creative Therapy


Catalyst Twenty-Nine
September 28, 2008, 7:56 am
Filed under: catalyst

 

As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us. We will do a drawing for the RAK and announce the name mid-week. And if you didn’t join us before, we hope you do this time.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number twenty-nine:

 

Who’s someone you admire or look up to?

 

We’re overjoyed to have Lisa Leonard as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I first saw Lisa’s work on Ali Edwards’ blog. When I went to visit her site I fell in love with everything I saw. Her simple and elegant style spoke to me immediately. I find her jewelry to be meaningful, elegant, and timeless. And absolutely stunning. I cannot tell you how delighted I was when she agreed to guest-design for us.

 

You can see more of Lisa’s art on her blog or here and here. I cannot say enough good things about her art.

 

 

 

Lisa’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version.

 

 

 

Lisa Says:

I guess I must be blessed because it’s hard for me to choose just ONE person I admire. My mom, sisters and some stand out friends have influenced me in huge ways. But one person I truly admire and look up to in every way is my grandma. She was a gentle, kind and honest woman. She loved her family with her whole heart. And she was creative. She was the kind of person who HAD to create…her hands could not be idle. Even in her 90’s she loved to learn new types of craft and art. She left behind countless sewing projects, from embroidery to clothing. She also made jewelry, wood worked, decorated and entertained.

 

The ‘full hearts necklace’ is made with two hand wrought, sterling hearts layered together and strung on sterling chain. A full heart is well loved and loves well.

 

I inherited her love of creating. My main creative outlet these days is hand-crafted jewelry. I use mainly sterling silver and freshwater pearls in my designs. With my raw materials, I hand-stamp, cut, solder, shape, wire wrap, texture and finally string. There are always new techniques to learn and new designs to be discovered. I believe a creative person MUST create. What will you create today?

 

 

Thank you so much Lisa; we’re so honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.

KL:

KL Says::

for me i admire and look up to the women in my life. all of them. they have such different backgrounds and beliefs but each one has inspired me to become someone better.

 

Journaling Reads::

she is amazing and confident and loves with her whole heart. she gives gives without expecting to receive and yet she always gives more of herself each and everyday. she is beautiful and strong and strives to be good. she is in every woman i meet. every friend, mother, sister and daughter. she is you and she is me.

 

Technique Highlight::

i have discovered the joy of black gesso. it builds a strong base that lets colors pop, regardless of the surface. it’s a great contrast to build
on and won’t wash out your collage like white gesso.

 

 


Christine:

Hidden Journaling Reads::

I believe that most people would probably choose someone well-known or famous if they were asked who they admired. However, my response would be different because I would choose you. I admire you for your continuing growth in faith and trust in God. I admire you for your growing responsibility and servant’s heart. I admire you for the beauty of your heart and the vision that God has put there for the purpose of your life. You are the type of person I wish I could have been at your age, and I am so very blessed to see you mature into the beautiful young woman that I hoped to raise someday. Always remember that I love you and admire you for who you are…always and forever!

 

Technique Highlight::

I love to layer flowers on top of one another, and I did so on most of the flowers on this page. I cut scallop circles from vintage dictionary pages and used them as layers in between flowers. I crinkled the scallop circles, smoothed them out and then formed them into flowers. Instead of spraying glimmer mist onto the dictionary paper flowers, I used a paintbrush to add color along edges of the petals. I also cut leaf shapes from the dictionary pages, crinkled and smoothed it out and then sprayed them with olive green glimmer mist.

 

 


Fran:

 

Fran Says:

The first person I thought of when I thought of inspirational people was Maya Angleou. I had the honor of hearing her speak when I was in college, but prior to that, her autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was an inspirational story that really made a difference in my life. It seems that whenever I needed a pick-me-up, Maya’s words would always do that. This quote about courage is central to who we all are, and it speaks to me on a very personal level.

 

Journaling Reads:

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” by Maya Angelou

 

Technique Highlight:

Textured background created with different papers on canvas board. Acrylic paint and glaze used over it to create the texture. Image then photographed and pulled into PhotoShop Elements, where the text was layered onto the background.

 

 


Karen:

 

Karen Says:

I knew from the first moment I read this catalyst that it would be about my husband. My husband and I met and started dating fourteen years ago. When I first met him, I admired him for his sense of humor, for this confidence and ability to enjoy life every day. He was so much fun to be around and always made me smile. I tend to be a “glass-half-empty” kind of gal most of the time so being around him was pure joy.

