Creative Refuge

July 25, 2016

Creative Refuge | creativity in motion

Truth.

 

For lots more artsy quotes and images , check out this collection on Pinterest.

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Implications of National Trends in Digital Media Use for Art Therapy Practice

July 14, 2016

Implications of National Trends in Digital Media Use for Art Therapy Practice | Journal of Clinical Art Therapy

I am excited to announce that in the new issue of the Journal of Clinical Art Therapy (Volume 3, Issue 1) an article that I co-authored with Girija Kamal, Michele Rattigan, and Jennifer Haddy about digital media and considerations for art therapy practice was recently published.

Abstract: This paper presents an overview of national trends in visual art-making and art sharing using digital media, and, the authors’ reflections on the implications of these findings for art therapy practice. These findings were based on a secondary analysis of the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts administered by the National Endowment for the Arts. Survey findings indicated that increasing proportions of people in the United States are using digital media for creating, archiving, and sharing their art. Reflections by the authors on these findings include support for increase in use of digital media by art therapists for their own art and the need for research about, and, education on best practices for use of digital media.

You can download the full paper available via open access on the JCAT site here.

Many thanks to Girija for bringing us together to contribute to this publication, as well as JCAT’s Editor Einat S. Metzl and the JCAT Editorial Board for their interest in this topic. :)

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3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop

June 14, 2016

I had a great time at Lani Gerity‘s workshop this past week-end at the Mid Atlantic Play Therapy Institute: Visual Art Journaling for Teens and Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, and Contained.

creativity in motion

The day was an artful exploration of resilience building, flourishing, intention setting, strength reflection, and lots of creative goodness to fill our handmade art journals that we made from hanging file folders, basic manila file folders for the signature pages inside, and a simple pamphlet stitch to bind it all together.

3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop | creativity in motion

I really enjoyed using the various supplies I brought in my mobile art stash– as well as sharing them with my tablemates so they could experiment with them in different ways. It was very inspiring to work in this community. We even did a table exchange of mini art in the form of artist trading cards, index cards, and craft tags to honor the concept of art as a gift, one of Lani’s prompts to explore practicing kindness and sharing joy with others through our art.  I was lucky to be gifted this art from Mary during our table exchange:

creativity in motion

Art as a Gift

 Upon returning home, as I was unpacking my supplies, handouts, and art from the workshop, I reflected on Lani’s teachings from the day prior and the power of art making to help us cope in distressing and challenging times.

This reflection also prompted me to summarize a list of 3 good things (so many to choose from!) from content introduced during the workshop- and ways to help instill hope, gratitude, and self-care into our lives:

  • Three Blessings Exercise– Dr. Martin Seligman suggests this practice as a way to foster well-being and decrease depression.  This exercise encourages us to make note of three things (for one week) what went well throughout our day and to reflect on why they went well (i.e. “why did this happen?”). According to the research of Dr. Seligman, focusing (and dwelling) on our blessings (what is good, going right with life) helps increase our well-being and decreases anxiety, depression that dwelling on bad events can actually make a lot worse. Lani puts an art-based spin to this exercise by suggesting to create art about three good things (collectively in one image or in separate images).  In one of Lani’s Happy Artist’s Life Workshops a few years ago for 6 Degrees of Creativity I even made a Pinterest board to collect images and content inspired by things that made me happy.  Re-visiting this board made me thankful that I created it— and maybe it is a good time to start adding to it again.
  • Daily Creative Practice– Citing the work and practice of art therapy pioneer Edith Kramer, Lani shared that creating art everyday helps guide skillfulness (mastery). This type of practice has a direct connection to nurturing our resilience, regulation, and inspiring us to be and do the best that we can.  I love that this reminder was included as part of the day’s offerings- and very much agree with these findings!
  • Sensory Relief Art- This prompt (originally to create an image representing a mini vacation and to incorporate the senses) inspired a collage that was connected to the importance of self-care, focusing on the here & now, and finding refuge & breathe in this space. I used a photograph of an old collage I created, pieces of torn (blue) magazine pages, distressed ink, and paint pens. Lots of relief in this image!
3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop | creativity in motion

Self-Care © 2016 gretchen miller

Thanks to the Lani, all the participants I met at the workshop, and the small group of fellow art journalers that I worked with throughout the day.  I look forward to incorporating content we learned into my groupwork and adding it to my art journaling ideas and inspiration.

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Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup

June 3, 2016

Behold some of the daily photos I’ve taken and re-worked for Illuminate 365 over the last couple of months!

