Posts Tagged ‘art making’

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.  🙂

Related Posts:

Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches

The Creative Leader & Creating an Environment for Innovation

Cultivating Creativity, Connection, and Community | TEDx Ursuline College







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!

Mindful Studio Practice : Week 1

September 16, 2012

Mindful Studio Practice with Hannah Klaus Hunter

With much anticipation and wonder, this week I started my 21 Day journey of Hannah Klaus Hunter‘s e-workshop Mindful Studio Practice in 6 Degrees of Creativity 2.  Hannah’s workshop is dedicated to creating a daily art-making practice for 21 days through prompts that encourage focusing in the here & now, slowing down, and being in the moment with your creative process through a specific object or theme. I can’t begin to tell you how I’ve enjoyed these first 7 days and committing time to making art for this adventure.

Day 1 : Blessings Beginnings

Day 1 included taking time to gather the materials & supplies I would be using throughout the next 21 days.  I decided what would be most manageable for me to create everyday would be an artist trading card (ATC). My first ATC was created using paper stashes I received from Maria & Nancy last month.  My final spontaneous touch to this card was from Nancy’s stash: a quote printed on Vellum paper that included the word Blessings.  I added it as an expression in the moment inspired by feelings of thankfulness, a readiness to begin, and curiousity about this process prepared so thoughtfully by Hannah.

Day 2 : Blessings Brainstorming

Day 2‘s ATC included the brainstorming I did about what I wanted to focus on throughout the next 21 Days.  I used a canvas textured ATC with acrylic paint, a paper heart, pen, and the word LIFE made from my SMASH label maker. The concept of Blessings was still on my mind. As I explored variations of this concept and its meaning with Hannah’s prompt, it was still very strong. It was in this instant I began writing my top 10 words/concepts that really attracted me to this theme: Blessings as a form of redemption, strength, help, a gift, form of hope, permission, love, something out there unknown & in disguise, as well as the fragility/shortness of life to inspire feelings of thankfulness.

Day 3 : What is yours to see?

Day 3 focused my attention and dedicated art-making on one of the Blessing concepts I identified during Day 2, inspired by Hannah’s quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn “to see what is yours to see”.  I chose the perspective of viewing unknown blessings in disguise as a form of resiliency, beauty, and compassion as mine to see in this moment.  This ATC was created on an old playing card with some of my collage stuff and edged with black Staz On ink.

Day 4 : Vulnerability is a gift

Day 4‘s ATC was dedicated to not only seeing Blessings as a gift, but the vulnerability and fragility that this can also introduce, especially if the blessing is not clearly known or has value at the time. This ATC serves as mindful reminder to myself that this requires openness and nurturing for the blessings awareness to grow.  A watercolor textured ATC was used as the foundation for this piece with more paper stash goodies and a dictionary page for the background.

Day 5 : Blessing Essence

For my Day 5 ATC I layered alcohol inks on a glossy coated ATC, as well as distressed areas of the ATC with sandpaper to create a raw, but vibrant image to examine the essence (heart & strength) of my interest and attention related to the Blessings theme.

Day 6 : In this moment…

Day 6‘s ATC expressed an aspect of the Blessings theme I had not previously considered/been aware of until prompted to notice something different about it in the moment.  What came to mind was the feeling and sensation of being grounded.  I again used paper stash bits and pieces (brown paper bag paper, tissue paper, handmade paper embedded with seeds, painted watercolor swatches) as well as words from old dictionary pages to create this ATC with distressed ink and metallic paint pens.

Day 7 : Quiet Blessings Exposed

Today’s ATC, on Day 7 celebrated my first week with this new journey, an opportunity and invitation from Hannah’s daily prompt to slow things down and spend time simplifying our theme.  ATC media I selected included watercolor, mulberry paper, and dictionary words to collage. I chose to try Hannah’s suggestion of working in one color or tone and was pleasantly surprised how this shifted the energy for my Blessings theme. I quietly observed how the concept of silence & stillness is so essential and how blessings can present themselves in quiet and subtle ways.  In this moment, my awareness and connection around this theme became more exposed and opened with peacefulness and a new level of acceptance.

I’m ready to see what the next 7 days bring… Much gratitude to Hannah for this inspiring adventure…

6 Degrees of Creativity 2 Now On Sale!

April 1, 2012

Today’s the day that 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 goes on sale!

Check out the awesome group of workshops that will be offered during this round of 6 Degrees of Creativity, beginning July 1 through December 2012:

Stitch Therapy – Fiber Art Painting: This workshop explores using fiber art as a method for personal awareness and healing. Let me show you my process and techniques for creating a fiber art painting using new and recycled materials to create order from chaos and put together scraps and bits of everyday life. This workshop will explore themes of repairing & layering – slowing down, enjoying to relax and engaging in a meditative process to feel the materials and hear them as you pierce the fabric with a needle and pull thread through. Through this process you will be invited to take time, listen, and feel.

