint, pastels, Sharpies, gel pens, printed paper of various colors and bright designs, tissue paper, as well as journaling cards & Smash pad paper.  I also invited people to bring their own favorite quotes, sayings, images and inspiration related to resiliency, affirmation, and self-care.

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

It was great to see the room buzz with book making and art journaling energy infused with both written and visual positive messages.  The group was encouraged to continue working on their handmade journal and ATC post retreat and to also incorporate its presence into a work space where it could be of help or support in times of need or support.

Journey to Resilience: Takeways & Creative Offerings | creativity in motion

In relationship to this post’s topic, next month at the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children’s Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly, I’ll be presenting another workshop about 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 one’s 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 also 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.  Registration for this year’s Assembly is still open if you’re interested in attending!

It was so wonderful to have a day to come together to honor self-care and the impact trauma work can have on our wellbeing, as well as learn and practice ways to manage, balance, and cultivate what supports our best self – at work, home, and in our relationships. Very grateful!

Related Resources:

The Art of Emotional Resilience

Top Ten Takeaways : PEP Symposium Dr. Bruce Perry in Cleveland

Trauma Stewardship, Gratitude, and Wordle Making

The Art of Emotional Resilience

April 17, 2014

 Last week I had some art therapy fun while visiting Wisconsin again.  My first stop was a return to Edgewood College in Madison to spend some creative time with Janice Havlena and her students (ECATS- Edgewood College Art Therapy Students). Since my last visit to Edgewood’s campus in 2011, the art therapy department is now part of a brand new building (The Stream!), which includes an amazing papermaking and mixed media studio inside and a beautiful view of Lake Wingra outside.

edgewoodbuilding

During this visit, I facilitated an art-making workshop with the ECATS focused on making a mini book of strengths.  Janice had a great stash of abandoned art slides, which we re-purposed into an accordion style book. The plastic slide mount surface was also perfect to introduce the joy of playing with alcohol inks!  :)

edgewood1

edgewood2

If you want to learn more about how to create your own accordion slide mount book, check out this past post.

slidebook4

Identifying a variety of strengths were explored on the altered “pages” of the slide mounts , inspired by these Signature Strengths.  Remembering and activating our strengths can be a helpful way to empower us in times of challenge and distress.

It was awesome to witness the student’s books take form with these positive reminders.  Many thanks to Janice and all the students for hanging out and making art together!

10258167_10201902056019033_6374864332366183905_n

After my visit at Edgewood College, I headed to Milwaukee to attend this year’s Spring Art Therapy Symposium, The Image Has It: Art, Practice, and the Brain at Mount Mary University, also sponsored by the Wisconsin Art Therapy Association.  The Symposium’s keynote featured Lukasz Konopka, MD & Chris Belkofer PhD, ATR-BC who spoke about their neuroscience research and its implications for art therapy.

I also attended a variety of other inspiring art therapy presentations from Noel L’Esperance, Lori Mackey, Lynn Kapitan, and Bruce Moon…

mmusymposium

I was excited to be able to offer a workshop introducing trauma-informed themes, prompts, and the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for nurturing and strengthening emotional resilience.  We made mini-art journals (also an accordion book style!) to safely contain inside a matchbox to explore the importance of social support and community:

SafePassageArtJournal

groupSafePassage

If you want to create your own mini matchbox art journal, here’s a simple how to PDF that you can download and print out:

artjournalmatchox

I really had a nice time while in Wisconsin on these art therapy adventures!  I’ve returned with new inspiration and energy, which is always a great win-win!

******

More Inspiration & Resources!

On Resilience, Strengths and Gratitude [Art Journal Pages]

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

Happy Artist’s Life Art Journaling and More Creative Goodness

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community

March 1, 2014

This past week it was great fun and an honor to be the featured guest for 21 SECRETS LIVE!, hosted by the wonderful Hali Karla.  As introduced here before, this awesome event happening every Wednesday through June, celebrates five years of Dirty Footprints Studio’s 21 SECRETS art journaling- Yay!. Past workshop instructors have been invited to participate in a real time art journaling session with a live online chat audience.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | creativity in motion

Chatting it up with wonderful host Hali Karla!

Each week the featured guest introduces a theme for that evening’s broadcast to focus on.  Themes so far have been a combination of inspiring techniques and prompts to enrich our art journaling experience while hanging out with amazing artists such as Jane Davenport, Aimee Myers Dolich, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, and Rachel Whetzel- and more awesomeness coming up!

