Through a Grateful Lens: Following the Light

We have all the light we need, we just need to put it in practice.  ~Albert Pike

Since June, I have been taking photos of light with my iPhone and often posting them to Instagram.  Over the last five months this practice of “following the light” has become a mindful reflection for gratitude, good energy, hope, inspiration, love, and connectedness.

June sunshine beaming gratitude

As I put the collection together for this post, the moments in each of the photographs are very memorable.  I remember fondly the details about where I was, who I was with or what happened during the unfolding, beginning, or ending of that specific day and moment of the photo.

July’s glowing sun shines down

Often my photos of followed light were taken of the sun, sometimes the moon, or perhaps light reflected through a window or on a mirror.

Breathing in this August sunset

Through this process, the significance of light became a means to shine the way, be in the moment of what’s true and pure, as well as experience & share loving kindness and thankfulness for life’s abundance.

September sunset

The light in these photographs are inspired by not only nature or the surrounding environment, but also an inner connection of strength to manage those times when the light has trouble shining through or darkness begins to ascend. Being in the presence of light represents resiliency for me.  These photos also remind me that some amount of light is always present somewhere: to find, to become, to grow, to shine, find comfort in, and be grateful for.

Light before the storm: October

The entire collection below includes 24 photographs I’ve taken in a variety of places: at home, work, on the go locally, or travels I’ve made this summer and fall to Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada, Kansas, and Florida.

Click on the image below to see the Flickr set of each image and description:

Following the Light Collection: June-October

Spaces & Places: Where We Create Now Accepting Submissions | Art Therapy Photo Documentary Project

Spaces and Places: Where We Create is now accepting submissions from art therapists, art therapy students, expressive art therapists, and art organizations for this photo documentary project that aims to provide education, awareness, inspiration, and understanding about the spaces & places, settings, populations, and materials that the art therapy community works in and uses within their practice.

This collaborative event using social media and digital photo sharing via Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram invites participants to submit a photo or photos of their creative work space and favorite tools of the trade.  The project will be accepting submissions until May 31, 2012.

Learn more via the Art Therapy Alliance website for more information and details about how to participate:

My Creative Spaces, Places & More #wherewecreate

The Art Therapist Is In

This past week, I’ve started to upload preview photos for the art therapy photo documentary project Spaces & Places: Where We Create.  It has been very inspiring to see and learn about the creative spaces of the project’s endorsers who are offering a sneak peek into their work, spaces,  and favorite tools of the trade.  I am looking forward to learning even more from future submissions when Spaces & Places: Where We Create officially launches to the art therapy community on February 13.

I’ve been working on getting my photos together for the project, both my own personal art-making space and favorite materials, as well as the different spaces and such that I use as an art therapist.   Here are some initial pics that I have taken:

My Own Creative Space

These series of photos (above) show my creative space and office used for my own art-making, art therapy supervision, and small group art meet ups with friends & colleagues. The space is packed with my favorite art supplies (for collage, art journaling, altered art & bookmaking, painting, & drawing), inspiring photos, art, notes, toys, books, and more.

Some of my favorite materials to use in my own art

I have also started to take photos of the art therapy spaces,  favorite materials and approaches I use in my work as an Art Therapist with survivors of domestic violence in Cleveland, Ohio:

Art Therapy Spaces, Paper House Making, & Art Journaling

Part of my work at DVCAC includes providing community based art therapy to youth exposed to domestic violence through individual or support group services.  I also offer individual and group art therapy to youth and women who come to shelter to escape domestic violence.   As seen in previous posts here, I often use Paper House Making to explore and address safety planning, safe places, and to help contain overwhelming feelings associated with the worry,  fear, and terror that children and adolescents from violent homes experience.   Another photo I included is a material pic connected an art journaling group I recently started for women in shelter as a non-threatening space and means to manage traumatic stress and strengthen coping.

If you are interested in checking out the other photos that have been submitted so far (or future photos), check out the Art Therapy Alliance’s Set on Flickr for the project or follow photos via the Art Therapy Alliance’s Facebook page.

Get Your Camera Ready! Spaces & Places: Where We Create Starts in February

It’s exciting to announce a new art collaboration coming in February being organized by The Art Therapy AllianceSpaces & Places: Where We Create will be an art therapy community photo documentary project developed by me and Magdalena Karlick, ATR, LPAT, LPCC inviting participants to submit a photo of their creative work space and favorite tools of the trade.

Through social media and digital photo sharing with Flickr & Instagram, this collaborative project aims to provide education, awareness, inspiration, and understanding about the spaces & places, settings, populations, and materials that art therapists, art therapy students, expressive arts therapists, and art organizations work in and use for their practice.