Instructor: Kelly Darke attended Parsons School of Design after high school where she completed the first year core classes before deciding to move back to Michigan and attend Wayne State University where she graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts with concentrations in painting and metals. Kelly later returned to Wayne State University to complete a masters degree in Art Education for Art Therapy as well receiving a K-12 art education certificate. Kelly now works as a Registered Art Therapist in Westland, Michigan as well as a professional artist, combining her passion for fine art and art therapy into her current work. Kelly also works in collaboration with her brother / artist Colin Darke on group projects that have most recently been shown at LaFontsee Gallery during Art Prize 2010, as well as regularly showing her work in galleries. For more about Kelly’s work, please visit herwebsite and blog.


The Altered Image: Hands-On Photo Manipulation: This fun and inspiring workshop will show you how to change the surface of a photo by hand, rather than with technology.  Steal yourself away from your computer and come home to your art table! Through a guided process you will learn how to use simple art materials to alter a photo by changing the content of the image. This technique has lots of potential and can be applied to photos that are used within paintings, drawings and visual journals. It’s a great process for personal reflection, as well as for use in therapeutic settings.

Instructor: Fiona Fitzpatrick has worked as a registered Art Psychotherapist for the past 12 years in Sydney, Australia. She is passionate about the power of art therapy to help people explore and work through issues of concern.  Her particular interest is in working with cancer patients and their families.  Alongside her clinical work, Fiona also teaches popular one day courses in both Art Therapy and Visual Journaling through Sydney University.  She has used image making and writing within a journal format for many years.   Fiona is really looking forward to bringing a sense of fun, encouragement and possibility to the 6 Degrees of Creativity community.


Still Point in a Changing World: Creating a Mindful Studio Practice: Many of us long for regular studio time…but find our lives too frantic to create it. Words like compassion, kindness, gratitude and awe can sound theoretical at best. This workshop will focus on creating a daily art-making practice:

• Connect and commit to your true artist self
• Identify your personal strengths and strategies
• Create a flexible working plan

Through a combination of themes and prompts, we’ll embark on a 21-day commitment, cultivate a feeling of positive and playful engagement and create an art-making practice within the safe community of 6 Degrees of Creativity.

Instructor: Hannah Klaus Hunter, art therapist for the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, holds a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Iowa, an M.F.A. from California College of the Arts and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Art Therapy from UC Berkeley. She specializes in children and young adults impacted by chronic illness, grief and loss, drawing inspiration and regeneration from her studio practice in watercolor, quilting and collage. Hannah shares her reflections on art making in and out of the studio on her blog here.


Journey Shoes: We have walked in many shoes, witnessed others on many paths, and have wished for paths to form for ourselves, loved ones, and social and global issues.  This project encourages exploration of a journey or two of choice, either imagined or experienced. Through altering one’s own shoes, or used shoes from a Salvation Army-type store, participants will weave, cut, paint, plaster, and glue symbols and expressions of these journeys onto and with these shoes.

Instructor: Magdalena Karlick graduated from New York University with a BA in Community Learning and Development and received her Masters in Art Therapy at Southwestern College. Magdalena is an Art Therapist in Santa Fe, New Mexico working with families, children, and teens, many of whom are court ordered. At Southwestern College Magdalena has multiple roles; she is the assistant to Southwestern’s Art Therapy Director, an adjunct faculty member teaching Current Trends in Art Therapy, and created and moderates SWC’s online Art Gallery blog.  Magdalena is also co-creator of Spaces & Places: Where We Create, an art therapy community photo documentary project.  An active and dynamic visual artist as well, Magdalena creates works ranging from deeply layered multi-media paintings, jewelry, to sand tray figurines. She really enjoys black ink pen the best though, using an unconscious journey with her hand, pen and paper, always leading to interesting messages shown through animals and imaginal landscapes.


Creative Goodness with Gluebooks: This workshop invites participants to learn about the creative goodness of gluebooks! Gluebooks combine art journaling and collage: all you need is a book/journal, some glue, and stuff to glue. Participants will be introduced to simple, yet unique ways that gluebooks can be created with repurposed materials. This workshop also includes an exchange organized by Gretchen of gluebook pages created by participants of the 6 Degrees of Creativity community, a paper stash swap, collage sheets to download/print for gluing inspiration, and fun ways to develop, collect, and use your paper stash!

Instructor: Gretchen Miller is a Registered Board Certified Art Therapist and who practices in Cleveland, Ohio specializing in youth, women, and families impacted by trauma, domestic violence, and grief & loss. Gretchen is a community organizer forThe Art Therapy Alliance and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Art Therapy Without Borders. In her own art and creative process, Gretchen enjoys finding inspiration, creating energy, and discovering transformation through working with mixed media, painting, collage, altered art, creating handmade books, organizing art exchanges, and collaborations. Her blog Creativity in Motion frequently highlights her art, interests, and creative activity.


Feeling Your Art-Exploring Texture and Process:  When was the last time you gave yourself complete permission to simply play with art materials and get lost in the exploration process? Textural art naturally entices viewers and artists alike and invites interaction and spontaneity. In this workshop you will be introduced to a variety of techniques for creating texture in your art using acrylic mediums, modeling pastes, gels, and palette knives. You will create textural ‘playgrounds’ for your paint to travel through with the layering of textures, colors, found objects, and any other materials that inspire you. The experimentation process with texture will be framed by suggested ideas and directives that are designed to delight and inspire the eternal child within you. In this workshop, the process and play drive the work of art.

