creative Therapy


Catalyst Sixty-Four
May 31, 2009, 7:36 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number sixty-four:

 

Create art about a time when something that then seemed small happened but then it ended up changing your life.

 

We’re so excited to have Seth Apter as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Seth was recommended to me by our very own Vivian Bonder. When I visited his site, I was immediately fascinated by his art. All the layers in his work

 

A true artist, Seth creates in so many mediums, including bookmaking and bookbinding, textures, layers, text, altered images, artistic collaborations, visual journaling, abstract art, ephemera, and more. His work and words can be seen in many sites online and in print, in such publications as Artful Blogging, Pasticcio Quartz, and Varietist Muse.

 

If you’ve never seen his amazing art make sure to visit his blog and make sure to check out his etsy store.

 

 

 

 

Here is Seth’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.

 

 

 

Seth Says:

In life, I believe in the power of synchronicity. That things happen for a reason and are meant to be. And that there is meaning to be found in even the smallest experience. You just have to be open to the possibility. One instance of this for me, and the inspiration behind “Leave Full”, occurred in 2000. I was emerging from a challenging period in my life but had become open to and ready for the possibility of good things happening. I was travelling on my own in the North West United States and in British Columbia Canada. One day I entered an art gallery and was immediately mesmerized by the artwork there. It affected me in a way and on a personal level that I had never experienced before. I should say that before this time, while I had admired art, I hadn’t created art since I was a teenager. I struck up a conversation with the gallery owner, Patricia Larsen, and felt that same energy from her as I did from the artwork. Turns out, no surprise, that she was the artist of the work I had admired so much.

 

After quite a long conversation, I purchased a piece of her art. Soon after, I returned home to New York City. Although I had wonderful memories of the visit, I assumed that it ended there. But, quite surprisingly, I soon received a handmade postcard from Patricia. I felt that I couldn’t just send back a store bought card and made a meager attempt to create my own postcard, which I mailed back to her. This, in turn, developed into a full blown mail art relationship, with the creative stakes rising with each mailing. Ultimately, Patricia and I have developed a deep and continuing friendship. And this connection was 100% the catalyst for me in opening myself up to art and becoming the artist I am today. And in my mind, this was meant to be. Such a small event, walking through a gallery door, led to such a life changing experience…art!(here’s Patricia Larsen’s beautiful site: http://www.patricialarsen.com/.)

 

 

Technique Highlight:

 

I try to achieve a highly layered and textured background in all my work. The background in this piece has been created using acrylic paint. Different colors of paint were added one layer at a time. After each layer, the still-wet paint was either distressed with sandpaper, wiped away with a rag, texturized with various materials, or dug into with a straight edge. I feel that building up the layers, perhaps to the point where the earliest layers may not even be visible, is the best way to achieve depth and richness in a piece.

 

 

Thank you so much Seth; we’re so very very honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Wendela:

Wendela Says:

You change my World….I used a picture of the first ultrasound from my eldest son. He’s 8 weeks here, and so small….almost one inch….so sweet….. On that moment I couldn’t imagine how my life was going to change…Now he’s 12 and this summer he goes to Highschool, so excited…my life changes again…a new chapter from the book of my life

 

Technique Highlight:

I transferred a copy from the ultrasound image with golden gel medium, and after that I sprayed with glimmermist pearl, and some alcohol ink. Transferring is really nice to do.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

Years ago, I was sitting at school with a friend who told me that a friend of hers (someone I only knew as an acquaintance) had had a really bad day. I am not sure what prompted me, but I emailed her friend that day and asked him if he was ok. Next thing I know, we were hanging out, becoming friends. And then dating. And then we got married. And now we have two kids. It all started with one single email. Amazing what can change in a moment.

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Amy:

 

Amy Says:

Last year, I asked someone to make a quilt with me. Although I had done a bit of quilting in the past, at the time, I wasn’t quilting. Most of my art was channeled through writing and sketching or painting, but I was working with fiber, making pillows and small bags for art tools. I was already working with her on a book project, a shared daily recording of moments, but when I suggested we make a quilt to frame an assortment of my daily bird sketches, it felt pretty presumptuous of me. The quilt came into being over the summer. It was a small thing, the reaching out and asking if she might be interested in working on it jointly. I had no idea when I asked that a year later we’d have made dozens and dozens of quilts together and that the balance of my art would have shifted, the scales tipping to fabric. I had no idea that in asking, in doing that first project, I’d have found new direction and new vision and that in the space of a few months, I’d have learned so much.

 

That first quilt was sold this year. The pieced block here with the heron in the corner mimics the palette and style of the blocks we created for that quilt. Since then, working many miles apart, we’ve built upon one another, quilt by quilt, row by row, and border by border, incorporating scraps, selvage, and sketches.

 

 


Lori:

Lori Says::

I think the biggest change that happened in my life because of a small decision, was when I met my husband. I had finally made the decision to move in to an apartment alone. This was something I really needed to do to grow as a person. The day I moved in, my future husband came bounding down the stairs and told me to feel free to crash any of their (he and his roommate’s) future parties. I was so bummed to hear that my upstairs neighbors threw big parties. I am not anti-social. I just prefer small gatherings to big parties. One night, several months later, I decided to just go up and talk with them. I didn’t put a ton of thought into it, I was just bored. That small non-though-out decision, which meant little to me at the time, turned out to be the reason my future husband and I started dating.