 

As the years passed, I admired him for his intelligence and ability to work hard, make good friends and seamlessly succeed in the “real” world. He still continued to be fun, but now he was much more than that.

 

And then even more time passed and we got married and we built a life together and we had a baby. And I’ve learned to admire my husband even more. He’s patient. He’s kind. He’s loving. He’s generous. This is not to say we haven’t had rough times or even questioned things over the years. But we’ve always stuck with each other. We’ve always believed in each other and each time I was weak, he was there to be strong for both of us. He’s everything I’ve ever needed in my life from a husband, and even more importantly, from a best friend.

 

 


Karan:

 

Karan Says:

The person I admire most is my mother. She has gone through so much in her short 62 years. Married at 17, a mother to 3 kids by age 24. She was my everything growing up. My best friend, the one I told all my troubles to, the one who was always there for all my personal triumphs. Like the time she came to see me get an award at a color guard awards ceremony the same day she got out of the hospital after a month in there for major abdominal surgery. She was weak and pale, and I had to make the fruit salad, but she was there, cheering for me and smiling from the crowd with big tears in her eyes.

 

She is the go to person for many people. She learned in her 40’s that she has the gift of empathy. Before she thought it was a curse, but when she learned that she had the ability to feel other peoples pain, and show them how to heal it, she became a minister and spiritual counselor, and started exploring her psychic gifts. Now she teaches classes and does readings by appointment for people, and really helps them. She is not one of those crystal ball carrying, chime ringing, patchouli wearing hippie psychics. Just a normal lady with an incredibly abnormal gift.

 

I love this photo of her. She does a lot of inner child work in her classes. This little girl went through a lot, lost a mother to a nervous breakdown for a year, was sent to live with different family members, had all her hair cut off by an aunt who didn’t know how to fix “girl” hair because she only had boys. She didn’t see her parents or siblings for weeks at a time, in fact they had all moved into a new house, and she found out about it from a kid at school who asked her why she wasn’t with her family, and she said because they don’t have a house, (they had lost it in foreclosure) and the kid told her, “Yeah they do, they live next door to me, and your sisters and brothers are there, how come you’re not?” She was molested, and abused, and forgotten so many times by people. Put in the trash can upside down as a freshman and everyone saw her underware. She was picked on and teased for being little, and sensitive… the list goes on and on… Knowing these things about her, and seeing that in spite of all these horrible things, the beautiful look of bliss on her face in this photo. Wearing her older sisters bikini 3 sizes too big, her smile and dimples lighting up her whole face as she beams and radiates pure joy.

 

The things she experienced turned her into the person she is today. She says they were all gifts. All these experiences have enabled her to help so many people. The mother in me wants to take that little girl and protect her from all those hurts, but I know that like a fine tapestry, all the threads of all our experiences make up the sum of who we are as beings on this planet. She wouldn’t be who she is today without those experiences. I am so proud to call her my mother. I am so proud that she has passed on some of her beautiful gifts to me. Every day I strive to be more like her. I ask every day WWJD? What would Judi do? The answer usually comes to me… loving and gentle, just like my mom… “Just focus on the love. Let the love in, and the rest will work itself out.”

 

 


Debee:

 

Journaling Reads:

Fragile

Completely admire people who choose to make a difference despite social pressure

love

love

love

love

 

i admire people who love

love

love

love

love

 

i admire you

God

love love love love love

people who love

church leaders pastors faith

martin luther king faith love purpose

hard hardcore believers

faith thru love

 

Technique Highlight:

Spray paint white paper, let dry, add watercolor splashes and white india ink, then type and sew.

 

 


Leena:

 

Leena Says:

He has always been someone who I look up to ever since I met him 11 years ago. He’s my hubby, mentor and most of all he’s a friend who always make time to listen. I still remember clearly that while I was doing my undergraduate studies and being pregnant at the same time years ago, I always called him up from my classes, most of the time in the brink of tears, telling him I can’t carry on what I’ve been doing anymore. I was so tired while carrying my child and having to go for night classes. And I still remember him telling me this “Honey, you do what you can, as long as you’re happy. If you think you’ve given your best, I believe it is already the best you could give”. And he would lighten up my mood with of one his silly jokes which never fails to make me laugh.

