creative Therapy

Catalyst Eighty-Three
October 11, 2009, 6:38 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 eighty-three:


What’s the one thing you never thought you could do?


We’re so excited to have Linda Warlyn as this week’s Guest Artist.


The wonderful Larissa on our team recommended Linda to me and I asked her if she’s be a guest for us immediately. Linda’s art has so much emotion and so much detail that I couldn’t wait to see what she would create for us.


I asked Linda for a short bio, here’s what she sent: Linda was born and raised in Chicago and has loved to make stuff all her life. She and her wonderful husband Wally have 4 grown children and 2 cute-as-can-be grandchildren. She is self-taught and enjoys just about anything that involves the creative process and getting messy.


Linda doesn’t have a website but she told me that you can contact her at ldyintmoon AT aol DOT com if you’d like. And you can find her work in some wonderful magazines like Somerset Life and Artist’s Cafe. I also wanted to share this relatively new interview with you.





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




Linda Says:

Although I have created art based on a specific theme like a color or holiday, I’ve never made anything prompted by a particular experience or feeling…I loved it! Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. The catalyst asking for something I never thought I could do immediately brought to mind the struggle I have thinking of myself as an artist thanks to my inner critic, otherwise known as Raging Bull. I grew up in the 1950’s and mid-century images have a comfort and nostalgic appeal for me. The little girl represents me in my studio. The bottom of this assemblage contains my interpretation of what happens to us if we let the sharp claws and long teeth of the nasty inner critic sink into us. It blinds us to our own unique gifts and binds our ability to create with true abandon and limitless imagination. I like that those feelings are relegated to the bottom and squelched under my desk as I really try to keep my negativity in check. The large image of me is holding a piece of art I made with an “open heart” and a feeling of pride at one of my favorite places on earth, Valley Ridge Art Studio and Retreat in WI. I used vintage gardening images behind me to show that I am growing more comfortable with these feelings of truly thinking of myself as an artist. And I know that as I allow that to happen, my artwork and creativity will be nurtured and flourish as well. Lastly, I wanted this piece to be colorful and have a playful nature to remind all of us that we need to call on our inner child and not that debilitating inner critic when engaged in art making of any kind. It should be a joyous, carefree experience and above all–fun!


Technique Highlight:

One technique I love using is adding dimension to my art whenever and wherever I can. I made several copies of the girl and layered them with foam squares in several places to make her more interesting. Small embellishments to her clothing or adding flowers to her hair also add detail and realism.



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



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



Larissa Says:

There are several things I never thought I could do like being face to face with a criminal, speak in public; being questioned in public and staying calm; impose myself; and travel on my own. When I think I´ve already done these things, I feel myself like a hero, even if it´s a hero full of flaws, guilt and doubts. I often feel proud of myself just because I have the guts to face all of this. So, I decided to portray this catalyst as a comic story, while pointing the things I never thought I could do.




Lia Says:

My dad insisted that I begin driving lessons right after I began working at my first (and current) real job. I suppose he knew that if he had left it to me, I would probably never get behind the wheel. While I amazingly passed both the basic and advanced theory tests on the first tries – amazing because I barely studied for them – I still did not have the confidence to handle a car. My driving instructor had me driving on an actual road on our 3rd lesson, and I responded with huge eyes, cold hands, dry throat and a ‘WHAT??’ lol. After many months of lessons, I got some confidence on the road and I took the practical driving test … and failed! I finally got my driving license after two more tries, and when I did I knew it was the right time. I knew what I was doing behind the wheel, I was aware of my responsibilities as a driver and my skills were so much better than when I took the first test. 5 years on and I sometimes still can’t believe that the timid girl I was before had the courage to give driving a go and succeeded! I hardly go anywhere without a car now, and I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t know how to drive!