 

Journaling Reads::

I was about to move into my first apartment and was thrilled to be on my own. The day I was to move in, I came down with the flu. Fortunately, I had several friends offer to help me. We were nearly done when a guy came bouncing down the stairs. He introduced himself to me and suggested I visit them upstairs when they have one of their parties. My heart sunk. My first place and the guys upstairs throw parties. Well, one night a few months later, I did go to visit them. They were not having a party, so I was able to talk to both guys and get to know them a little. A few weeks later, Jeremy, the guy I originally met on the day I moved in, knocked on my door and asked me out. I couldn’t go, but asked him to ask me another time. A week later he knocked on my door, again, and asked me if I wanted to go out with a big group for his birthday. I did and we’ve been together ever since.

 

 


Larissa:

 

Larissa Says:

It all started in a cloudy day where my husband and I decided to go to the beach. As the weather was covered, we didn’t even worried about putting on sunscreen and we spent the whole day sitting on the beach feeling the breeze and the warmth sheltering us.

 

To our surprise, the warmth resulted in sunburns, redness and discomfort for days.

 

Those sunburns ended up causing a spot over my forehead, which started to bother me so much that I decided to look for a dermatologist. After some exams, it was found out a problem in my ovaries related to this spot and I was oriented to interrupt the use of birth control pills.

 

My husband and I had already decided to get pregnant only in two years time, which was the estimated time for me to finish my Master on science of Law degree studies, however, we took the risk and we found out destiny was reserving us the greatest gift of our lives!

 

I was very afraid of not being able to take my pregnancy to the end, but, hey, everything went on relatively smooth and my little one was born to illuminate our lives with all her joy and energy!

 

The skin? I still put on many creams with acid even today, have peelings and suffer a lot in various treatments when I am willing enough to worry about my appearance…

 

 


KL:

 

KL Says:

i’ve experienced a few unexpected turns in my life but i always believe that you get exactly what you need, when you need it most. today, this day, is a very hard one for me and my family as it is the 10 year anniversary of my grandfathers death.

 

it was a painful and difficult time for me when my grandfather passed away 10 years ago as he was the true father figure in my life. the man who was always there to help guide me. he was the father that i didn’t have, for most of my life, and he was unconditionally giving and loving and supportive.

 

when we lost my grandfather my heart broke in two. i had never experienced overwhelming grief before and instead of dealing with my emotions and letting my pain surface and process i hid from it. I hid the pain with a few crazy summer months of partying and doing everything i could to not be alone with my pain and memories. i was young. i was sad. i was so very lost.

 

but my grandfather sent me a gift just 6 weeks after he left us, he sent me someone who would love me more than he did. he sent me my soulmate, my future husband, the father of my children. someone who would help me get through the pain and see that living and loving and building a future is the best medicine to heal a broken heart.

 

it still hurts, even now, that my grandfather isn’t here to see the life i have built and the family i have created. but i know that he sees all of it.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Create art about a time when something that then seemed small happened but then it ended up changing your life.” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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.

 

 



Catalyst Sixty-Three
May 24, 2009, 7:42 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number sixty-three:

 

Tell us about your perfect day (either one you’ve had or one you imagine.)

 

We’re so excited to have Belinda Schneider as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

Belinda’s art is absolutely fascinating. Vibrant and intriguing in a way where you cannot stop looking for more and more. She is a true mixed media artist working with all kinds of media from painting to fabric and creates amazing art with each.

 

She has some amazing tutorials and great freebies that you must check out.

 

If you’ve never seen her beautiful art make sure to visit her blog.

 

 

 

 

Here is Belinda’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.

 

 

 

Belinda Says:

I always have flowers at home and in my office at work. This week lilies and peonies have been filling my office with natural beauty and a sensational scent. As a momentum I am sending you two pictures I just took with flowers from the bouquet. Although I wear black most of the time, I just love to have color around me.

 

I picked the perfect day catalyst because I LOVE having perfect days! I’ve had so many already and each and every one has been so different. I don’t have a recipe for just one perfect day but my key ingredients are CREATIVITY – MUSIC – LAUGHTER. A perfect day tomorrow could start with sleeping in, reading a few pages in a book, having brunch with friends, going shopping, doing a nice workout at the gym, cooking a light dinner for friends, going to a rock concert, making art – this sounds like 24 hrs non-stop fun! :)

 

This collage/painting was created on such a perfect day. I slept in on a Sunday morning and when waking up I had the idea of a colorful collaged background in my head. I went into my art room, pulled out my easel, a large canvas, silk paper, glue, turned on some music and and off I went.

 

 

Technique Highlight:

 

First I gathered scraps from various colored silky papers (from flower bouquets and store bought). I randomly glued them onto the large canvas using modge podge, allowing pieces to overlap. (Note: some silk papers bleed, so be careful and use it to your advantage.) Then I had fun turning my canvas around and around trying to discover a pattern or an image. What does the background say? Next I used charcoal to outline my image. One I was happy I used chalks to paint in some areas and to add details and highlights. The buddha curls were very fun to add! I fixed the canvas with a light layer of varnish (important for fixing chalks). Creativity is my therapy, always accompanied with music.

