The Random Acts of Art Adventure is Alive and Well in California!

August 3, 2015

Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC:

Creative Goodness Alert!

Originally posted on 6 Degrees of Creativity:

Very good news to share about The Random Acts of Art Adventure after an almost 3 month hiatus in Washington: the project is alive and well again in California, finally making it to Paulette in Woodside– Yay!   I was soooo relieved and excited to see the photo below kindly sent by Paulette (thank you!) of the canvas pouch & creative passport, which arrived a couple of days ago from Olympia:

The Random Acts of Art Adventure is Alive and Well in California! | 6 Degrees of Creativity Stop #49: Woodside, California with Paulette

Wow! What a long journey of creative goodness it has been, which is now going into its third year.  A dozen destinations remain and I can’t wait to see the adventure keep moving again to new creative spaces throughout California, in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina, and back to Ohio.

I continue to learn and discover so much as a result of this process, its participants, and each stop the pouch visits, which includes…

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Creative Deed 365: July Offerings

July 31, 2015

July was a busy month for Creative Deed 365!  :)

Earlier this month, Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis took place during this year’s AATA Conference in Minneapolis, which was a delight to follow via participants who shared this activity on social media.  There were some inspiring discoveries left and found during these 5 days!  Thank you to everyone who participated, both deeders and finders- so much fun!

Creative Deed 365: July Offerings | creativity in motionCreative Deed 365: July Offerings | creativity in motionI also discovered another local find on Instagram this month of a creative deed I left last week:

Creative Deed 365: July Offerings | creativity in motion

Below are all of July’s offerings that I made and distributed throughout the month…. I am still making progress with my Creative Deed 365 mailing list, where I am sending out creative deeds through the postal system too- some of July’s offerings went out today!

Instagram continues to be a popular place to share: over 700 creative deed related photos have been posted so far-!  Check them all out here with the #creativedeed365 hashtag.

Wow….definitely past the half way point now— August creative deeding awaits!


Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments

July 23, 2015

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to decompress and get into gear again after attending the 2015 American Art Therapy Association Conference in Minneapolis, but I wanted to share some of the memorable moments from the week– it was a schedule full of learning, presenting, re-connecting, meeting new faces, & inspiration that was well spent.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Here’s my Top 10 Memorable Moments (in no particular order):

1.  The Art Therapy Parade of awesome pioneer and inspiring art therapists that was creatively handcrafted by the Local Arrangements Committee for the Opening Session. Wow– this was great!

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

2. Temple Grandin’s Keynote on neurobiological functioning & information processing.  Dr. Grandin offered an inspiring lecture highlighting the sensory based value of art-making & creative expression with visual and “bottom up” thinking- and its unique role in helping make sense of information and experiences. Learn more here from her book “Thinking in Pictures”.  Really enjoyed the opportunity to meet Dr. Grandin as well!

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

3. So many great educational sessions to take in, not enough time to see everything!  Honorable mentions include the Edith Kramer Legacy and Decolonizing Art Therapy: Social Justice & New Paradigms of Care Plenaries.

4. Tribute to Don Jones with Art is Life is Art  by Bruce Moon- Earlier in 2015, the art therapy community mourned the passing of Buckeye Art Therapy Association Founder and all around amazing art therapy pioneer Don Jones.  During the AATA conference there were special moments to celebrate Don’s life and important contributions to the field, which also included being one of AATA’s co-founders and early President.  Highlights from Art is Life is Art reviewing Don’s life was a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to Don’s spirit, life, and work among a community of friends & colleagues who miss and cherish him so much!