The theme I chose for my broadcast was dedicated to the intention of community to honor what we receive from and offer to one another when in a group that we feel authentically connected to and a sense of true belonging.

I offered the idea of using our hands to symbolize this outreach within our art journals: one hand to express what we receive from being part of a community and the other hand symbolizing what we offer in our giving.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | creativity in motion

Let the [LIVE!] Art Journaling Begin!

While all working in our art journals together, we chatted about the benefits and value of community in relationship to art-making and creative practice. Helping decrease isolation, increase support, foster accountability, inspire growth, and cultivate connection among individuals with a common passion or interest were some of the topics discussed while we artfully concentrated on the theme.

Here are a few pages from that evening’s broadcast:

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | Hali Karla

Hali Karla

Reflections about community as a positive, hopeful, and safe place to give & receive together were explored, as well as the different creative forms community can take, especially online.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | Dale Anne Potter

Dale Anne Potter

You can read more here about Dale Anne Potter’s reflections on community inspired by this prompt.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | Amanda Knapp

Amanda Knapp

Amanda added orange netting to her pages to represent a safety net- love this element!  Read more here on Amanda’s blog greatliveoak.

My Art Journal Spread- Together

My art journaling during the broadcast included using acrylic paint, collage elements in the form of maps and dictionary words, oil pastels, and some distressed ink, stain, and paint.  As I worked, the image started to become a guide of sorts of what I have re-discovered and learned about the meaning of community in my work, relationships, and art-making.

Many, many thanks to Connie for inviting me to be part of 21 SECRETS LIVE!, Hali for hosting, and the community of participants who attended the broadcast or checked out the post-show recording, and artists who allowed me to share their art here.

It was a very cool experience (and very fitting!) to explore the theme of community in this way!

Registration for 21 SECRETS LIVE! is now closed, but all the broadcast recordings will be available as a self-study bundle this summer. Yes! A new 21 SECRETS online art journaling workshop opens April 1 if you are interested in checking out this inspiring creative community!

*****

Related Posts:

Answering the Call: Cleveland Creative Women’s Circle

Open Heart Creating, Connecting & Community

Handmade Revolution Making Continues @ 21 SECRETS Art Journaling Workshop

Things I Remembered: Looking Back with Some Creative Clarity

February 23, 2014

Throughout this month I’ve been reflecting on some of my past art journaling and creative work from the last couple or so years…

Things I Remembered: creativity in motion

#thingsiremembered: circa 2012 revo’lution making

That’s one of the awesome things about art expression, it is a tangible & visual record that the artist can look back on at any moment in time. Often the process of looking back on a series of creative work can reveal new discoveries or provide clarity that can now be seen in a different light or perspective.

In this tinybudda post about [writing] journaling tips for growing, healing, and thriving (which I think I’ve posted here before!), author Loran Hills shares:

“Reading back through my journals has helped me reflect on where I used to be and where I am now in my life. It’s a method of allowing the light of understanding and compassion to shine on my past.”

I agree!

You can learn more about the benefits of looking back (and going forward!) here.

On a “things I forgot” (related) note: In a moment of material sorting and organizing this week-end, I also discovered some art that had been lost & forgotten- buried underneath a stash of art stuff I threw in the closet of my creative space probably about a year ago.

The piece was a little crumpled and disheveled, but it was a super nice discovery to be re-united with it again. With care, I took it to my Smashbook and taped it to one of the pages. Ahhhh…. a safe home. Finally where it belongs. How refreshing to look at it now with fresh eyes and some breathing space… What was lost is now found.

Things I Remembered: Looking Back with Some Creative Clarity

Lost & Found

How have you used looking back on your creative expression as a way to grow?

*****

Related Posts:

ready for revo’lution twentytwelve

twentytwelve revo’lution book reflection

Prepare > Intent > Create > Transform: ready for revo’lution [2014]

My 3×5 365 Art Adventure …in Progress…

February 16, 2014

My  3x5 365 Art Adventure ...In Progress... | creativity in motion

February’s 3×5 365 art adventure is half way through this month and the project is approaching the day 50 milestone later this week. Woo hoo!

Here are some random snapshots of Days 32 through 47:

My 3x5 365 Art Adventure ...In Progress... | creativity in motion

I’ve been having fun mixing in some paint pens (metallic and white) along with distressed paint, stain, & ink.  I’ve also been adding a little more washi tape here and there.