It is inspiring to see them together here. With springtime gradually awakening during this time I have enjoyed capturing and symbolizing aspects of the season to reflect on the illumination theme.  A time for re-growth, renewal, as well as gratitude for days that awaken with and contain so much more light, even on the darkest days.

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motionIlluminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion Illuminate 365 Awakening & Renewal Photo Roundup | creativity in motion

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Have Art Supplies, Will Travel: Summer 2016 Mobile Art Stash

May 29, 2016

I am starting to put together some supplies that I want to take with me as I prep for an upcoming workshop I am attending soon and other on the go adventures. It’s been awhile since I really assessed my traveling art stash situation. This was a good excuse to restock materials, get some new ones, and organize/re-discover existing creative goodies I can use while on the go.

This month Lisa Sonara also shared this inspiring post about art supplies and journals she packs when traveling and it gave me some great ideas and new suggestions to consider.

 In June I am looking forward to attending an art journaling Master Class facilitated by Lani Gerity. I was excited to receive her list of suggested art supplies to bring to compliment the basic supplies that we’ll be using.

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

I took one of the tips that Lisa offered about using a cosmetic bag for art supply storage. I usually pack my art supplies in my carry on so I tend to use pouches and organizers that can easily go in my bag, won’t weigh a ton, and I can use in the airport or on the plane. I was super surprised what I was able to put into the little black pouch above!

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

During the workshop we’ll be creating our art journal from basic office supplies, so I tried to include some of favorite materials also in this same category. I also included some materials that I use in my art therapy groups with teens and adults or in my own creative work. Here’s what I got in the bag (with a little room to spare!)

-Crayola’s Glitter and Metallic Markers (a favorite material of choice in my groups- available at Target!)

– Various blank artist trading cards, index cards, craft tags, smash pad papers

– Alcohol prep pads (love to use these for smudging and distressing)

– Double sided tape dispenser, glue sticks (of course!), liquid glue tube, mini wite out dispenser

– Glitter glue, plastic junk mail card (for spreading paint, glue)

– Various colored ink pens, MÅLA felt markers, white ink pens

– Black cotton cord and twine, thread & needle

– TSA approved scissors (important!), jet black StazOn ink pad (must have!)

– Washi tape

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

  IMG_6843

I also re-discovered a collection of mini ink pads that are perfect to bring along (one of my most favorite materials to use in my own art journaling), but will probably put them in their own small ziploc bag that will go into my suitcase!

IMG_6847

I am still working on gathering collage material that I want to bring. I have a ton of magazine photo collage stuff and different textures and patterns of paper that I could choose from. It was suggested by Lani to look for images that are connected to the population we work with.  Of course I’ll also be bringing my stash of dictionary pages and rub on transfer letters to use as well…..

Excited to discover what develops from this workshop! :)

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Twentythirteen Creating on the Go: My Mobile Art Stash


Art Therapy: Finding Help, Finding Hope

May 5, 2016

Art Therapy: Finding Help, Finding Hope | creativity in motion

May launches Mental Health Awareness Month, and today, May 5 recognizes National Children’s Mental Health Awareness (CMHAD) sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) is one of the organizations supporting tonight’s national event in Washington, DC.

In honor of spreading awareness about this day, this week I put up a display of artwork from some of the teens I’ve had in my art therapy groups this year.  Preparing this display and reflecting on this year’s CMHAD theme of “Finding Help, Finding Hope” inspired me to think about it’s meaning and connection to the work that happens in art therapy. So much about the act of making art is about hope. Despite the challenges and experiences the clients I work with are facing, the creative expression that takes place when they are in art therapy provides a life affirming moment in the here and now to share ones self, emotions, and experiences. Their art helps to make sense of, create meaning, or to re-frame what is often so very hard to do with just words alone. For many of the youth I work with, the art they create often helps them discover or imagine a new beginning, a fresh start, a sense of comfort or safety that they long for.  Art making in art therapy offers a place of acceptance, refuge, and support. And as art therapist Bruce Moon reminds us in his book Art-Based Group Therapy: “making art in the presence of others is an expression of hope”. It is a privilege to be able to witness the youth I work with find help and hope through the power of art therapy.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of art therapy in children’s mental health, check out this post  The Important Role of Art Therapy in Supporting Children’s Mental Health that I did for the American Art Therapy Association last year.

SAMHSA also has free publications you can order and electronic downloads on a variety of mental health, recovery, and trauma related topics for all ages available here.