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

5. Mary Tyler Moore Statue- An offsite break to Minneapolis’ Mary Tyler Moore Statue was a must go to site after a day of conference attending- only a few blocks away.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

6. #AATA2015 photos with friends & colleagues and following conference live tweeting and activity on social media.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

7. Standing room only @ our paper making panel about trauma & transformation and work with Peace Paper- Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend and to my panel colleagues! It was great to share our experiences and the therapeutic uses of paper making as part of the conference program– and see all the interest in this process! Thank you to Drew & Margaret who gifted us with hundreds of sheets of limited edition handmade paper especially made for conference attendees to take home with them.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Top 10 Memorable Minnesota Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Top 10 Memorable Minnesota Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

8. Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis– I’ll be sharing more soon about this artful event as part of my monthly posting about this 365 project, but this was definitely a fun part of my conference experience this year— leaving creative deeds, receiving creative deeds, and seeing the discovery of creative deeds by other attendees. :)

9. Arts & Crafts Marketplace– The Marketplace was packed full of wonderful handmade goods and art by art therapists available for purchase!  I scored much creative goodness with buying a series of Lani Gerity’s morning pages (yay!):

Top 10 Memorable Minnesota Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

10. Time to Refresh & Renew-  Spending time in presentations, making art, meeting up with friends & colleagues, as well as making new connections and taking in all things art therapy was great to be around on many levels.  All the collective work and service that continues to be done on behalf of art therapy is inspiring to take in and be a part of.

In wrapping up this post, I’ll leave with this Edith Kramer quote and featured in her legacy plenary session:

“Making art is my destiny- art therapy is my beloved profession.”

*****


Labyrinth Love

July 17, 2015

The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together on this fragile island home, and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

~The Labyrinth Project at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

One of my favorite places on the campus of Ursuline College is its beautiful outdoor Labyrinth.  For me, this is a peaceful and calming refuge that I often use as a walking meditation and a way to slow down and pause- spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

I recently was able to introduce one of my art therapy groups with Ursuline’s ArtSpace Outreach Program to the power of the labyrinth through a visit to the site, as well as engage group members in creating their own finger labyrinths to use as a portable and accessible meditative tool to manage stress, anxiety, and promote awareness.

I discovered this fabulous finger labyrinth how-to from Heather Plett that was perfect timing for this labyrinth fieldtrip.

Here are some photos from the making of my labyrinth, as I tried out the materials and process as prep for my group:

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

I chose to use bleeding tissue paper with mod podge to cover the craft cord I glued down over the labyrinth pattern.

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

When all the craft cord was covered and dried, I took a silver ink stamp pad to brush/press over top to accent the pathway against the background.  Lots of fun to create!

Labyrinth Love | creativiy in motion

It was wonderful to tie in an art-making experience with this special trip and thank Heather for the inspiration! :)

 


Purposeful Parenting & Creativity

July 5, 2015

Purposeful Parenting & Creativity | creativity in motion

July recognizes Purposeful Parenting Month, which highlights the significant relational value of parents and children having resilient and meaningful connections with one another. Purposeful Parenting embraces understanding, unconditional love, and empathy with the consistency of structure, safety, and healthy boundaries. To parent with purpose is to be an active contributor in sustaining rapport, connection, and intention with your child or teen.

One of the group offerings I facilitate is an art therapy group for moms living in a shelter with their children as they work on transitioning out of homelessness. This art therapy group is part of the shelter’s trauma informed parenting support program as an opportunity to receive nurturing assistance during this challenging time to strengthen coping, self-care, and explore empowering ways to sustain an affirming relationship in their child’s lives. The power of art and the creative process offers a safe place to address these topics.  Over the years that I’ve been involved with this program, I’ve met moms of amazing strength and resilience, not only committed to creating healthier relationships and attachments with their children, but often working on their own trauma recovery.

For children who have experienced trauma and loss in their young lives, having adult attachments that engage with purpose and compassion can be a key component to their healing. Perry & Szalavitz (2006) speak to how a child’s relationship with the adults in their lives has an essential component to how they react to trauma. They also note that if a child is surrounded and nurtured by caregivers who are safe, comforting, dependable, and present; this can help protect youth from the adverse effects of trauma, as well as strengthen their ability to recover.

“Recognizing the power of relationships and relational cues is essential to effective therapeutic work, and indeed, to effective parenting, caregiving, teaching, and just about any other human endeavor.” (p. 67, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog).