My 3x5 365 Art Adventure ...In Progress... | creativity in motion

Words included on these 3x5s have been a combination of dictionary pages/text, letter stamping, magazine collage,  word remnant rub transfer sheets & chitchat stickers. 

My 3x5 365 Adventure...In Progress... | creativity in motion

It is inspiring for me to see this month’s work (so far) all spread out as a group and witness what they have in common, their differences, and the energy that exists between each 3×5 space.

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity…We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”  ~Max de Pree

 

My 3x5 365 Art Adventure ...In Progress... | creativity in motion

*****

If you’re looking for some creative practice inspiration, this week’s post over at the 6 Degrees of Creativity blog features a sneak peek of the online offering Everyday Creativity, a virtual space opening on March 1 as part of this year’s 6 Degrees of Creativity workshops.

This space is committed to helping participants sustain an ongoing creative practice with ideas, resources, and a supportive community to keep encouraging our artsy spirit throughout this year.

Whether you are currently engaging in your own daily creative practice through 365 art-making, writing, photography, art journaling, doodling, or have an interest in kick starting or activating more/new art making, this workshop will offer a nurturing creative environment for this kind of inspiration!  Everyday Creativity will offer forum discussions, online community chats, and creative prompts to explore concepts and support one another related to creative practice, time, space, routine, materials, and more.

I look forward to sharing more of my 365 work and experiences in this space, as well as learning and being inspired by other participant ideas, practices, & projects!  :)

Hooray to creative practice!

*****

Related Posts:

The Creative Deed Project

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art

3×5 365 Begins

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art

February 9, 2014

This month continues to be an active winter of lingering subzero coldness and a big dose of snowfall here this past week.

Despite feeling a little (or a lot on some days!) of winter fatigue, making my own art  (and a cup of hot chocolate or two) has been a great way for me to warm up the frozen day to day landscape surrounding me,  as well as inspire wishful thinking about warmer days ahead (40 degrees would be nice!).

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art | creativity in motion

February Winter

So here’s some of my winter weather fatigue art:

I’ve been working on my visual planning for February using pages from this 2014 Planner and some special extras I received this week in the mail from Theresa (thank you)….

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art | creativity in motion

February rpbing

….as well as just finished the first week of February’s 3x5s

3x5 365 | creativity in motion

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art | creativity in motion

February 3×5 Beginnings

I’ve also been material shopping & prepping for the Artist Challenge Coin workshop I’ll be co-facilitating this week at Cuyahoga Community College. It’s been fun to bring together some of my favorite mixed media materials for making these special tokens….

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art | creativity in motion

Artist Challenge Coin Media Prep

I’ve also had Inchie Art on the brain this past week- starting the process to create more 1×1 inch love, as well as finishing the Inchie book that I started last week for an upcoming 6 Degrees of Creativity workshop featuring this teeny tiny creative goodness…

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art | creativity in motion

WIP: Inchie Art

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art | creativity in motion

My lil’ book of Inchie Treasure for 6 Degrees of Creativity

And finally, an inspiring artful happening to this week was art journaling along with Artsyville’s Aimee Myers Dolich‘s during 21 SECRETS LIVE!. We played with watercolors, old ink pads, and collage.  It was so much fun to virtually see Aimee in her creative space LIVE! and hear/see/learn more about the techniques she uses for art journaling, gluebooking, doodling, and more.

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art | creativity in motion

21 SECRETS LIVE! with AImee Myers Dolich

I’m super looking forward to my 21 SECRETS LIVE! experience happening at the end of this month with host Hali Karla and doing some art journaling with everyone. It’s getting close….So exciting!

What art happenings and activity have you been (or will be!) up to this month?

Here’s to warmer days ahead that continue to be art filled and full of creative goodness!

*****

Related Posts:

Creative Goodness Alert: Spotlight on 6 Degrees of Creativity Workshops

2014 Art Journaling Creative Goodness: 21 SECRETS LIVE!

2014 Creative Planning

In the Presence of Now: Creating One 3×5 At a Time

3×5 365: 10+10=20 [ICAD]

January 20, 2014

A little bit of inspiration in words + images from the past week and then some… 10 more days of 3×5 365… 10+10=20:

3x5 365 10=10=20

3×5 365 10=10=20

“I now see how gifts like courage, compassion, and connection only work when they are exercised. Every day.” ― Brene Brown

 

3 x5 365 | creativity in motion
day 11: the joys of meandering

“The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but, rather, the reality of the force the thing contains.”― James Baldwin

 

day 12

day 12: measuring

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path…” ― Winston Churchill

 

day 13

day 13: my happy place

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”― C. JoyBell C.