Photos (or video!) that this project will be looking for include:
  • Images of your creative space:  Where you work, intern, or your own personal art-making space
  • Commonly used art supplies and media in your art therapy work or internship with clients
  • Favorite technique: An art intervention or technique approach with individuals or in groups
  • If your creative space has changed: Before and after photos
Submission guidelines and more details to be announced when the project officially launches next month!  Information will be posted to the Spaces & Places: Where We Create project page February 13.

We are also looking for organizations, programs, and blogs interested in becoming an endorser of this project.  Feel free to contact me via for more information. 

The Art Therapy Alliance is proud to be partnering with Art Therapy Without Borders and International Art Therapy Organization for this new project, with endorsement by  Southwestern College, PeaceLove Studios, Art Therapy Institute North Carolina, and Sock Monkey Art Therapy.

If you want to receive updates and news about the project, RSVP to the project’s event page on Facebook. Yay to a new art therapy collab for 2012!  Get your camera ready!

Inspiring Art Therapy Spots on the Web

Today’s posting is dedicated to highlighting art therapy/art therapist sites and blogs that I want to spread the word about and encourage you to check out for inspiration, perspective, and connection. As an art therapist who loves to navigate around the Internet, it is great to see these art therapy sites/blogs/films/photostreams showcasing art therapy, building community, and sharing experiences.

turning*turning- This blog features an art therapist’s postings on creativity, healing, and the power of making. As described @, it’s a place for exploring, discussing, and considering the creative process- the power of making- and its place in modern life.  Check it out!

The Latent Lens ( from art therapist Carmen Gomez features insights and reflections provoked by her photography and using her camera to help make sense and express experiences.

When We Were Made ( from Pratt Institute art therapy graduate student Megan Ashley Graf describes her journey to become an art therapist and preparing to enter the world as a mental health professional.

Elizabeth Beck-Art Therapy ( highlights art therapy news, research, and current happenings in the field.

Denver Art Therapy Counseling Co. (  was founded by Colorado art therapist Erin Brumleve and her blog brings awareness about art therapy counseling, psychotherapy, art, and well-being in general.

AT-Jobsearch on Flickr– Art Therapist Robert Ryan and another art therapist colleague used Flickr to support one another in search for their first art therapy jobs out of graduate school. They posted responsive art and comments about their experiences here:

Open Art Studio Film– This below video is intended to raise awareness about the importance of open art studios in our communities:



In the last week or so, a couple of really interesting altered art projects have come across my computer screen that I wanted to share and pass on:

DSM Altered Book
DSM Altered Book

Altered DSM: Ron Huxley and some of his therapist friends created this altered book using the old DSM III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders) and posted the photos on a Flickr photostream.  I love this idea!  Thanks Ron for sharing this project!  FYI: The book is available to show in galleries or conferences.

Over on The Altered Page, Seth Apter and other artists posted updates, reveals, and photos related to DisCo – the DISintegration COllaboration.  123 artists participated in this collaboration where “art bundles” were left exposed to the elements outdoors.  There are many “before” and “after” photos posted on the Altered Page, as well as on the blogs of those artists who participated.  Below is a short film from one of the other artists, Lee Anne Ghilain and her reveal:

The next phase of the project includes the artists taking their disintergrated bundle and making it into a new art piece.  I know I’ll be watching to see what transforms!

I always love to see how others use altered art and collaborative projects to explore different themes and topics. Feel free to post and suggest any interesting ones you may know of!

Flickr: Making Photos Social

When I first discovered Flickr, I was just looking for a site where I could upload batches of my photos and be able to easily share them with friends, family, and colleagues. Flickr served this objective quite well for me and I was very pleased.  Flickr claims to be “the best on-line photo management system and and sharing application in the world”, with two objectives: helping people share their photos, videos, and pictures with those who are important in their lives, and providing new ways for users to do and manage this.

I have started to learn that Flickr is much more than just these two purposes and a site on-line where I can upload and share lots of photos.  It’s also a collabortive community where images bring people together. People with similiar interests are able to connect through photo sharing, discussion, leaving comments, and much more.  To learn more about Flickr, watch this short tutorial about on-line photo sharing:

I am still slowly discovering everything Flickr has to offer, building my photo sets, and checking out all the amazing images and photographs posted from other users, as well as the thousands of Flickr groups you can join.  It is amazing what Flickr has to offer and its community of photographers, artists, and creatives!

I invite you to take some time and check out what Flickr is all about!   If you need help getting started, one of my favorite photostreams is from Cleveland photographer and poet, Don Iannone who posts beautiful photos everyday.   

Here’s to our paths crossing on Flickr and to happy photo sharing!