Ohio’s American Academy of Pediatrics identities six components to purposeful parenting for parents and caregivers to keep in mind. Being Protective, Personal, Progressive, Positive, Playful, and Purposeful in our relationships decreases the impact of chronic stress exposure and ultimately supports a child’s fullest potential and well-being.

The foundation of purposeful parenting and fostering relational enrichment inspired me to reflect on some fun and creative activities for families (and adult helpers involved in children’s lives) to engage in together that encourage affirming experiences and supportive interaction. Creative experiences can be an enjoyable way to foster connection, develop interpersonal ties, and positive memories:
  • Painting with Bubbles or Shaving Cream: These sensory-based twists on painting can encourage play and experimentation between child and parent using simple, inexpensive materials. Levine & Kline (2008) cite that activities involving art expression such as painting and drawing are great bonding opportunities for parents to engage in alongside their children.
  • Sidewalk Chalk: Grab a bucket or box of sidewalk chalk, head outside and take a break to chalk it up together—at home, a local park, or playground! Suggested ideas to support collective participation in this activity include drawing where the child and parent can add to one another’s images, marks, or doodles. If you are up for making your own sidewalk chalk, here’s how. Families can also play these classic sidewalk chalk games.
  • Nature Walk & Scavenger Hunt: Parents, young children, and teens can benefit from unplugging and taking time to enjoy the outdoors, fresh air and reconnect! Take a walk in nature, go biking or hiking together. Create a scavenger hunt of different nature items that the family can look for and find as a group or in pairs.
  • Homemade Play Dough and Goop: Spend a morning or afternoon making a batch of play dough together, or for older kids goop recipes can be equally as inviting and fun. You can even make scented play dough, which can add an additional sensory component to this experience.
  • Visit an Art Museum, Art Festival, or Creative Community Event: Check out your local art museum or art event as a family outing. Many museums have family related programming or guides that can help enhance your experience!  Here in Cleveland, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gallery One offers a hands on, interactive family-friendly art space called Studio Play.  And it’s free!

No matter what the month or season, there is true power in the relationships we nurture for the children and teens we care for, either as parents, caregivers, or helpers. It’s important to keep enriching these healthy attachments by cultivating safe experiences and moments of meaning all year round.

Recommended Reading:

Levine, P.A., & Kline, M. (2008). Trauma-proofing your kids: A parent’s guide to instilling confidence, joy, and resilience. Berkeley : North Atlantic Books.

Perry, B.D., & Szalavitz, M. (2006). The boy who was raised as a dog. New York: Basic Books.

Resources:

Introduction to Purposeful Parenting (PDF) | Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

The Benefits of Purposeful Parenting | Office of Adolescent Health

The Artful Parent

PaintCutPaste


Creative Deed 365: June Offerings

June 30, 2015

Wow- Here’s month 6 (!!) of this year’s 365 project!

Creative Deed 365: June Offerings | creativity in motion

I’ve kept playing around with textured backgrounds using gel pens, acrylic paint, & stamp ink for a big chunk of this month’s creative deeds….. Fun! I also decided to stay with the half sized index card format for the majority of June’s offerings.

photo 2

I’ve also been making a creative stockpile from this month’s creative deeds for next week’s Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis where I’ll be leaving them out and about on my way to and during this year’s national art therapy conference.

photo 3

photo 1

This month’s video featuring Days 153-181:

Bring on July! :)

******

Related Posts:

Creative Deed 365: May Offerings

Introducing: Creative Deed 365

Creative Deed 365 Artful Beginnings: Creating It Forward in 2015


A New Creative Adventure is About to Begin!

June 25, 2015

Originally posted on 6 Degrees of Creativity:

6 Degrees of Creativity Online WorkshopsIn just one week, this year’s 6 Degrees of Creativity online art offerings begin!