 

day 16

day 16: love [reclaimed space]

“You must reclaim what you never lost…” -Gnarls Barkley

 

day 19

day 19: responsibility

 [on being] faithful to [external] responsibility + [inner] authenticity

 

3x5 365 on the flipside

3×5 365 on the flipside

“Only in the darkness are able to see the stars.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

day 20: see the light

day 20: see the light

It is exciting to be approaching the completion of month #1 with this new project! The connection and new flow for this ICAD practice is starting to gradually emerge, which continues to be an interesting process. Stay tuned for more 3×5 365 progress at the end of this month!

If you are looking for a space to exchange inspiration, strengthen, or begin a creative practice, one of my online workshops in this year’s 6 Degrees of Creativity, Everyday Creativity is dedicated to sustaining (or starting) this kind of adventure with ideas, resources, and a supportive space to keep encouraging your artsy spirit throughout this year. Whether it is a 365 project, weekly, or monthly art happening!  I am super looking forward to bringing this kind of creative energy to 6 Degrees of Creativity.

Everyday Creativity

Related Posts:

In the Presence of Now: Creating One 3×5 At a Time

3×5 365 Begins

2014 6 Degrees of Creativity Workshops-On Sale Now!

art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories

January 13, 2014

It is an honor to be helping Ursuline College’s Art Therapy and Counseling Program with this February event:

art. speak.heal: Honoring Veteran StoriesUrsuline College’s Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling Program, in collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College’s Division of Arts and Sciences, announces its 14th annual arts and healing exhibition at Tri-C Gallery East. This year the exhibition, art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories will focus on veterans, their families, and the creative arts.  The exhibit is also co-sponsored by the Buckeye Art Therapy Association and Cleveland Foundation.

 Submitting art work for this exhibition is open until January 23 and 24.  More information about entering art can be found here.

I’ve been helping with getting works from the Peace Paper Project for the show and grateful to Drew and Margaret for sending some of the handmade paper made in 2013 Veteran Paper Workshops:

“Veteran Paper Workshop provides veterans with hand papermaking as a vehicle for self-expression and healing. Peace Paper Project facilitates Veteran Paper Workshop in collaboration with Art Therapists and Recreation Therapists to ensure that veterans experience the benefits of hand papermaking in supportive environments. Participants are invited to reconstitute their military uniforms into paper.”

art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories | creativity in motion

2013 Peace Paper

Also included in this exhibit are the work of two Florida State University art therapy students who helped host the Peace Paper Veteran workshop Drew, Margaret, and I facilitated in 2012 on campus for the FSU Department of Art Education/Art Therapy, FSU College Veteran Association and FSU Veteran’s Center.

Rachel Mims, a FSU art therapy graduate student and US Army Veteran contributed Peace Paper she made from her military uniforms and then overlayed with pulp printing of images from her training and deployment:

Rachel Mims (2012) Peace Paper: 2003 Deployment

Rachel Mims (2012) Peace Paper: 2003 Deployment

Rachel also submitted her very first art journal, a space that she used to cope with and manage her emotions and experiences related to her Medical Discharge from the Army and coping with life changing injuries she sustained during her service:

I used this art journal to help me get through all the difficult emotions that arose when I realized that my injury was not healing and I would be disabled for the rest of my life; this was the same time that my medical discharge from the Army began. I was supposed to lead by example but being injured meant I could not do most of what was required of me; this was very difficult for me mentally and emotionally – instead of being a great leader I was suddenly worthless (in the eyes of the Army at least!). The journal was my way of dealing with the difficult days and encouraging myself to keep going!”

Rachel Mims Art Journal Pages (2011)

Rachel Mims Art Journal Pages (2011)

Now in her Art Therapy Internship at FSU, Rachel, alongside with a music therapist will be providing student veterans with free music and art therapy as part of a project she’s helped create called The Veteran Creative Arts Therapy Initiative.

