Posts Tagged ‘collage art’

gretchen-miller.com: Re-designing & Re-visioning

November 15, 2010

My official website gretchen-miller.com was recently updated with some re-designing and re-visioning.  The site highlights my work, services, and interests:

gretchen-miller.com

Content featured on gretchen-miller.com includes:

  • Autobiographical Information: Learn more about my work as a Registered Board Certified Art Therapist and Certified Trauma Consultant, my educational training, clinical experience and specializations, interests, as well as professional affiliations with organizations such as The Combat Paper Project, The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, and community organizing with The Art Therapy Alliance and Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc.
  • Information and Resources About Art Therapy– Learn more about what art therapy is and what art therapists do, including definitions, resources, and links from organizations such as The Art Therapy Alliance, International Art Therapy Organization, Art Therapy Without Borders, The Buckeye Art Therapy Association, and The Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc.
  • Services– Learn more about art therapy services that I provide in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area, which includes working with agencies and organizations serving traumatized and grieving children, adolescents, and families who have experienced illness, loss, and family violence. Other services highlighted include art therapist supervision, providing art therapy workshops and professional continuing education for agencies, schools, and community groups.
  • On the Grid– Information about my love and passion related to art therapy and technology, including blogging, on-line art therapy communities, podcasts featuring my work and interests, and the art therapy e-zine FUSION.
  • Presentations– View some of my SlideShare presentations about art therapy with children from homes of domestic violence, working with youth coping with grief and loss, as well as the impact of Bruce Perry’s work on my practice as an art therapist and trauma specialist working with traumatized youth.
  • Film/Art Gallery– Watch some of my favorite short videos and films featuring my collage art, altered books, community art events, and initiatives of The Art Therapy Alliance and Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc.
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Thoughts on Inspiring Mentorship

July 9, 2009
Next week I am going to see my first mentor Dr. Z while I am in Michigan for the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children’s (TLC) Childhood Trauma Practitioners Assembly.  I haven’t seen her in about five years or so, but think of her often and what she instilled in me early on in my professional career and clinical work. I met her at my first job in mental health at a residential treatment center for boys 14 years ago, which is amazing when I do that math.  It was an exciting, but overwhelming time for me as I tried to make sense of working in my first agency, be part of the clinical team, and begin the path of developing my first art therapy program… and I was only 23 years old. Yikes when I think of that now…
 
Dr. Z, an independent social worker, counselor, and with a Ph.D in Marriage and Family Therapy, was there early on the scene as someone who showed interest and willing to share her knowledge and past experience to help support my efforts, push me to grow, and guide me in a working world that was often unpredictable, chaotic, and stressful.   I have always admired Dr. Z’s work ethic, candor, compassion, intelligence, and her willingness to take real risks, stand up for what is right, and her expectations of herself and others to do great and meaningful work.  
Inspiration... where the wind takes me...a creative journey....

Inspiration Collage

I am very grateful for Dr. Z’s influence, example, and wisdom having a direct impact on the therapist and adult I have become and am today.   The image above is a collage I created to express my gratitude and say thanks… 

Who are you thankful for that helped mentor you early on in your career?

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?  

Creative Intentions on Leadership

May 17, 2009
This past week-end The Buckeye Art Therapy Association (BATA) sponsored a Leadership Workshop for Art Therapists in Cincinnati, Ohio facilitated by Cathy Malchiodito discuss the importance of transformational leadership and service in the art therapy community, as well as an opportunity to learn and explore skills important for art therapists to practice and become agents of change. I believe this workshop was very valuable  to those who attended and inspired a lot of my own art-making before, during, and after around the topic of leadership.

Before coming to the workshop, registered attendees received Where Leadership Comes From: A Leadership e-Zine for Art Therapists written by Cathy. The e-zine included information about leadership styles, destructive vs. creative systems, common needs for leadership, leadership characteristics, and intentions motivating service.  Cathy’s zine inspired me to do a mini altered book on some of these topics and content before coming to the workshop. Below are a few pics from this book.

Leadership Mini Altered Book

Leadership Mini Altered Book

Leadership is Knocking

Lead Well

Leadership Needs

Leadership Needs

During the workshop participants were invited to do art around the idea of intention. Our first image was to focus on an intention connected  to your own leadership: a phrase, quote, or saying that really captured this motivation.  Some intentions that were included in the e-zine that really spoke to me were: “No matter what the weather looks like, we have to go ahead now. Waiting any longer could be even more dangerous“… and “Real, authentic change emerges only from a place of deep focus and intention“.

However, the intention that spoke to me the strongest was the one I chose to do my first image about: “We don’t grow unless we are tested.”

We Don't Grow Unless We Are Tested Intention
We Don’t Grow Unless We Are Tested Intention

This intention speaks to my own experiences related to becoming more aware with what it means and takes to be a leader, my own growth in understanding this better, and the positive impact that these “tests” (opportunities, changes, or people) have had in my life. There are many things that I never thought I could do (or would do), but through these challenges I have grown in ways I would have never dreamed of.  Again…the theme of growth continues

The second image we were invited to create was a leadership intention related to the success of the group, organization, or system we work in.   My intention for this includes visioning hope, openness, and the freedom that exists in something new. I believe in the potential, energy, and ideas that will become inspired by this intention and through being a part of a collaborative effort in the world of art therapy. Again…imagining new beginnings…

Something New Intention

Something New Intention

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