 

I admire him most for his never-ending patience, his great sense of humour, never-say-die attitude, his intelligence and most of all, I admire the way he looks at everything in such positive manner. I always feel encouraged by his kind words when I’m down and he has never failed to bring out the best in someone. He is someone you could count on, for better or worse.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Who’s someone you admire or look up to?” I urge you to give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. You’ll have to link your art by Sunday night, October 5th, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

To qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.

 

For our RAK for this week, we are thrilled to be giving away a spot in Hilde Janbroers’ upcoming class at A Million Memories. Hilde’s art journal class will be full of new techniques and absolutely stunning journal pages.

 

 

 

Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.

 

Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.

 

 



RAK Recipient for Catalyst Twenty-Seven
September 28, 2008, 6:41 am
Filed under: catalyst

catalyst_rak_winner

I apologize for the delay this week again; it was unavoidable. We should hopefully return to our regular Wednesday announcements this week. The little boy picked your name Mother Henna Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Sakura of America. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

 

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

 

Thank you.



Catalyst Twenty-Eight
September 21, 2008, 9:29 am
Filed under: catalyst

 

As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us. We will do a drawing for the RAK and announce the name mid-week. And if you didn’t join us before, we hope you do this time.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number twenty-eight:

 

What’s a negative behavior or habit you have overcome?

 

We’re thrilled to have Jen Worden as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I found Jen just looking around the internet and the minute I saw her art, I was in awe. Each of her pieces is more amazing than the other. Her art is emotional, thought-provoking, and just stunning.

 

Jen participates in many different projects, some of which she leads and others she participates in. You can find those projects here. Just looking at this page is enough to see the versatility in her work, the mediums she uses, the emotions she awakes in you. I am truly inspired by her art and her work for this week’s catalyst is another perfect example of that.

 

If you haven’t seen her art before, you must visit her blog where she also hosts art challenges. We are so so happy to have her here.

 

 

 

Jen’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version and some more detail.

 

 

 

Jen Says:

I’ve been working on eliminating negative self-talk … you know “that voice” that pipes up on everything from being lazy to having no talent to saying your art isn’t good enough, your body not small enough, your house not large enough … it’s been a struggle with a LOT of setbacks but I’m pretty close to having that voice silenced for good. Go me!

 

As per usual, I wasn’t completely sure how my piece would turn out until it told me it was finished … yes, I do still listen to SOME internal voices! :) I envision the light bulb as both enlightenment – you know, that “Eureka” moment – as well as living with a clear head/clear vision, something you can’t do if your head is filled with negativity. The mirror was an interesting addition and I believe it to be about self-analysis – hence the title of the piece, “Introspection” – but also that we are always reflected in who we surround ourselves with, so the mirror is focused outwards. The heart signifies love – of oneself and of life in general. The hollow legs might mean I still have many roads to travel. Or maybe just that I’m always hungry!

 

Technique Highlight:

I started with a dollar store doll’s head – extricating the hair, body, arms and legs – and painting with black gesso as an undercoat. I like the depth that black gives to my work. The entire face is worked with 4 colours, all Golden products: Quinacridone Gold, Mars Black, Titanium White and Pthalo Turquoise. The first layer is very watered down titanium white. I generally work with a heat gun because I tend to be rather impatient for paints to dry. Once the white is dried, I start with varying degrees of quin gold/mars black – this also happens to be Michael deMeng’s colour palette, a happy coincidence. I keep adding layer after layer after layer, varying the degrees of each colour all the while building up that depth. Adding a bit of turquoise mixed with white gives a pretty close proximity to a patina particularly when aged with a loose wash of quin gold afterwards. The last layers are done with a very dry brush dragged over the surface to highlight the now uneven texture.

 

 

Thank you so much Jen; we’re so delighted.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.

Vivian:

Vivian Says::

I am very happy to say I have let go of the strive for perfection a while ago and it has been the best thing!. Striving for perfection to me feels like a negative behavioral pattern because it can have so much grip on your art, your house, your whole being. And what is perfection anyway? What it means to me is totally different from what it means to you or your friend. What does it really
matter? As soon as I let go, freedom is with me all the time. Freedom to create, freedom to speak up, freedom to sit and be me.

 

 


Severine:

Severine Says::

I stopped biting my nails. I have bitten my nails for a very long time and I managed to stop, it was a great victory for me. Now they are beautiful and I can even put nail polish.