We are super looking forward to beginning this new creative adventure:

6 Degrees of Creativity Online Workshops Dye Another Day: An Exercise in Using Nature and Art for Self Care | Sheila Lorenzo

Sheila Lorenzointroduces us to the exciting process of using plants and natural finds for paper dying fun.  A great technique to help us slow down, trust the process, and become creatively connected to nature for our own well-being.

6 Degrees of Creativity Online Workshops Imagination Unearthed! Hidden Creativity Scavenger Hunt Challenge | Gretchen Miller

In this virtual scavenger hunt I’ll be offering, participants are challenged to discover the unseen creativity around us as a fun opportunity to take time out and see what surrounds us through this creative lens.

6 Degrees of Creativity Online Workshops Reduce, Reuse, Reaffirm | Rachel Mims

Rachel Mims show us a variety of creative ways to re-purpose and recycle household items for creating mail art…

View original 94 more words


Creative Covenants Inspiration

June 12, 2015
Creative Covenants Inspiration | creativity in motion

Creative Covenants @ Spectrum 2015

Earlier last month, Hali Karla Arts’ holistic online creative circle Spectrum opened to much excitement and anticipation! I’ve so enjoyed seeing all the creativity, inspiration, and encouragement being shared within this community.

In this post I want to share a peek into some of the Creative Covenants that have been made by Spectrum participants (and who kindly gave me permission (thank you!) to share their art with you!).   Each time a new collection of Creative Covenants graces the Spectrum community space, it’s exciting to take in what has been created- in form, colors, symbol, intention, and the promises being made to ones creative self.

It’s also a delightful surprise to see the different ways everyone’s Creative Covenants take shape, the materials being used and how each set has its own artful personality, creative energy, and enthusiasm:

Creative Covenants Inspiration | creativity in motion

Celeste’s Creative Covenants

Celeste transformed her Creative Covenants into these round beauties! (left image are the fronts & right image features the backs)

Creative Covenants Inspiration | creativity in motion

Laurie’s Creative Covenants

Laurie included her heart shaped Creative Covenants in her art journal!

Creative Covenants Inspiration | creativity in motion

Carol’s Promises to Her Creative Self

Carol has been working on a series of different Creative Covenants on cards and tags that honor her permissions and celebrations!

Creative Covenant Inspiration | creativity in motion

Eleni’s Process & Creative Covenants

Fun to see Eleni’s Creative Covenant process from start to finish!

Britt-Marie's Creative Covenants

Britt-Marie’s Creative Covenants

A beautiful collection of Creative Covenants created by Britt-Marie!

Witnessing these Creative Covenants and many others come to life through art expression is a sacred reminder of the power of intention & its important value in our creative life.   What a courageous, soulful adventure this has already been… Thank you Hali for bringing everyone together through Spectrum’s art filled invitations!

*******

Spectrum 2015 - Online Holistic Art OfferingSpectrum 2015

• 25 contributors, 26+ workshop invitations, multi-media online community •
Registration open until Nov. 1 – Join in anytime!


Creative Deed 365: May Offerings

May 31, 2015
Creative Deed 365" May Offerings | creativity in motion

Day 152 :: Artful Intention

It’s Day 152 of this year’s 365 Project!  As I reflect on this past month’s creative deed activity, I think about how each piece of art is created with hopeful possibility for its finder or new home.

Below are the offerings made throughout May:

 

With the nicer weather, I’ve been leaving many more creative deeds outdoors- often in random spaces along a street. Sometimes propped on a storefront window, stuck in between planks on a wooden fence, or left behind in a flower bed. I also continue to use my creative deed mailing list to send out more through the postal mail.

As always, it’s super fun and inspiring to see what other creative deeds are being made and released into the world through the Creative Deed 365 Group on Facebook!  I am grateful for these daily affirming, artful intentions that pop up on my news feed and to see the support & enthusiasm of community members helping and encouraging one another.