 

 

Thank you so much Belinda; we’re so very very honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Kimmi:

Kimmi Says:

The perfect day for me would be simple as possible. I’d like to sleep in late, have breakfast at Cracker Barrel with BB and T, then head home to play outside with BB and Cassie. Jump on the trampoline, play in the water, all the usual stuff while T bbq’s. Eat lunch outside, picnic style. Go in for the day when BB takes his nap, and scrap for a while. Cook a good dinner, with a good glass of wine and enjoy a movie before BB’s bedtime. Hearing him say his prayers after reading him a book, and getting lots of “hugs and shugs” while tucking him in, then finishing the night off with some alone time with T, and then a hot bath and a good book. A simple, yet perfect day. May 13, 2009.

 

Technique Highlight:

I included snippets of my journaling on the front side of my layout and added full journaling to the backside of my layout with a few small embellishments.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

There are some days that are meant to be perfect. Like a wedding day, a graduation, a birth, a honeymoon. But then there are those other days that start out absolutely ordinary. Never promising more. On rare occasions, one of these days turn out magnificent. Unexpected. Perfect. Those are the extraordinary moments life is made out of. Joshua Tree was one of those days for me. I will never, ever forget it.

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Severine:

 

Severine Says:

My perfect day is a day like THIS day … A day with my daughter, to walk on a park with flowers, to take photos, to have kiss and calins, a day without anger and crisis … A PERFECT DAY.

 

 


Christine:

Christine Says::

As I considered what would make a perfect day, I realized that it wasn’t so much the events that I expected to happen on that day that would make it perfect, but the state of my heart. I have had days when things didn’t turn out as I expected, and yet at the end of the day I could joyfully say that it was what I considered perfect. It was so because I had spent each moment walking with the Lord. Those types of days were filled with a constant abiding in Christ…the continual trusting in Him to provide His grace at each and every moment. By trusting and resting in Him, I had the peace in knowing that all that I did in each situation would be governed by His grace rather than by my flesh. Each relationship in which I was engaged overflowed with the graciousness and love of Christ, reflecting and glorifying Him because in Him and through Him my days, and my life, are made complete. Nothing could be as close to perfect as that to me, and I am so very grateful to the Lord for those types of days!

 

 


Larissa:

 

Larissa Says:

I chose to portray in this Catalyst a beautiful day where my husband, our daughter and I took a walk through tropical woodland with the purpose of walking and having a picnic on the river shore and waterfalls. At the beginning of the walk, my daughter, who loves butterflies, was such in a bad mood that she got to the point where butterflies were ugly, something that she adores. This was the starting point for me to prepare a “star shaped book” with my watercolors and some of my daughter’s own drawings telling this family story. And the story:

 

In a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, daddy decided to invite the little Bebel to a nice walk through Sao Luis do Paraitinga’s river rapids, thinking that the little girl could enjoy a different day beside nature.

Bebel, delighted with the proposal, put on an all pink flowered dress and happily followed her parents.

 

When they got there, she got all marveled with the smell of the woods, the noise from the river rapids, the green tones of the tropical woods and, playfully, followed her parents on the walk to the stream.

 

But Bebel was only a 5 year old girl, still with very short legs and the walk path, although all green and pervaded with flowers, was too long and tiring which was causing her a great irritation.

 

Isabela was getting a really bad temper.

 

Her father, wanting to guarantee the success of the program, tried to distract the little girl, telling her:

 

- Look Bebel, what a beautiful flower!

 

However, the girl quickly and roughly replied:

 

- The flower is ugly!

 

The father, then, very creative, decided to call her attention to a beautiful shinny yellow butterfly which was flying by because he knew that butterflies were his daughter’s favorite insects:

 

- Look Bebel, what a beautiful butterfly!

 

The girl, however, quickly and roughly answered:

 

- The butterfly is ugly!

 

Realizing that it wouldn’t be easy to please his daughter with that situation, the wise and thoughtful father decided to continue the path in silence, occasionally holding her, soothing her struggle.

 

=Soon, the “trio” got to a glare in the woods which took them to some stones and a beautiful silver river…

 

The little girl couldn’t resist soaking her tiny feet on the cold water and, after a picnic on the river shore, she was happy again and full of joy!

 

The three of them swam on the cold river and laughed out loud of that wonderful touch with nature.

 

When they decided to retake the path home, however, Bebel got surprised when she realized that the flowers through the path were wilt.

 

A little ahead, the girl found the same butterfly which saluted them with its presence on the trip, but, the butterfly wasn’t flying anymore, no, she was sullen and downcast.

 

Bebel, sensitized, asked the butterfly:

 

- Hey butterfly, what happened to you?

 

- Well, you made me so sad when you said I was ugly, that I couldn’t even fly whatsoever! And look the flowers around me, they too are resentful!

 

- Me? But it wasn’t on purpose! I love flowers and I find you so beautiful…I…I wanted to be a butterfly myself! I even told mom that I wanted to be called “Bebel butterfly!”

 

- But why then did you say I was ugly, the flower was ugly, don’t you know the power of the words? From the moment you said I was ugly, I started to consider myself so dull that my wings simply didn’t have the strength to flap and fly! And the flower, poor little thing, lost her colors and life…she was here only to embellish your path!

 

- Oh, butterfly, oh flower, I am so sorry! You are beautiful! Please, flourish! Fly! And pour your enchantment over and through the woods again!

 

- The butterfly and the flower, after some minutes, started understanding the little girl’s words and regaining their strength.