Instructor: Sara Roizen is an artist and art therapist living and working in New York City. She holds a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. Most recently, Sara has focused her art therapy work with adults living with HIV/AIDS, substance use, and mental health issues. Sara’s personal artwork draws inspiration from the natural world and the organic process of art-making. Her current mediums of choice are acrylics, watercolor, ink, modeling pastes, and found objects. Sara shares her insights on art therapy, personal art making, mental health, mindfulness, and spirituality on her and some of her current art work can be seen


I’m very excited to be working with this amazing line up of instructors!

6 Degrees of Creativity 2 is on sale now until June 30, 2012.  Learn more about what 6 Degrees of Creativity is all about here.  All 6 workshops are only $49.00 (USD).   Join us!!!

Introducing 6 Degrees of Creativity

July 28, 2011

I’ve been planning and prepping for this announcement for weeks!  It is so very exciting to finally share the news… As announced on The Art Therapy Alliance’s posterous earlier today, save the date for my next interactive community collaboration: 6 Degrees of Creativity.  

6 Degrees of Creativity is inspired by the “Six Degrees of Separation” concept that each of us, no matter where we live in the world are only about six relationships away from one another, as well as features the power of  social networking, the arts, and interactive creativity to making a difference through art-making, creative goodness, and community.

6 Degrees of Creativity is a 6 month on-line workshop opening October 10, 2011 and running until March 1, 2012 that will include 6 different workshops, offered by a group of 6 inspiring instructors from the art therapy community to explore hands-on concepts, techniques, and ideas related to themes about transformation, social change, collaboration, and using art for good. Because 6 Degrees of Creativity is a virtual workshop, this offering can be done at your own pace. You can participate from anywhere in the world, anytime, and on your schedule, whether it is on your laptop, notebook, desktop, or even on the go via your mobile device!

Workshop content from each instructor will include PDFs,  video tutorials, written instruction, photos, art sharing, and on-line chats that will be available within the 6 Degrees of Creativity community during the entire run of the workshop.  6 Degrees of Creativity includes a social networking community to share creative goodness, discuss & support ideas, and deepen connection.
Find out who will be instructors for  6 Degrees of Creativity below…I am very grateful that this group will be part of this experience with me and excited about what each of the instructors have to offer to the 6 Degrees of Creativity vision and community:

You can learn more information about each instructor and their interests via the Art Therapy Alliance website. Workshop descriptions will be announced in early August. 6 Degrees of Creativity goes on sale September 1, 2011.  All 6 workshops will only be $49!   Save the date, stay connected, and make plans to join us for lots of art-making and creative goodness!

What Ought to Be: On Untangling and Putting Fragments Back Together with Art

February 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.

Fragments of Me: What Ought to Be

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“.

Fragments Box

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

Fragments Contained

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.

Creating Meaning, Soul and Art

July 5, 2009
I have started working on a new mini-altered book with the theme Art & Soul for BATA’s 2009 Symposium Silent Art Auction in September.  Below are pics of the pages being worked on:
Art and Soul Altered Book

Art and Soul Altered Book

Art Washes Away the Dust.....

Art Washes Away the Dust.....

The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture...

The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture...

Every Artist Dips His Brush into His Own Soul...

Every Artist Dips His Brush into His Own Soul...

While working on these pages, I started to think about the importance of art and the soul’s connection to sustain energy and life, as well as what contributes to soul loss.  For me; connection, creation, and providing service to others are some things that keep my soul growing, thriving, and living.  These actions bring me back to what has real meaning in my life.  Although this is not always easy. There are plenty of obstacles, stresses, and unknowns to face everyday.  Making choices that validate my authentic self and support meaning in my life are important, but sometimes difficult.  Soul loss triggers for me include when spirit, passion, intention, and connection have been threatened, damaged, or burdened with inclusiveness, control, disillusionment, and apathy. 
Art therapist and one of BATA’s Symposium keynotes, Bruce Moon dedicated one of his books, Art And Soul: Reflections On An Artistic Psychology, to restoring the soul, the idea of soul loss, and how to live soulfully with a focus on how art-making can be part of this process.  At the beginning of the book, Moon asks several questions:
“There are choices to be made.  Should we withdraw into ourselves out of anxiety and fear?  Scared by the loss of our familiar ways of being in the world, will we become immobilized, thinking only of ourselves?  Will we choose to live life in the shallow regions? Or will we take hold of the opportunities before us to increase our sensitivity, heighten our awareness, and live responsibly in the face of overwhelming change?  Will we seek restoration of the soul?”


Soul restoration for me includes art-making and reaching out through connection to discover the answers to many of these questions.  Creating art helps me find true meaning for what I am seeking, hiding from, need, or want to communicate and honor.  When in doubt, I create art to better understand myself, where I am going, where I have been, and what is going on.  Art helps feed my soul and keep me safe in times of uncertainty, confusion, and change, as well as a way to show my support, gratitude, appreciation, and admiration.
How do you use creativity to feed your soul and create meaning in your life?  
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