I also invite you to take a look at these posts from this past month:

Random Acts of Creative Kindness

May They Keep on Coming! #creativedeed365

With Daisy Yellow’s Index Card a Day Challenge (ICAD) beginning tomorrow for the next 61 days, I am excited to participate again this year, this time incorporating creative deed making as a nice twist.

Daisy Yellow's ICAD 2015

During ICAD, I’ll be working with 3×5 index cards to give away and let go into the world.  If you are new to the concept of ICAD created by Artist Tammy Garcia, the intention is focused on “the doing”, not on “the keeping” and having a commitment to create art everyday.  I definitely recommend you check this annual summer challenge out– It is so much fun!  :)   Look for an update on June’s efforts & offerings next month!

******

Related Posts:

Summertime Creative Happenings & Goings On

Daisy Yellow’s ICAD Challenge: An Exciting, New 3×5 Adventure Begins

Creative Deed 365 Artful Beginnings: Creating It Forward in 2015


Summertime Creative Happenings & Goings On

May 26, 2015

Summer is starting to kick off and so is some creative fun and art therapy happenings coming soon:

Creativity In Motion | twenty15 on the go

July 1: 6 Degrees of Creativity’s 2015 virtual workshops open!  Yay!

Imagination Unearthed: Hidden Creativity Scavenger Hunt | creativity in motion

6 Degrees of Creativity

As part of this year’s offerings, I am excited to launch a new workshop dedicated to discovering the hidden creativity around us.  My curiosity around this topic was first sparked by this recent post and something I thought would be a fun endeavor to embark on together as we search for uncommon or unknown ways, forms, and different examples of how creativity can present itself.  I am also looking forward to the offerings that art therapy colleagues Sheila Lorenzo, Rachel Mims, and Heather Randazzo will be inviting participants to engage in as well, which include workshop topics on self-care through art & nature, recycled art & mail art fun, and yoga & art.

Summertime Happenings and Goings On | creativity in motion

Social Media & Art Therapy

July 9-11- American Art Therapy Association Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota: I will be involved with three offerings during this year’s AATA Conference:

  • The Digital Landscape of Social Media: Thursday, July 9, 1:30-2:30 pm: I will be leading this focus group to stimulate dialogue and discussion about social networking’s important role in building community
    and creating connection for art therapists worldwide.
  • Art, Transformation, and Trauma: Papermaking as Art Therapy: Friday, July 10, 10:15-11:45 am: I will be moderating this panel featuring the work of  art therapists who use papermaking inspired by the social action and art-based mission of the Peace Paper Project. Panelists include Meredith McMakin, Rachel Mims, Amy Bucciarelli, Genevieve Camp, and Janice Havlena. Content will include papermaking as a form of trauma intervention, including vignettes addressing eating disorder recovery, managing illness and disability, grief and loss, and working with veterans.
  • Ethics of Identity in Digital Culture & Art Therapy: Saturday, July 11, 10:15-11:45 am: I will be contributing to this panel with art therapists Megan Campbell, Moriah Lancaster-Laird, and Natalie Carlton about topics connected to digital technologies and ethical considerations for the art therapy profession.

I am also looking forward to bringing Creative Deed 365 to Minneapolis and invite you to consider joining us if you will be attending the conference!

July 24- ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County Trauma Collaborative: I’ve been invited to present on Art Therapy & Trauma Intervention to members and agencies who attend this quarterly meeting.

Stay tuned for other updates and art from Creative Deed 365 and the Random Acts of Art Adventure, in upcoming summer posts as these creative pursuits carry on!  And I hope to be able to share some of the wonderful work in the spirit of my Creative Covenants workshop happening over at Hali Karla Arts’ Spectrum too. And, right around the corner….Daisy Yellow’s ICAD 2015 begins June 1 – Wondering if I should combine my creative deed making with daily index card creating for this fun annual event? Hmmm…. more on this in my next post!

Summertime creativity is definitely in the air!

*****

Related Posts:

Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis

When it’s hot…Make some paper!

Social Media’s Role in Cultivating Art Therapy Connection, Community, & Creativity


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