 

 


Lori:

 

Lori Says:

The greatest negative behavior I’ve had to overcome was fear of my own opinion. I tended to keep them to myself and to worry and act more on other’s opinions than my own. I spent my late twenties and early thirties working on changing that. Life has been much more exciting, since I started valuing my own thoughts, my own self.

 

Technique Highlight:

I used white crayon on white cardstock to write the title “think”. I painted over the top, then used a wet wipe to gently expose more of the crayon. I outlined it with stickles, then sprayed copper glimmer mist over the top of everything.

 

 


Karen:

 

Journaling Reads:

Caffeine Free Diet Coke. 12 a day every day. i never drank alcohol. i never smoked. but diet coke was my vice. my one vice. until david. yet another present from my boy. (karen’s note: i quit diet coke when we decided to get pregnant and haven’t had one in 4 years.)

 

 


Anita:

 

Journaling Reads:

I have always had a hard time taking a compliment. They make me uncomfortable. I don’t know why, but I have always had a hart time with it. I’ve been like this all my life. Never like to be the center of attention. I even had a hard time with this on our wedding day. I insisted on NOT walking down the aisle. Although it was a small wedding, I am sure it was probably a disappointment to alot of people. As I am getting older, I am learning to be more comfortable in taking compliments. I know that it makes my husband feel good to be able to tell me I look pretty or that he likes something I’ve done without passing it off and accepting it. It’s been hard but I am learning.

 

 


Fran:

 

Fran Says:

I’ve always been a saver. Not just saving money and things, but saving people. To some extent, it’s been touted as a good attribute; however, it had become a negative in my life. Trying to rescue people – from themselves, from their circumstances, from their addictions, from others – is not a positive thing. It can be done to the detriment of the person trying to do it. In addition, it is often done so selflessly that the person doing the saving is harmed.

 

I’ve learned the hard way I can’t save others. I’ve learned that it is each person’s responsibility to save herself if she wishes to do so. All I can do is support them in the change. I can’t change their circumstances for them; I can’t be their hero. I can’t rescue them. Only they can rescue themselves.

 

 


Debee:

 

Journaling Reads:

No more “I can’t”

For the longest time I told myself I can’t

I really didn’t like that but then I tried and realized that I can. Only if I try. And so I can.

See for yourself!

 

This girl can do anything she puts her mind to. Believe it.

 

No more I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I stopped telling myself that I can’t I can’t I can’t no more. No. Even though I didn’t have anyone to teach me the things that I really wanted to learn I just had to start telling myself that YES I can. I can. I can. I really can. Event hough it’s not the best. I’m still trying and I can. I can. I can. I really can. I can sew even if it’s just on paper. I can embroider even if it’s just french knots. I can draw even if it’s just simple sketches. I will and I can find my heart for it again. I can. I can. play drums. Even if I’m not the best. I rock because I never gave up. I can. I can.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s a negative behavior or habit you have overcome?” I urge you to give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. You’ll have to link your art by Sunday night, September 28th, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

There’s a recent change in RAK rules: to qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.

 

For our RAK for this week, we are thrilled to be giving away these beautiful goodies from our sponsor Ruby Street Designs. Here’s a detailed description of what’s here “This pocket full of whimsy is from our “Gold Digger” range and includes vintage cigarette card, vintage play money and page from a 1950’s bank book, vintage velvet leaves, vintage jewellers label, tattered millinery netting and silk ribbon, vintage trim, ruby st sequinned trim and flower jewels, an assortment of fancy vintage buttons, vintage keep this coupon tickets, delish designs bling brads, vintage sew on beads spelling diva, 2 types velvet ribbon, vintage millinery flower and vintage plastic rose buckle, corsage pins, ricrac, embellished paperclip and vintage crown cabochon. We are very excited to be sponsoring this challenge, thank you so much for the opportunity. We will also include the background paper which is leopard velvet paper in the winners package.”

 

 

 

Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.

 

Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.

 

 



RAK Recipient for Catalyst Twenty-Six
September 20, 2008, 3:41 pm
Filed under: catalyst

catalyst_rak_winner

I apologize for the delay this week; it was unavoidable. The little boy picked your name Tara Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Red Velvet Kit Club. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

 

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

 

Thank you.



