creative Therapy

Catalyst One Hundred and Sixteen
July 21, 2010, 7:20 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 one hundred and sixteen:


What’s one present you’ve always wanted?


We’re thrilled to have Tracie Huskamp as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Tracie:


I am proud to say that I live a life I always dreamed of, filled with passion and purpose. I have over seven years experience working as a Product Designer/Illustrator creating mass-market products. A number of my designs sold in retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s Hardware, and Walgreen Drugs, and they were featured on the television show Extreme Home Makeover.


In 2007, I left my corporate designer position to focus full-time on my own art. My passion for mixed-media, painting, and nature fuels the fires of my creative spirit and continues to lead me on a wondrous journey. I have experienced incredible opportunities to share my love of art and nature by teaching workshops at some of the most prestigious national and international retreats/conferences and with the release of my new book, Nature Inspired (Quarry 2009).


My mixed-media work has received national recognition. I have appeared on in an Associated Press Interview, on the cover of Somerset Studio Magazine, along with feature articles in Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine, Stampington & Company’s Artful Blogging Magazine, Art Quilting Studio, and Quilting Arts GiftsSpecial Publications. I have contributed to a number of artist’s books, such as 1000 Artist Journal Pages by Dawn Sokol, True Vision by L.K. Ludwig, The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam, Creative Wildfire by L.K. Ludwig, 1000 Artisan Textile by Sandra Salamony, and Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim. And I am actively pursuing my dream of licensing artworks, starting with the debut of a new cotton quilting fabric line with Windham Fabrics in fall 2010, and more soon-to-be-announced licensing news.


Make sure to check out Tracie’s blog.




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




Tracie Says:

Sometimes the one thing the heart most wants, or that special dream you long for, doesn’t fit into a box which can be wrapped in pretty paper and tied with ribbon. Instead the ideal present is a place or experience you seek, precious moments tucked away forever, and readily available to make you smile when remembered.


Since early childhood, I have been in love with Britain. Everything about this country from it’s fairy tale weddings, and a princess finding her prince, royal palaces, the pomp and circumstance formalities, and the rambling natural beauty of the landscape, captured my imagination. Often times, I would daydream of being in the English countryside, seeing myself sipping tea, and eating cakes in a picturesque garden overflowing with flowers and birds, outside a quaint little cottage.


In 2009, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit London and Birmingham, as I was invited to teach at the Festival of Quilts. My day spent touring the royal gardens and walking the winding path to Buckingham palace was heaven. All of those years of daydreaming rolled into that perfect reality.


My artwork is a remembrance of this day, and how I felt, finally receiving that present I longed for all these years.


The poetic prose I wrote to describe my feelings goes like this….

“Oh heavenly garden


in the sunlight. Bejeweled

and dazzling like a precious

gem, all glittered and

shiny with colors of the

rainbow to entertain.


Each flora and fauna.

dancing in the breezes.

of these hot summer days, .

swaying to the rhythms of.

the wind.


You beguiled

us with your chorus.”


Technique Highlight:

The technique used to create this piece is one I developed and wrote about in my new book, Nature Inspired. You start with a piece of muslin fabric (300 thread count) and a copy right free photograph. Trace the image on the muslin fabric via a light box or lighted window.


Once you have the outline of your subject you can use acrylic paints to bring this drawing to life. Nature can be very complicated when it comes to capturing all the colors in a particular subject, so I like to simplify the object into four or five main colors. I use these main colors to paint the entire object, then once the paint is dry, fill in with additional colors to help make the piece look three dimensional.


I invite your to check out Nature Inspired, pages 32 to 47 for more detail instructions.



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




Shelley Says:

My wish has always been more of an event than a physical present. I am such a romantic and have always loved those scenes in movies where the man is at the airport, with flowers in hand, waiting for the woman he loves. He has missed her so much that when he sees her he runs to her and picks her up and twirls her around while he is kissing and hugging her. Just two people totally in love oblivious to others! Sappy….I know but that is my dream gift. To have someone…waiting for me..ready to sweep me off of my feet and love me.





Dina Says:

You know, I was pretty lucky in childhood that I had everything I needed and most of what I wanted. I couldn’t think of one specific thing that I have always wanted–I’m pretty easy to please, I guess. My journal page is about how I loved dolls as a kid, and my parents gave me many wonderful dolls over the years.




Karen Says:

I am fortunate enough to have all the belongings I desire in life. The one and only thing I always crave is being loved. The biggest present I ever got was and is the love of my husband, my kids, my family, and friends. It’s the best present I could ever have.




Lia Says:

The one gift that I’d like to have right now, more than anything in the world is ‘freedom’. I feel overwhelmed with my day-to-day responsibilities, all that comes with being an ‘adult’. I just want to be free. To pursue my dreams, to not have to decide which to sacrifice. I want to be free to be all that I can be, to do all that I can do.





Anna Says:

The gift I’ve always wanted … I think for me it is just someone who is there for you, always, someone who cheers you me in the saddest moments of mylife, someone who gives me love and support. My husband. The one and only. Wonderful man – the best gift in my life 🙂





Karola Says:

The only one present that I always wanted to get is eternal health. I always had health problems, and for several years struggling with asthma. Uncertainty whether we will survive his life in good health is difficult to accept. This time I made acrylic tag with the wishes of health for my friend.





Severine Says:

I love Books, really really love books and if you want to make me smile, you can give me a book. It’s the present that i’ve always wanted and that make me always happy.





Rachel Says:

Club 33 is a private club located in the heart of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland. Officially maintained as a secret feature of the theme park, the entrance of the club is located next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant at “33 Royal Street” with the entrance recognizable by an ornate address plate with the number 33 engraved on it. (from Wikepedia)


Like any true Disneyland fan, I have always wanted to be a member, or at least a guest to Club 33. Drew and I were fortunate enough to get to see the bottom hostess area where you go to check in if you are lucky enough to get to dine there. It holds true Disney beauty and history and I hope to someday at least get the chance to dine there. It would make a perfect gift for not only me, but Drew as well.





Wendela Says:

KIDS for sure!! And I’m so very blessed with 3 boys and 1 beautiful girl!! On the picture you can see my 2 youngest boys …5 years ago..I think the my little baby was maybe 3 days old….so sweet…


Wendela Says:

First I smeared a bit crackle paint on the edges of the photo, and when it’s dried…I stamped with gesso on it!!





Larissa Says:

As I live for traveling, I would love a surprise trip.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s one present you’ve always wanted?” 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 so we can share in your creative therapy, too. 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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