creative Therapy

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 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 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 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.





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.)





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 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.





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.




6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Jen is a wonderful, generous person as well as fantastically talented. I have been following her art for a long time and she is prolific, talented, encouraging to to others, inspiring. It is great that she is highlighted in this way. She deserves it.

Comment by Lisa Purcell

Jen your art is so inspiring!
I love it 🙂
Thanks for guesting and sharing your beautiful art with us!!!

Comment by debee

here is mine:

Comment by Arlene C

Okay, I did last week’s prompt. It isn’t exactly pretty . . .

Comment by trisha too

My most prized possession is my camera and my flowers. I am an avid gardener, in a garden club, and I can’t seem to stop myself from taking photos of flowers.

Good Morning

Comment by Abby Lanes

I’ve been willing to release the need to try to do things perfectly, and just let things flow. I’ve been experimenting like with my photography, and I’ve been willing to be “bad” at it, and mess up, and do things that are different than I would normally do, to expand my creative process.

Glowing, Layered Self Portrait

Comment by Abby Lanes

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