creative Therapy

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 Says:

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




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 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 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 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.





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 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.




8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

ladies, never underestimate how powerful your ‘ honest’ words are to the people who follow your site – i love this weeks creations and hugs to you all! andrea in australia

Comment by andrea

This is the first prompt I’ve ever participated in, so this is exciting for me, even if I am a bit daunted about participating with “real” artists.

Comment by Maree

Just have to say that I love you guys, and look forward to the new catalyst each week. Keep it up! 🙂

Comment by Jen

Here’s my version:

Comment by Tammy

Hi ladies! Gorgeous work! I sent you an important email—I have an opportunity for your blog and team! Please contact me at

Comment by staceymichu

Another great challenge thanks, my LO is here:

Comment by Lynn

I have started drying flowers and arranging them. I found tips for drying flowers on a number of websites. That helped get me started. I find this therapeutic because I can combine my love for gardening with my love of art.

Comment by Mary q Contrarie

[…] Procrastination […]

Pingback by Art Therapy and Creative Healing Projects 7 « Kate1975's Blog

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