Catalyst Twenty-Seven
September 14, 2008, 11:40 am
Filed under: catalyst

 

As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us. We will do a drawing for the RAK and announce the name mid-week. And if you didn’t join us before, we hope you do this time.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number twenty-seven:

 

Tell us about a painful memory.

 

We’re very excited to have Nathalie Kalbach as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Nathalie’s style is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s eclectic, it’s colorful, it’s happy and always interesting to look at. She uses a lot of techniques and always manages to inspire me all over again. I find her art to be unique and stunning.

 

Nathalie lives in Germany but designs for companies and kit clubs all over the world. She is on the design teams for Sweet Twee Laboratories, Rose Moka, Kits&Pieces, ScrapArtZine, and Scrapping the Music. She’s also been published too many times to count.

 

If you haven’t seen her art before, you must check out her blog. We are so so thrilled to have her here.

 

 

 

Nathalie’s art with this catalyst is below and you can click it to see a bigger version and some more detail.

 

 

 

Nathalie Says:

One of my most painful memories is when my beloved stepfather died. Even though he and my mother got divorced I saw him as the only and best father I ever had and when I moved to Hamburg I visited him at least once a month and stayed in my old room. We would talk and cook and have a good time – often having my friends and his friends over and having a good time. Ten years passed by since he died and since I saw my “Home” -the last time. It still hurts to think about him and to think of all the memories connected to him and to my home. The photo on the layout shows the entry to the little 300 year old half timbered house grown over by vine.

 

Journaling Reads:

My stepfather died in Italy – while I was in Venice – not too far away. We had talked on the phone and I told him that I would come and visit him in a couple weeks. When I came home my Mom called me – he had a stroke and fell off his bikes in the mountains. I was so sad – even after my parents got divorced I vistited him every month staying in my old room. After the funeral I went to our “Home”. I loved this old little house with the vine all over. It hurt so much to open the door knowing that I would never come back. He had my room prepared for my next visit – new bedsheets and my big teddy bear sitting n the bed. I cried the whole time saying good bye to him and my home. I miss you so much, Dad! 10 years later- still!!!

 

Technique Highlight:

I stamped with acrylic paints on the background paper and attached the papers on top. I journaled on top of the transparency and used a grungeboard key as a symbol for the house. I painted the grungeboard with several acrylic paints and then put crackle accents on top and let it dry over night. I painted the insides of the chipboard letters with a black pen. The overall look is pretty busy and cloudy – but is exactly reflecting my emotional feelings when I created this layout thinking about my memories. All blurred up – a clean and simple layout would have never fit for me.

 

Scrapbooking is a creative and therapeutic outlet for me – so I was really honored to be asked by this amazing group to be part of it this week. Thank you so much.

 

 

Thank you so much Nathalie; we’re so delighted.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team. Click on the photos to see the bigger versions.

Christine:

Journaling Reads::

The day I became a teenager was the most unlucky day of my life. The scars that I carry from my thirteenth birthday are still with me – physically and in heart.

 

My parents planned a get-together with our family at Mission Bay that day. Unfortunately, my birthday was on one of the weekends during spring break that year which meant that the beaches would be crowded. Our family was late in getting to the beachside park where the party was to be held. Our car was packed with all the food for the party including a thermos filled with hot water that sat near my feet. This was a carafe which had a button on top that could be pressed down in order to dispense the hot water. Unfortunately for me, the carafe was unlocked so that when my father broke hard to stop the car, it fell against my legs and the hot water spilled, scalding my legs.

 

I cried out in pain and let my parents know what had happened, but my parents, already frustrated by their tardiness and unable to find a parking space, just told me to be quiet. I tried, but the pain was excruciating! I pleaded with them to take me to the hospital., but they told me that it was already too late and their guests were already at the park wondering where we were.

 

I still cannot express how deeply it hurt to hear them say that! Didn’t they care about what happened to me? Was the party more important the my welfare?

 

After we arrived at the park, I sat in constant pain, unable to enjoy my own birthday because I was trying desperately not to cry as my skin continued to burn underneath my wet clothes. They never did take me to see a doctor and have my wounds treated.

 

For weeks following my birthday I remember reading first aid books in order to treat myself. I changed the dressings, cleaned my wounds, and went to school in crutches while wearing flip flops because I couldn’t cover up my healing wounds with shoes. Thankfully, the wounds were healing well and I didn’t develop any infections. However, during that time, bitterness and resentment increased in my heart.

