creative Therapy

Catalyst Seventy-Four
August 9, 2009, 9:49 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 seventy-four:


Tell us about somethin you feel obligated to do (daily or regularly) why do you feel obligated?


We’re so excited to have Karen Michel as this week’s Guest Artist.


Karen is one of those artists who create stunning art in mutliple mediums. Her photographs, collages, altered art and mixed media are all amazing on their own accord. Her art begs to be touched, so you can feel all the texture and it always leaves me with a nostalgic feeling.


Karen’s written two fantastic books. Her latest is: Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious Artist and the previous one is The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery. She also regularly teaches at art workshops such as Art Unraveled and Journal Fest.


You can find more of Karen’s art on her website and her blog.





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




Karen Says:

Each morning while drinking my coffee you can usually find me fiddling with photoshop, playing around with my photographs. I am an obsessive photographer (digital) and enjoy going over the images from the day before in the mornings. I have this inner need to play around with them while their memory is fresh in my head so I can bring it to life a bit more with some digital altering. I definitely feel the obligation to create some sort of artwork regularly whether it be 3d or digital. It is food for my spirit.


Technique Highlight:

I have been on a feather kick lately, working with lots of animal totem imagery & such as well as working with the mandala concept from photos I take of my art work. I love to juxtapose images and have them create a dialog with each other. I also love icons that are timeless and evoke our inner mystics. The little feather painting was created on a small piece of wood which I primed with some homemade gesso & sketched the image on with a pencil. The purple background is a homemade paint I made with boiled wild blueberries (yes, it’s true!) and I embellished the feather details with gel pens- I love the gelly roll soufflé line. The mandala was created digitally from a photo of one of my wood collage vignettes. A portion of the photo of the artwork is taken and repeated 13 times (a number of universal significance) creating the mandala. The diptych itself was created in photoshop, merging the two together and creating the borders between and around them.



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



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



Wilna Says:

I love everyday stuff. I dont mind those little things we have to do everyday. In a sense there is comfort in it! Loving my little Mac by feeding him, doing dishes, drinking coffee… reading the word, texting and talking, laundry putting on perfume and base. Doing my blog and catching up on twitter and facebook…i love doing it. i love the simplicity it provides, I love that i can do it to bless my loved ones. Thank you Lord for everyday little things.





Larissa Says:

The worst obligation I have is, without any doubt, to go work everyday, but of course I have other things that I´m obligated to do that I don´t like, In fact, everything that I do not only for fun isn´t nice, so, I decided to work on my daily “to do lists” for this catalyst. I used a scrabble board paper as a background and wrote everything I hate on it.





Michelle Says:

Everyday, I feel obligated to put the needs of my 3 kids before my own. I love my children more than anything in the world and putting their needs first is part of what being a mom is. OK..not just IS what being a mom is. From the second they wake up, unitl they go to sleep, and sometimes in the middle of the night it is their needs before mine. Sometimes at the end of the day, I realize that I did nothing for myself as I dealt with the needs of a 2, 5 & 7 year old. I know the day will come when I miss doing everything for them and they don’t want me around. But for now, I will dream of the very rare day when I can take a shower, eat a meal and read a book without the distractions of “I want, I need and she hot me”.




Karen Says:

I take photos. I take A LOT of photos. As far back as I can remember, I always took photos. I was the yearbook photographer and the yearbook editor. No matter where we were and what we did, I always took photos. And then I had a son. Whatever photos I took before seemed a tiny amount compared to anything I took in the years before. I have a photo for every day of my son’s first year. And then my second son was born just three months ago. I’m a second kid so I know how they don’t get as much attention and as many photographs. So I swore to myself that I would take a photo of my second son every single day for his first year as well. So far, so good. And he’s luckier because in the meantime I have become a much better photographer.


Why is this in a binder?





Wendela Says:

That is for me….. to put a smile on the faces of my kids…every day….Sometimes they are feeling sad. Or sick or whatever….I would try to make them happy….with a little joke or a short story in a child book, a little present, or a little kisses and hugs…It’s important to smile everyday!! My layout is called “beautiful smile.”





Lia Says:

I wish I had more than 24/7 to do every thing I want, and to give every one a piece of my time. My weekdays are mostly spent at work, and while I wish I could give my nights to some quality family time, they are usually used for household chores, assignments and catching up on sleep. Weekends are similar, trying to create a balance between family, bf, chores/errands and me time (if I’m lucky). I wish I could do it all, especially doing lots more activities and having more interaction with my family – and enjoying it! And not worrying that ‘I can only spare 2 hours with you guys today. I have lots of other stuff to do!’ … it’s a struggle, I can only try to stretch myself as much as I can.





Rachel Says:

If you would have asked me ten years ago if the internet would be as big as a part of my life as it is today I wouldn’t have believed you. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t wake up and after taking care of Roslyn for the morning head to the computer to check my email, my Google reader, Twitter, Facebook, design team sites and more. Some of it is in fact essential, but others like Facebook, Twitter etc are purely for enjoyment. It has become a great way to keep in contact with loved ones all over the world and a great source of networking for my interests in scrapbooking, photography and more. There are days where I honestly want to throw the computer across the room, but more often than not is a part of my day that I look forward to and appreciate every day.





Opal Says:

I have a self-imposed obligation to the birds on my bluff. Every day I smile when i watch them in their unabashed need for food. I carefully watch the level of seed in their feeders, keep the hummingbird nectar feeders clean and full, refill the suet cages when empty. and put out dry bread and bits of fruit. They always make me stop for a minute, breathe, and smile. We nourish each other.


The sketch is from my journal and transferred to fabric, the bits of fabric framing the window and forming tiny bird feeders are from yesterday’s scraps from a current project on my cutting table, the number 2 is my address….hand and machine quilted.





Lori Says:

I tried really hard to come up with something original for this, like doing laundry or feeding my cats. Ha! But, the truth is that I feel obligated every day to be a good Mom, wife, friend and daughter. That’s it. There is no better answer than that. It’s what I chose and it’s what I love.


Journaling Reads:

I feel obliged to be a Mom, a wife, a friend, and a daughter. This is my choice and this is my blessing.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Tell us about somethin you feel obligated to do (daily or regularly) why do you feel obligated?” 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.



This week we have a new RAK from the wonderful Sakura of America. These stardust pens are absolutely wonderful.




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.




2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

great pages ladies!
Michelle and Lia I totally relate.
Wish I had time to do this today, but I’m ‘obliged’ to go back to work! Arghhhh!!!!
Have a great day,

Comment by Francesca Di Leo

I knew I recognized that name, I have Karen’s book….very fun, very cool!
Terrific pages ladies.

Comment by Linda Cain

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