I recently began publishing on Steller, the mobile storytelling app that allows users to share photos, video & text to share experiences and moments:
Blog of Registered Board Certified Art Therapist Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC
For lots more artsy quotes and images , check out this collection on Pinterest.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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! 🙂
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):
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.🙂
This month the Hildegard Center for the Arts published an inspiring, free resource of art-based ideas chock full of creative goodness called Art Bridges— Definitely a great collection (over 70 downloadable PDFs!) for art therapists to use with their groups or individuals, as well as teachers or anyone interested in creative enrichment with youth!
Some of the ideas were contributed by members of the art therapy community- including myself- I was delighted to be invited to add a favorite gratitude art idea that I featured on this blog in 2012. Since this post’s original publishing, I’ve used this idea with youth & women I’ve worked with in shelter- as a creative, affirming way to explore the concept of thankfulness in their own lives. Often instead of making leaf shaped “blessing tags”, we would make different size and colored hearts to write on and hang from the mason jar’s branches. It was a great community piece– the tree kept “growing” with new additions as more people add to it. Others can also read the reflections previously shared.
The Art Bridges resource also suggests that therapists could also use the idea as a Courage or Healing Tree… a great idea that I may introduce into one of my groups!
Thank you Hildegard Center for the Arts for putting this resource together and making it so accessible to us all!🙂
Check this out! Create Fest — The 1st Annual Virtual Creativity Festival for Mental Health Professionals!
I am soooo excited to be a part of this offering!
Lisa Michell and Courtney Armstrong have brought together 12 influential therapists, and asked each to offer inspired approaches that will help you partner with your creativity to do your best work and elicit deep transformation within your clients (and yourself).
Discover new, creative ideas and earn 12 CEU’s from the comfort of your own home or office and… each speaker will lead an inspiring activity you can do during the festival to experience these transformational strategies yourself!
I am speaking about topics related to self-care, trauma focused work, and creativity’s role in supporting mental health professionals. It was a pleasure to speak with Lisa about these topics– It’s an honor to be included in the debut of this event with such an inspiring line up with so much to offer…
If it seems like this offering would fit related to your work, I hope you’ll join us later this month! 🙂