 

Although I was left with unsightly scars on my left foot and my right calf, the experience also left scars upon my heart that only God could heal many years later.

 

In time, and by God’s grace, my scarred heart has been healed by His example of forgiveness towards me. The accident was indeed painful physically, but holding onto the bitterness and resentment I had towards my parents was even more painful. After surrendering it to the Lord and forgiving my parents, I now have peace. I thank God for His mercy and understanding! He has given me the peace that my heart needed to take away the deepest pain left in my heart by this experience.

 

Technique Highlight:

I used a piece of torn cardboard to symbolize my scarred heart and the 13 is a reminder of my thirteenth birthday. Although this project contains no photos, the memories of that day are remembered in my journaling. The journaling is written on two tags that are enclosed within the gate-fold cardstock and held together with the burgundy band and cardboard heart.

 

 


Severine:

Severine Says::

For me it’s the accidental death of a person whom I love, in a car accident

 

 


Kris:

 

Kris Says:

Working on this catalyst, was a bit difficult. I don’t talk about personal/painful things with many people, some my closest allies may not even be aware of. But I think of them often. This catalyst reminded me that is okay to have painful memories. It’s how we react, change and grow through them that makes all the difference. They define the person we become. I find that a memory is painful when it involves love. Love for family, kids, parents, what coulda/shoulda been. If they didn’t involve love, we wouldn’t care as much and thus, they wouldn’t be painful. Sometimes I think, do I love too much, care too much? Should I buffer my feelings up against the rocks and act like everything is okay? I’m not very good at that. I have to continue to love. I tried to make a piece that involved baring my soul but some things are best just left unshared. I wrote my memories on little slips of paper and slipped them into the heart’s tubes. They’re there for me to remember, share with a loved one if I want to, or to put away and move forward. Whatever I choose.

 

Technique Highlight:

Canvas has been covered in modeling paste, with various shapes pushed into it while wet to leave impressions. I covered it in a crimson paint, and rubbed brown and copper paints into the crevices and over the piece for definition. The ‘LOVE’ is handpainted. The heart is made of magazine pages, rolled up and glued. I cut them to size and glued together in the shape of a heart (painting & stamping each ‘tube’ before i glued it into the heart.)

 

 


Karen:

 

Journaling Reads:

This one is really painful. Maybe my most painful memory ever.

 

Years ago, I was fourteen, or maybe a little younger. In the summer, we lived on this island and there were two groups of kids my age. The group I belonged to and the other one. One day, we were upstairs in the club house and the guy from my group was talking to a guy from the other group and he said, “Well the only ugly girl in our group is Karen. All the girls in your group are ugly.”

 

That’s it. That’s all it is. That tiny moment that the guy probably doesn’t even remember. I’m sure he doesn’t remember. Why would he? It was nothing to him. A few cruel words. Maybe not even cruel to him. Maybe it was his honest opinion. He didn’t know I was there. He wasn’t trying to hurt me.

 

But it did.

 

I was there. I heard it. It broke me. Permanently. Twenty years later, I still feel like the ugliest girl. The only ugly girl in a group. In every group. I look at myself and I am incapable of seeing anything else. It’s the reason I’m always the girl who’s behind the camera and not in front of it. It’s the reason I don’t dance. It scarred me then. It scars me now. Just writing this down brings tears to my eyes, all these years later.

 

It’s amazing how a teeny tiny moment has completely changed my life. My personality. My self-confidence. The way I look at myself. The way I carry myself. The way I think of myself. The way I see myself. Looking at it now, it seems silly that I should have let it ruin how I see myself. But I don’t know how to stop it. I don’t know how to actually let it go. It’s such a core part of who I am. It has become a fact such a long time ago that I don’t know how to relearn. How to reform my opinions of myself. It’s like redefining who I am.

 

It’s amazing how an ephemeral moment can leave such permanent scars.

 

Technique Highlight:

Writing this one brought back a lot of sad memories for me and a lot of anger. So once I printed out my journaling, I decided to burn the paper. I burned enough of it that each time I pick this page up, I can still smell the burn. I also just tore and roughed up the paper at will.