 

They forgave her and ended up becoming the girl’s friends, cheering with their colorful presences through the remaining path and, when saying goodbye to the girl, they remembered:

 

- Bebel, don’t forget to always take great care of your words ‘cause words are magic and have the power of changing someone’s life! Never say something in which you don’t believe of!

 

And the girl, from that day on, understood the power of the words and the importance of being loyal to her thoughts.

 

That sunny Sunday morning got registered in her memory as the happiest day of her life, ‘cause this day took place in a very enjoyable spot, along with her loving parents and, above all, it was the day where she discovered the power of the words and friendship, starting to appreciate, with a lot more intensity, the beauty of every little pitiful piece of her life path!

 

In Portuguese:

Numa bela manhã ensolarada de domingo, papai resolveu convidar a pequena Bebel para um delicioso passeio às corredeiras de São Luis de Paraitinga, imaginando que a menininha poderia aproveitar um dia diferente junto à natureza.

Bebel, encantada com a proposta, colocou uma roupinha toda florida e rosa e acompanhou seus pais, muito contente.

Lá chegando, ela ficou maravilhada com o cheiro do mato, o barulho das corredeiras, os tons de verde da mata tropical e, alegremente, acompanhou seus pais na caminhada até o riacho.

Mas Bebel era só uma menininha de cinco anos, de perninhas ainda pequeninas e a trilha da mata, embora toda verdinha e permeada de flores, era muito longa e cansativa e foi lhe causando uma grande irritação.

E Bebel foi ficando muito mal humorada.

O pai, querendo garantir o sucesso da empreitada, tentou distrair a menininha, dizendo-lhe:

- Olhe, Bebel, que flor mais bonita!

A menina, porém, respondeu:

- A flor é feia!
O pai, então, muito criativo, resolveu chamar-lhe a atenção para uma linda borboleta amarela e brilhante que ali passeava, pois sabia que as borboletas eram os insetos preferidos da filha:

- Olhe, Bebel, que borboleta mais linda!

A menina, todavia, respondeu rápida e rispidamente:

- A borboleta é feia!
Percebendo que não seria fácil agradar à filha naquela situação, o sábio e atencioso pai resolveu seguir silencioso pela trilha, garantindo algum colinho para amainar-lhe os esforços.

Logo o trio atingiu um clarão na mata, que os levou a algumas pedras e a um imenso e belíssimo rio prateado…

A menina não resistiu a molhar os pezinhos na água gelada e, após um piquenique à beira da corredeira, estava novamente feliz e radiante de alegria!

Os três nadaram no rio gelado e riram à beça daquele contato maravilhoso com a natureza.

Quando decidiram retomar a trilha para voltar para casa, todavia, qual não foi a surpresa de Bebel ao perceber que as flores do caminho estavam murchas.

Mais à frente, a menina encontrou a mesma borboleta que os brindara com sua presença na ida, só que a borboleta não estava voando, não, ela estava tristonha e cabisbaixa.

Bebel, sensibilizada, perguntou à borboleta:

- Ei, borboleta, o que foi que te aconteceu?

- Ora, bolas, você me deixou tão triste ao dizer que eu sou feia, que eu não mais consigo sequer voar! E olhe as flores ao meu redor, elas também estão tão ressentidas!

- Eu? Mas eu não tive a intenção! Eu adoro as flores e acho você tão bonita… eu…eu mesma queria ser uma borboleta! Eu até já disse à mamãe que eu queria me chamar “Bebel Butterfly”!

- Ué, então por que disse que eu sou feia, por que disse que a flor é feia, você não conhece o poder das palavras? A partir do momento em que você disse que eu sou feia, eu passei a me considerar tão sem graça que minhas asas simplesmente não mais tiveram forças para bater e voar! E a flor, coitada, ela perdeu suas cores e seu viço… ela que estava aqui só para embelezar seu caminho!

- Ó, borboleta, ó flor, me desculpem! Vocês são lindas! Por favor, desabrochem, voem e despejem seu encanto por esta floresta novamente!

A borboleta e a flor, após alguns minutos, foram compreendendo as palavras da menininha e recuperando suas forças.

Desculparam-na e acabaram tornando-se amigas da menina, brindando-a com suas presenças coloridas por todo o resto da trilha e, ao se despedirem da menina, lembraram:

- Bebel, não se esqueça de, sempre, tomar muito cuidado com suas palavras, pois as palavras são mágicas e têm o poder de mudar a vida de alguém! Nunca diga algo em que não acredita!

E a menina, a partir daquele dia, compreendeu o poder das palavras e a importância de ser fiel a seus pensamentos.

Aquele dia ensolarado de domingo ficou registrado em sua memória como o dia mais feliz de sua vida, pois esse dia foi passado num lugar agradável, junto a seus amáveis pais e, acima de tudo, foi o dia em que ela descobriu o poder das palavras e da amizade, passando a apreciar com muito mais ardor a beleza de cada pedacinho ínfimo do caminho de sua vida!

 

 


Wendela:

 

Wendela Says:

My perfect day was a few days ago in Paris!!! I love Paris because we went to Paris on our Honeymoon, how romantic is that…!!! And for now, 1 day we were back with 4 little kids..and of course we went to the Eifel Tower! The background is a little wooden plate from French cheese, the papers I used are from K&Company. And did you see the vintage pin? I bought it on a flea market.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Tell us about your perfect day (either one you’ve had or one you imagine.)” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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.