Meredith McMackin, a doctoral student in FSU’s Art Therapy Program, also submitted an image for the Ursuline/Tri-C Exhibit that she created during Peace Paper’s FSU workshop that honored her son who was killed in Iraq in 2007. Her handmade paper was made from the cloth of the dress she bought for his memorial service.

Titled Release, Meredith openly shares this in the piece’s powerful statement:

“…Cutting the dress into small squares, I released them into a vessel of water, which fed into a machine that slowly ground the fibers down to pulp.  I felt a sense of ease and peace watching the fibers dissolve the tightness of painful memories and float freely in the cleansing water…. The finished piece symbolizes my son’s release into spirit as well as my own transformation inspired by his self-less gift of life.”

You can read more about Meredith and her commitment to providing workshops at the FSU Veteran’s Center, as well as serving as a trained Peer Mentor for the Tragedies Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in these two links. Meredith and Rachel are also presenting a workshop on Paper Making as Trauma Intervention for PTSD with Veterans at the 2014 Florida Art Therapy Association in early February.  It is inspiring to see the work of Peace Paper continue in the art therapy community!

Much gratitude to Drew & Margaret of Peace Paper, Rachel, and Meredith for contributing art for this exhibition, as well as sharing the personal stories and inspiring work behind the images that will be on display.  If you are in the NE Ohio area, the exhibit will be open through March 6 at Tri-C’s Gallery on the Eastern Campus. The Massillon Museum, The National Museum of Veterans Art, the Louis Stokes VA Medical Hospital, and more will also be part of this year’s exhibit.

************

In addition to the art exhibition opening on February 13, there will be a free community lecture that evening by David Peacock, Therapeutic Director of Valor Home in Akron, Ohio and on the following day, a panel about the value and availability of arts and healing programs for veterans and families will be offered, as well as expressive therapies workshops.

I’m also honored to be part of the panel discussion to speak more about The Peace Paper Project, as well as offer a creative workshop with Art Therapist Laurel Larson, MPS, ATR who works for Volunteers of America in collaboration with the Cleveland VA providing art therapy services at the Veteran’s Domiciliary in Wade Park.

Our workshop on February 14, In Honor, Service, and Mission: Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs) is inspired by the tradition of Challenge Coins, commonly used in the military and within service organizations. A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion symbolizing achievement, membership, or recognition, as well as given to increase morale and community among belonging members.  In the spirit of Challenge Coins, workshop participants will create and exchange mixed media ACCs as tokens of affirmation, service, strength, gratitude, and encouragement.

art. speak. heal: Honoring Veteran Stories | creativity in motion

My Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs)

There will also be additional expressive therapies workshops to choose from focused on drama, creative writing,  storytelling, and healing facilitated by Expressive Therapist Dr. Lisa Peacock of the Women Warrior Project and Vet Art Ohio, as well as Dr. Shianne Eagelheart, LIC, Founder of The Redbird Center for Healing.  If you are a professional looking for continuing education, CEUs will be available.  To register, download the workshop form here.

I hope if you are in the NE Ohio area, you will join us to attend this special event on February 13 & 14 or visit the exhibit while it is on display.

******

Related Posts:

Peace Paper: Papermaking, Art Therapy, and Social Action On the Move in 2012

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

Releasing and Reforming

In the Presence of Now: Creating One 3×5 At a Time

January 11, 2014

[Things end because.... something else is ready to begin.]

The last 10 days of my 3×5 365 project has been an interesting transition from 2013’s 365 project. A mixture of loss (from the familiarity of what was) mixed in with much excitement (about what can be), along with a reminder (to just be present in the here and now).  A helpful, simple tool I’ve started to use for this gentle reminder into the “presence of now” is this handy (and free!) Gratitude and One Minute Meditation app.  For me, this added practice helps re-frame and create a moment of pause before beginning to work on the day’s 3×5.

As I’ve started to embark on this new 365 adventure, these beginning days have been spent getting to know and being present to this project’s new form, being, and structure…a building of rapport and flow connected to this project’s voice.

I’ve already noticed how much I really do enjoy having the 3×5 space to [breathe], create, and play in.

I am eager to see what develops in these sacred spaces over time.. remembering to embrace this process one 3×5 at a time.

[ “Tomorrow will always hold curiosities but it is the enchantment of today's possibilities which has me true to the present.” ] ― Truth Devour, Wantin

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Related Posts:

3×5 365 Begins

Heart Space: 365 Days of revo’lution making

Revo’lution Bits: My 365 Project Begins

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