 


Creative Motivation: The Gifts of Online Community Participation

April 11, 2016

Creative Motivation: The Gifts of Online Community Participation | creativity in motion

As part of this year’s Spectrum (on its opening day May 2!), I am really excited and looking forward to chatting with Spectrum Organizer Hali Karla about the topic Creative Motivation: The Gifts of Online Community Participation. In our recorded video chat we’ll be exploring how to find your own rhythm and balance when using social media connections for inspiring & motivating your creativity.  As you may know, it is a topic I am super passionate about! I can’t wait to talk with Hali about it and have it included to kick off Spectrum 2016 as a bonus offering for this year’s participants- Yay!

How have you used social media connection to nurture or inspire your creativity?

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My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365

April 5, 2016

It is now month four of my 2016 project: Illuminate 365.  Uploading all the photos and captures I’ve taken everyday over this first quarter was a wonderful (yet, a little overwhelming!) opportunity to reflect on the images, concepts, and messages they each convey.  This creative adventure has become a daily treasure hunt for illumination- revealed through rays of light, shadows of darkness, nature’s beauty, the morning sun, ordinary objects, warm candlelight, and many, many different places both outdoors and inside throughout this year’s winter season and now the fickle springtime that is upon us….

Many days honor inspiration such as, but not limited to: hope, grace, passion, courage, and creation…. other days provide a reminder or awakening of guidance, validation, and encouragement…. or a time embrace slowing down… while other days help me recognize that you cannot appreciate the light without the presence of darkness… each of the images below are all are sacred pieces and moments of this journey so far… (in no particular order):

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

I’ve taken all these photos on my iPhone- experimenting a lot with app filters (LiveCollage, iLeaker, Instagram, LightEffects) which is quite fun.  Another treasure hunt that accompanies this project for me is discovering quotes and inspirations that connect with the image.

As the spring starts to completely bloom and begins to give way to summer, it will be nice to take notice of a refreshed landscape with a greener scenery outside and the impact of longer, warmer days ahead.:)


Travel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home!

March 27, 2016

6 Degrees of Creativity

Joy! The Random Acts of Art Adventure arrived back this month- wow! Thousands and thousands of miles logged around the world and many, many creative hands have contributed to this project since 2013- it been quite overwhelming to still take it’s artful presence all in- now here back in my hands- so grateful for everyone who was part of its long, inspiring journey…. Below are pics from its last few creative stops in Texas, North Carolina, and back here to Ohio:

Bethany in Texas:

Travel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home! | 6 Degrees of CreativityTravel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home! | 6 Degrees of Creativity

Carolyn in Texas— who also wrote this great post about her experience on her blog Creativity in Therapy:

Travel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home! | 6 Degrees of CreativityTravel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home! | 6 Degrees of CreativityTravel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home! | 6 Degrees of Creativity

Molly in North Carolina:

Travel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home! | 6 Degrees of Creativity

Misty in Ohio:

Travel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Arrives Home! | 6 Degrees of Creativity

My plan is to photograph the beautiful creative passports that traveled with the pouch and put a video together of its creative adventure and celebrate all the amazing participants who helped make this project happen throughout its 61 stop travel route.

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Make Paper, Make Peace

March 22, 2016

Earlier this month Drew Matott and I taught another Peace Paper papermaking, trauma intervention and social action course- this one for Counseling and Art Therapy graduate students at Ursuline College.  It was fun to teach together again over 2 days and introduce the 26 students we had to the therapeutic benefits of papermaking.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motionMake Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students were introduced to the work and travels of Peace Paper, its history and mission to collaborate with the art therapy community, and a variety of examples about how papermaking can be used with many different populations- especially in relationship to trauma, loss, & recovery, as well as bring awareness to issues related to mental health, sexual assault, and bullying.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students made lots of paper over the course of the workshop– probably at least 150 sheets (!) and experimented with pulp printing, double couching, and book binding.  Paper was first made using Peace Paper’s Hollander Beater from meaningful articles of clothing or a piece of fabric that students brought and wanted to transform into paper… as a new beginning or as an act of letting go of something.  Students also were introduced to DIY papermaking without the use of a Hollander, to explore adaptable options in the art therapy setting.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

What a great couple of days making paper with this group!

If you’re interested in Peace Paper’s trainings and workshops throughout the rest of 2016, check out the tour schedule here.  News about Peace Paper and resources for papermaking can be found here.

Make paper, make peace!

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