 

 



Catalyst Sixty-Two
May 17, 2009, 8:01 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number sixty-two:

 

What’s a personality trait you admire/seek in others? Why?

 

We’re so excited to have Richard Salley as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I found Richard Salley when I was looking for artists from varied mediums of art. When I saw his jewelry, I fell in love immediately and emailed him, confident that he’d never agree. So I was incredibly thrilled and honored when he agreed to guest for us. It’s such a delight having him here.

 

Richard regularly teaches at Art & Soul and other art retreats and he’s also contributed to several books. His jewelry is what first caught my eye but I also love his mixed media work and photography as well. Each of his pieces of art is so unique and so multi-layered that it’s impossible not to be fascinated with them.

 

If you’ve never seen his amazing art make sure to visit his blog.

 

 

 

 

Here is Richard’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.

 

 

 

Richard Says:

I admire people who are assertive…in a postive way. People who know what they want and go after it. People that are not timid about standing up for themselves and are not afraid of what others might think or say. Of course, like all traits, they can be carried to extremes and become rather unattractive, but when kept under control and used positively, assertiveness can be quite admirable. I have a tendency to be passive and compliant which is often viewed as weak and I am often taken advantage of. I am reluctant to put myself ‘out there’, especially when it comes to putting my artwork on display for others to see…self-promotion is not something that I like to do.

 

The title of the piece shown here is ‘Killer Instinct’…something that the assertive person often has in abundance. I do not mean to suggest that the assertive person is mean or necessarily aggressive, only that they are driven to get the job done…to close the deal. While these folks sometimes annoy me, I still find myself wishing I had just a bit more of this trait.

 

 

Technique Highlight:

 

With respect to technique, this piece of wearable art relies heavily on cold connections. There are rivets, micro fasteners and friction prongs that hold it all together. The banner that flies beneath the piece was acid etched after transferring the text from laser printed paper using acetone and touched up with Sharpie Marker. The barbed wire was fabricated by hand using 20 and 24 gauge annealed iron wire…and, yes, the barbs are a bit sharp. You will definitely not get many hugs when you wear this piece and you may not want to wear it with your best cashmere sweater.

 

 

Thank you so much Richard; we’re so very very honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Kimmi:

Kimmi Says:

The most important trait that I seek out in others is honesty. I can’t stand people who lie, people that I can’t trust. I like it when people tell me the truth, even when it hurts. I’d rather they be honest in what they have to say, rather than put on a show. The truth always comes out in the end anyways and it saves a whole lot of trouble and pain if they would have just been honest to begin with.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

The trait I admire most in others is what I call “being comfortable in your skin.” I have a few friends who are just like that. They know who they are and they are comfortable with themselves. It’s not confidence as much as just a level of self-comfort. When I hang out with them, I always find myself wishing I were like that too. It’s something I am working on: loving myself the way I am.

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Lia:

 

Lia Says:

I have always admired kindness in people, and Siew is one of the kindest, most compassionate persons I know! I was very lucky to have her as a boss in my first ‘real job’, and she totally threw the idea that ‘working for lady bosses can be hell’ out the window! She’s nurturing and taught me so much to be better in my job, she cares about my well-being and always asks after my family, she never ever involved me in the office politics and took it upon herself to bear the brunt from upper management, and never once forgot my birthday. We cried so much on her last day working at the company, and though I still see her often now, I will always miss working with her. She inspired me to be calm, to be confident of my capabilities, and to always be kind.

 

 


Lori:

Lori Says::

I admire confidence in people. It’s the rare person I meet who possesses a core confident self. Many times confident people are mistaken for arrogant, but that is not the case. Arrogant people have no confidence. They put others down to feel better about themselves. Confident people don’t do that. They have their own opinions, they listen and make up their own minds. They don’t apologize easily. They exude a clam inner sense of self and self ability. They are deeply loyal and very loving to those they allow in. It’s these traits that I admire most.

 

 


Larissa:

 

Larissa Says:

As I got hurt so many times by friends and other people, it´s very hard for me to trust a person. That way, I became a very reserved person, searching for an emotional security feeling to open my inner emotions. I’m seeking for confidence.

 

 


Lucy:

 

Lucy Says:

My mom has a very sweet personality and is very kindhearted so, to celebrate her and mother’s day I made this art quilt for her. Kindness is a trait that I admire in others and try to emulate myself.

 

Technique Highlight:

I layered batting and printed satin onto a base of wood patterned wall-paper and then stitched a hand cut heart from chenille onto gesso painted muslin. Added some stitching and trim and finished my sweet shabby chic quilt.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s a personality trait you admire/seek in others? Why?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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.

 

 



Catalyst Sixty-One
May 10, 2009, 6:27 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number sixty-one:

 

Tell us about something that you always put off doing. Why?

 

We’re so excited to have Carla Sonheim as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

When I envisioned creative therapy my goal had always been to bring together many different forms of art. I believe in the healing power of art and I think this can be transfered to all forms whether it be photography, jewelry, scrapbooking, drawing, or anything else you can imagine. So I always seek to find artists from all fields and this is how I ran into Carla’s beautiful work. Her art is so stunning, so interesting that it pulled me in immediately. I absolutely adore her art.