 

 


Vivian:

 

Vivian Says:

For this catalyst I knew straight away what I needed to get out of my system. Sometimes painful things happen in our lives and we just deal with it right? At that particular painful moment or even later on, situations get dealt with and no traces stay behind. And other times hurt stays behind in our systems because we choose not to deal with it or because the experience of facing it all is simply too painful. It lingers and hangs around and comes to the fore front every now and again, determining or influencing how we feel, even changing our perception of the world and other people.

 

For my page I wrote down every feeling I had about a particular painful memory in my life and at the end I came to the conclusion forgiveness is the only key for me to be able to move on without hurt. I then ripped up this piece of paper and stuck all the bits into a file folder which I machine stitched together. I could have thrown them away but I choose to keep them sealed in instead, pierced through and losing their grip on me. The butterflies are glue transfers, you can find the “how to” on my blog.

 

 


Fran:

 

Fran Says:

I think we all have a catalog of painful memories. They can either define us or we can define them. For me, they helped to create the person I am today, but I don’t like to dwell on them. Instead, I prefer to look to the future and to let the past be the past. My mantra is, “That was then, this is now”. That’s why I created this journal page. Reminding myself of past hurts is not useful, not healthy, and not something I want to do. Celebrating today, living my life in a positive way, and being happy are the things that are important and useful. It requires courage to move forward and to imagine the beautiful life I have created for myself and my husband. I choose to be brave and focus on the future, rather than focus on a painful memory.

 

Journaling Reads:

Don’t dwell on the past or let the bad memories take hold of you and seep into your current life. Remember: That was then and this is now. It is a future and a present that you have created by looking forward and finding love and support while letting go of the past.

 

You hold the power in your hands. Grasp it!

 

“I can be changed by what happens to me. I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou

 

Technique Highlight:

Collage on hot press watercolor paper. Color, writing and doodling added with Pigma Micron, Permapaque, Gelly Roll Glaze and Souffle pens.

 

 


Amélie:

 

Amélie Says:

This is a representation of paradise because my memories are the painful disappearances of people that I loved and which I hope to find with the angels.

 

In French:

Ce tableau est une représentation du paradis car mes souvenirs douloureux sont les disparitions des personnes que j’aime et qui j’espère ont retrouvé les anges.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “tell us about a painful memory?” I urge you to give it a try. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and we will send a RAK to a random participant. You’ll have to link your art by Sunday night, September 21st, midnight PST to qualify for this week’s RAK. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

There’s a recent change in RAK rules: to qualify for our weekly RAK drawing, all you have to do is do art around ANY of our catalysts. It doesn’t have to be the one from this week. We believe in the healing power of art and we want you to pick whichever catalyst inspires you the most.

 

For our RAK for this week, we are thrilled to be giving away these amazing Cray-Pas(R) Expressionist(R) 50 piece (48 colors) oil pastels from sponsor Sakura of America. You can read in more detail about these amazing pastels here.

 

 

 

Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.

 

Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.

 

 



An Announcement
September 12, 2008, 12:37 pm
Filed under: catalyst

Well, it’s time for another team announcement.

 

Like last time, I’ll start with the sad news: Two of the inaugural members of our team have decided to leave. Brenda and Becky, we will miss you dearly. You have both inspired me tremendously and thank you so much for being a part of creative therapy for as long as you have.

 

As you already know, I make a point to couple sad news with happy news so, of course, I have some wonderful news. We are thrilled to have two new members on our team. Debee Campos and Jessica Moreau-Berry have both agreed to join us. Their art is amazing, inspiring, personal, and perfectly in line with the essence of creative therapy.

 

I hope you are as thrilled to have Debee and Jes on our team as I am and please join me in welcoming them. Also, please join me in wishing Brenda and Becky lots of luck and prosperity in their future creative endeavors. We will miss them!

 

But, as always, the best part of this place is all the art you share with us each week. Seeing a piece of each person’s past, hopes, future, and thoughts is the best part of my day. I hope we can inspire you as much as you continue inspire us.

 

Thank you.



RAK Recipient for Catalyst Twenty-Five
September 10, 2008, 5:19 pm
Filed under: catalyst

catalyst_rak_winner

The little boy picked your name Anna B. Congratulations!! Thanks, once again, to our generous sponsor: Kenner Road. I will email you with directions on how to receive your RAK.

 

As always, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for your ongoing support, generosity of spirit, and for sharing your own journeys with us. It is so inspiring and therapeutic to me.

 

Thank you.




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