Wendela Says:

When I look in the mirror, I see myself, a girl who’s waiting to meet her daddy after many years. This big day is coming soon, never thought this could happen…


Technique Highlight:

I used a toilet rol to make this tag holder…I painted It brown, a mixture of paint and crackle medium, when it’s dry, I painted it again with golden paint, and after that with the crackle paint activator…and let dry…after one night, when I came out my bed..I saw these wonderful crackles!!





Severine Says:

I think I could never skydive or ride in a balloon, I’d be too scared once in the air to fall powerless to do anything.


En Français:

Je pense que je ne pourrais jamais sauter en parachute ou monter dans une montgolfière, j’aurais trop peur une fois dans les airs de tomber sans pouvoir rien faire.




Journaling Reads:

“Come work for me,” he said. I had worked for him before and I loved it. I knew he was a great manager
and possibly the answer to the slump I was having at work. But to go live in Japan for six months?


Was he crazy?


I had to leave my life. My boyfriend. My home. And move somewhere where I knew no one. Didn’t speak a word of the language. And hated the food.


Was he crazy?


Was I crazy to be considering it? It scared the crap out of me. And, in the end, that was exactly why I decided to do it. I packed my bags, and moved miles and miles away. Six months in a faraway land.


As it turned out, it was some of the best moments of my life. I made friends. I learned Japanese. I worked hard. I proved to myself that I could do it. Leave it all behind and still be ok. Go despite my fears. I still hate the food. But now I know I can do anything I want.


I am brave.




Temporarily removed for publication


Lori Says:

For me it was to stay at home when I had children. I was afraid I’d be a terrible Mom. I had a great career and just assumed I’d keep climbing that ladder. I really could not imagine not making an income. Staying home is the best decision I’ve ever made that went against everything I was feeling at the time.


Journaling Reads:

I never thought I could be a stay-at-home Mom. I grew up believing that I would have a big corporate career. That I would contribute equally to my family if I was to have one. I have always struggled with a lack of patience. I just knew that I would not want to stay home with my kids. I had always, and still do, associated being a good Mom with patience. Once I was pregnant, I was filled with all sorts of fears, but started having a strong desire to leave work. I realized that I wanted to be the one who was home with my new baby. I wanted to be there for everything. I never thought I could. I thought I would be terrible. I’m so grateful I did.


Technique Highlight:

I traced and cut a heart out of patterned paper. Then cut it into thin strips horizontally. I removed every other strip after placing it on my page. I then sewed in between each strip and around the heart.





Journaling Reads:

I always thought that it was a bit of a cliché… wishful or hopeful thinking. You couldn’t possibly see or define or be part of a miracle. It was something that you could not see, touch or prove It was based on opinion and belief. So I dismissed the idea and categorized it away where fairy tales and day dreams live, a thing that would be lovely but would never really happen to me. Until it did. March 2004, I found out that a life was living and growing within me and I knew. Miracles do exist. They happen all the time and all around you. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did. I got to be a part of a miracle. And her name is Roslyn Mae Hall.


Technique Highlight:

I wanted to use this particular font of thickers for this layout, but did not want them in white which was all that I had available to me when I created this layout. I wanted to be sure to maintain the glitter effect of the letters so instead of simply painting them as I have done before, I used alcohol ink to die them. This allowed me to change the color and keep the glitter. To do this I used a Q-tip to dab the ink directly onto the letters. A simple and versatile way to make your letters work with every layout.




Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s the one thing you never thought you could do?” 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.




4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Love your interviews! And the art is amazing!
Linda Cain

Comment by Linda Cain

Love love love your challenges… very therapeutic and so great inspiration. Congrats to you all for your fantastic art !!!

Comment by Anijaa

Thank you all so much for your inspiration. I so look forward to these posts. Right now I’m an innocent bystander, but I feel my participation is forthcoming. Thank you for baring your beautiful souls. With love, Amanda

Comment by Amanda Reid

Thanks for the inspiration! I took some from Rachel also, her journalling is beautiful…


Comment by Kathleen

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