 

Carla teaches at many of the well-known art workshops like Art & Soul and Art Unraveled. She also tells me she has just contracted with Quarry Publishing to write a book tentatively titled “Drawing Lab.” She says that it will feature 52 drawing “assignments,” many of which she teaches at workshops and are designed to speak to the child within all of us. I cannot wait to get my hands on that book!!

 

If you’ve never seen her beautiful art make sure to visit her blog or etsy shop.

 

 

 

 

Here is Carla’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.

 

 

 

Carla Says:

I laughed when I first saw this catalyst, because I put off EVERYTHING: dishes, housecleaning, breakfast, exercising… but the biggest thing I put off is painting. Since I do this for a living it’s kind of a problem!

 

And I LOVE to make art (once I get started)! But each day I have a little mini-war with myself and will sometimes do anything to put off starting a painting—even breakfast dishes. Why?

 

I guess it’s just the “normal and healthy” fear that goes along with all artmaking… I’m learning to be gentle with myself about it, but also to just get over myself, sit down and WORK. The above painting is a result of overcoming the resistance on that particular day. Yay!

 

 

Technique Highlight:

 

I use mostly gesso and watercolor on wood. I build up the textures with the white gesso, let it dry completely, then add a layer or two of watercolors.. Then I take a slightly damp rag and rub the pigment around in a circular motion until I am satisfied with the texture and color. I finish the piece off with pencil, charcoal and spray fixative.

 

 

Thank you so much Carla; we’re so very very honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Kimmi:

Kimmi Says:

Laundry. It’s the one thing I despise doing more than anything.

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

Despite the fact that I like clean and tidy houses, it’s the one thing I always and always put off. I wish I were tidier. I wish I had one of those perfect houses that look so organized and tidy. I don’t think it’s in the cards for me.

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Opal:

 

Opal Says:

Thinking about this week’s catalyst, “What Do You Put Off Doing,” I had no trouble coming up with several things. I am basically a procrastinator and will put off doing something for as long as I can. I had a plethora of possibilities to choose from. Where I live, we are just beginning to see signs that the long, hard, wet and cold winter is at last over. When the temperature is above 58 degrees, the neighbors are out in shorts and short sleeves, bringing their gardens to life. Every year I watch. And every year my non-existent garden, my bluff yard, stays the same. I put off any kind of work in the yard. I can grow nothing. The hardy survive! That is my gardening motto.

 

Last week I was visiting a friend’s quilting studio, and as I watched her trim off the corners of blocks, each one fluttering to the floor, the idea for my response took shape. I picked up all those triangles, each one with a flower or leaves or stems…and laid them out on the table. I saw the garden I wished I had. My piece shows the flowers and blooms that I long to nurture and grow. These reclaimed pieces and bits of growing things surround the reality of my yard. It makes me smile.

 

 


Amy:

Amy Says::

I spent a long time thinking about what I “put off doing” for this catalyst. In the end, a friend said to me, “You put off throwing out flowers.” And she was right. Rarely are there fresh flowers in my house. But several times this year, roses have found a home on my table, gracing the space in which I work or finding a niche on the windowsill in the kitchen. Each time, I’ve watched the roses fade and dry, the colors changing as the flowers stiffened, began to droop, and found their final resting shape, an angle of repose. I’ve found watching this process and transformation a source of much joy and beauty. The dried flowers become a piece of the composite space in which I move and work – a part of what I keep around me and from which I draw inspiration. Though bent and downward looking, the faded roses are often achingly beautiful, symbolic often of a specific time, and quietly content to lend color and a touch of softness to my space.

 

When my tendency to resist or prolong throwing them out was noted, there were three separate cups of roses in and around my space, three dozen, each dozen a different color, each having dried differently, each showing different angles, different levels of softness and hue and tone and shape. I sketched a few of the roses from one cup and then began free-form cutting and layering fabric to create the shapes and to build the roses. My desire was to capture their softness, the beauty in them despite the fact that they were past their prime, the lushness in the “after.” Medium: fabric collage. Size: 16″ x 17 1/2″

 

 


Larissa:

 

Larissa Says:

I wonder… will I ever turn my goal of taking a photography course true?

 

It’s a very old project and it’s often left aside.

 

The truth is that, although I need it a lot, I’m not willing to disburse the necessary strength to become a photographer.

 

Actually, what makes me postpone this project is the fact that scrapbook for me has always been a hobby related to my husband’s hobby, which is photography. My intent was always making scrapbook from his beautiful pictures. I love working with his vision of our lives and all the moments; transforming the images he captured in reports and magic memories.

 

He is the person behind the cameras reporting our lives. I don’t think I could take this role so well and I wouldn’t like to be separated from our perfect integration. I’m also afraid of the critics and competition.

 

Besides, every time I put my clumsy hands on his expensive photography material he gets tense, to say the least, foreseeing that I won’t be as careful as he is with it. Anyway, there are some obstacles to get over but, the truth is that, considering the frequency from which I make scrapbook and the little availability he has for photography nowadays, I will have to leave this practice aside soon.

 

 


Katie:

 

Journaling Reads:

My weight has been a huge issue in my life. I hate the way I feel about myself. It hinders me so much…I am in pain, I have high blood pressure, none of my clothes fit me, I won’t wear a swimsuit anymore…I feel ugly and gross and like I am in somebody else’s body. Why can’t I seem to get it under control? What is stopping me? Is it lack of will power? Am I just lazy? My weight is going to be my next project in my life. I have to take care of this now and stop wasting my life. I want to feel good and pretty and thing again.

 

Katie Says:

The one thing that I have put off doing is losing weight. I was never a skinny mini as it was, I was always curvy. As the years have gone by I have just slowly gotten heavier and heavier. After my hysterectomy my weight really started climbing. It’s at the point where I know that I need to do something about it. I’m uncomfortable, I have a bulged disc in my back, my blood pressure is high and I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel bulky and wide. I’m tired of feeling this way, I’m tired of not having cute clothes, I’m tired of being embarrassed by my weight….I know that I’m ready to lose it, I just can’t seem to start. I’m overwhelmed by it. The worst thing is losing weight and feeling better and then gaining it all back. That is the worst failure feeling ever. So this time, I want it to work…I want it to stay, so I keep putting it off because I can’t come up with a plan. Sometimes when I look into just my eyes in the mirror, I can see the old Katie..the healthy and curvy one…until I look down and see my body. But soon though, I think.

 

 


KL:

 

KL Says:

i love to decorate, always have. there were times in my life that the rooms i lived in were rearranged almost every other month. things moved from this room to that room. items that were rotated in and out of storage just so my home felt fresh and new all of the time.

 

unfortunately i’ve noticed over the past year that with the crazy schedule of having a child in school i have neglected our sweet home. there aren’t flowers put out each week. i haven’t moved the furniture in over two years. no new photos up {and i’m a scrap booker!!}.

 

So this little collage is going to be my constant reminder to begin decorating again. to get all of the wonderful vintage elements i love and collect back out of their boxes. to create a home that i am proud of and inspired by.

 

i wrote a little personal mantra to myself and stored it underneath the house. just a few words that i know are there, in the heart of our home.

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Tell us about something that you always put off doing. Why?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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.

 

 



Catalyst Sixty
May 3, 2009, 8:00 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.

 

Ok! Here’s catalyst number sixty:

 

What’s the best vacation you ever had? Where was is to and why is it the best?

 

We’re so excited to have Jacqueline Newbold as this week’s Guest Artist.

 

I ran across Jacqueline’s work when I was clicking around the web and it caught my attention immediately. She makes stunning watercolor paintings that are so vibrant and full of soul that I immediately asked her if she’d be willing to guest for us.

 

Jacqueline will be leading a painting group in Provence, France in September and she’s also teaching in the upcoming Art and Soul in October. You will get to see more of her beautiful work in the July/August issue of Cloth-Paper-Scissors magazine.

 

If you’ve never seen her beautiful art make sure to visit her blog or etsy shop.

 

 

 

 

Here is Jacqueline’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version and more detail.

 

 

 

Jacqueline Says:

As long as I have my watercolor journal and a few painting supplies I am on the best vacation possible. I am ready to capture memories of my travels and record my journeys creating a personal work of art more memorable than any photo album. I never know how the bright fresh pages of my travel journal will be filled whether it is a painting of St. Paul de Mausole in Provence, France where Van Gogh spent some of his last years or capturing the colors of tropical birds in the jungles of Panama.

 

But if I had to pick my best vacation ever it would be last September when my husband and I were lucky enough to spend a week with friends at the tiny hamlet of Campagnac, France, a small group of 17 century farm houses built for the field hands for the nearby vineyards. Here the honey colored stone walls glow with the warmth of the long autumn days. Here the warm breeze encourage the fall of the tasty ripe figs from the fig trees. Here the ancient perched villages begged for exploration as we drive down narrow lanes lined with tall straight Plane trees that were planted to give shade to Napoleon’s marching army. Here I am giddy with artistic joy as I have time to paint and play in my Watercolor Journeys Journal that has become my constant companion.

 

One quiet peaceful day in Uzes, our group settles for a leisurely lunch at an outdoor café in the Place aux Herbes, a cobbled stone square in the center of the village. We are surrounded by lovely curving archways supporting massive medieval buildings. The Plane trees cast dappled light and color-filled shadows across the ochre walls. I sketch and paint the fountain in front of a series of aches that captured the sunlight in their graceful curves. Later in my studio in Bend, Oregon this journal entry and other paintings in my journal are the seedlings to my larger paintings.

 

 

Technique Highlight:

 

In a watercolor spiral bound sketch book paint a watercolor scene on one page and make a collage of collected ephemera on the facing page. Once the painting is finished, outline the image with a permanent pen. Label the painting with a title or record your thoughts along the bottom or along the edge. Include the date, a title, events, weather, feelings and thoughts about the day and the area that you are visiting and people you have met. During your vacation collect business cards, tickets, postage stamps, cut out words and photos from brochures, wine labels, paper money, maps and postcard. Using an archival glue stick overlap and connect your collected and found objects. Draw, journal and doodle to create interest. Try pre-painting the page with a light watercolor wash of cobalt blue, permanent rose and transparent yellow watercolor paints and let that dry before adding your ephemera. For something really unique, pre-paint the page with black gesso. Use white or light colored gel pens on the black gesso. I like to connect the items in my journals with doodles and lines using colored pens.

 

 

Thank you so much Jacqueline; we’re so very very honored.

 

 


Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.

 

Wendela:

Wendela Says:

My best vacation…my favorite country is Norway! I love the silence, the quietness, the beauty of the nature, the very kind people….

 

2 years ago we went for the first time to Norway. It’s was cold and raining the most of the time, but that wouldn’t keep us from visiting Norway again. This summer we’ll go again!!

 

 


Karen:

Karen Says:

I thought about this one for a long time. Honestly, I’ve had two “best vacation” experiences. The one I decided to highlight here is our honeymoon to the Seychelles islands.

 

Coincidentally, this was the number one choice for both of us and while the trip was obscenely long and they lost our luggage when we got there, it was worth every single minute. The beaches, the nature and the wildlife at the Seychelles is absolutely breathtaking. We were relaxed, happy, and loved everything about this paradise on earth. I will never, ever forget this trip.

 

The one I didn’t highlight here was our cross-country trip. In 2003, we both quit our jobs and decided to move across the county. We bought a car and visited 40 states. We camped, we visited all the national parks, we ate both good and really bad food. We spent the whole summer in our little Civic and had a total blast. Another vacation I will never, ever forget.

 

Why is this in a binder?

 

 


Kimmi:

 

Journaling Reads:

The best vacation that I’ve ever been on was in July 2007. One of my very good friends was getting married on the beach there and we decided to make a mini vacation out of it. We had been there before several times on family vacations, but this time was particularly fun because we were on our own, with only another couple with us and we were free to go and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We didn’t have to worry about getting out of bed early or being at a particular place and time like the usual vacations. We relaxed and hung out at the condo that was across from the beach most of the time. We didn’t go out to any fancy restaurants or have any set plans. We cooked in the condo, hung out at the pool and beach for the majority of the trip. It was the most fun and laid back vacation ever.

 

 


Severine:

Severine Says::

My best vacations are in La Réunion, an island paradise, the mountains of dreams for hiking and sea as a fish tank for diving. Beautiful vacations.

 

In French::

Mes meilleures vacances sont celles que j’ai passé à la réunion, une île paradisiaque, des montagnes de rêves pour la randonnée et une mer comme un aquarium pour la plongée.

 

 


Larissa:

 

Larissa Says:

I’ve already had the opportunity of getting to know places with incredible natural beauty, however, Paris, in summer, was a wonderful first time experience: not only the city was beautiful but, the cultural experience from which I took advantage of was unforgettable.

 

I lost my breath at the Louvre museum and appreciated every garden, “bistro”, cafe and every stroll in its merry-go-round.

 

I enjoyed the magnificent architecture, with facades cut out of enchantment, history, richness, beauty and art. Being Camille Claudel’s fan and follower, I could observe an exposition of hers at the Rodin museum, where all his works of art were exposed outdoors…oh, “The Gates of Hell”, a work of a lifetime I saw it personally!

 

In Montmartre, I ran up and down the slopes, enjoyed rue Lepic and “Les Deux Moulains” café with a friend, observed Salvador Dali’s works of art, outdoor artists, couples kissing on the grass, and I followed the routes from the movie Amélie Poulain…

 

Every “boulangerie”, glass of wine, chocolate éclaire, ‘macarron”, were delightedly tasted…not to mention the boat tours along river Sena and the walks through magnificent bridges.

 

Every cultural tour was followed by a nice break, to the sound of Piaf, or any other great French music.

 

A delicious crepe, a walk filled with fashion windows as I’ve never seen before: getting to know Gautier’s atelier, the Champs Elysée boutiques and walking through any street, filled with postcards and time magazines, full of newspapers and old fashion magazines to buy, take home and cut out…

 

I still got to experience the 14th of July fireworks, giant illuminated wheels, love kisses and dinner at “Le Grand Colbert”, Keanu Reeves and Diane Keaton’s scenario…and, to finish up, like if wasn’t enough, my husband and I were in a very romantic mood!

 

I don’t have critics about the trip, an “otherwise” or a “coma”. The only sadness was to go back home when there was still so much to see and appreciate. Nowadays I only have a wish: returning as often as possible…”

 

For this catalyst, I decided to work on the day I spent at Versailles palace, trying to capture all its luxyry and the enchantment of the “hameau de Marie Antoinette”.

 

 


Lori:

 

Journaling Reads:

The best vacation, by far, for me was our trip to Maui. We had to postpone our honeymoon and when we finally got to go, we had the best time possible.

 

Lori Says:

This trip was my third time going to Hawaii and my most memorable. We managed to get married, buy a house and adopt three kitties all in the same month, so we decided to postpone our honeymoon. We went to Maui a year later and it was the best time. We did not stay in a huge hotel, rather we chose a bed and breakfast. It was so cozy and perfect and definitely the best way to go. We did all sorts of activities from riding atc’s to flying in helicopters. Mostly, we just enjoyed spending time together eating, beach-going, shopping and relaxing. I cannot wait to take our children and make more wonderful memories with them.

 

 


Lucy:

 

Lucy Says:

My favorite vacations have always been at the beach so this is not about a specific vacation but just the feeling of the sun, ocean and sand. I used wood as my substrate and distressed it with some glimmer sprays to bring out the woodgrain and added some crackle paint to distress a little more. The photo is a gel-medium transfer onto Lutrador (a spun polyester product) and I found some beautiful crinkle hand dyed velvet in teal to black for the water. I added some painted cheese cloth for texture and burlap. This piece was so relaxing to create and I love the beachy feel and memories it brings back to me!

 

 


 

Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s the best vacation you ever had? Where was is to and why is it the best?” I urge you to give it a try. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.

 

Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.

 

 

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.

 

 




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