creative Therapy

Catalyst One Hundred and Twenty Four
November 17, 2010, 8:00 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 twenty-four:


What makes you happy?


We’re thrilled to have Liesel Lund as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Liesel:


Liesel is a full time artist who loves to teach and share her passion for art and the creative process. She believes we are all artists and that making art adds an invaluable richness to our lives. She has worn many creative hats. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand she created a nature education center at a Doi Luang National Park. Later she designed graphics for Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, children’s books for McGraw-Hill, and textiles for Tommy Bahama. These days you can find her in her Seattle studio, spoiling her kitties and drinking large cups of tea while she works with watercolor, pastels, acrylics, oils, fibers, jewelry, art journals, tin and photography. Her work has been published in Creative Wildfire by LK Ludwig, and Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists by Carla Sonheim. She is teaching upcoming classes at the Journalfest art retreat and in her studio in Seattle./p>



Make sure to check out Liesel’s blog and her site




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




Liesel Says:

I can think of two things that make me really happy. The first is savoring blissful moments. Like the fact that summer is HERE! And that this is the week school gets out. Oh what joy! I can just think about all that freedom I used to feel and I feel happy! This piece is about the joys of summer, the freedom, and the gentle warm air (I live in the mild climate of Seattle, WA).


The second thing that makes my toes dance with delight is transformation. I love creating-in the studio, cooking a meal, decorating the house or tending a garden. The act of transforming separate elements into a unified whole is so satisfying. I just love it! When I created this I was also thinking about how planting my garden gives me joy. I almost always make art about things that make me happy, because… well it makes me even happier–and I believe that we do attract more of what we are thinking about to us.


Technique Highlight:

I started with a light weight canvas cloth and collaged all sorts of paper ephemera to it-including photos of the plants I’m putting in my garden this year. I then free form sewed on top of it. Thinking about what makes me happy, I journaled my thoughts down. Using acrylic tube paint, and sharpie markers I created layers of images, adding & subtracting until I was pleased with the final composition.



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




Lia Says:

I went through a great loss some months ago and no matter how much I cried, how much I spoke about it and no matter how much comfort I got from those closest to me, I didn’t feel much better. Until I started working on some work for a design team I’m on. All the creating of projects – the putting of materials together to come up with something beautiful (in my eyes) lifted my spirits like nothing could before. Creating allowed me to release the tension in my shoulders, the burdens on my mind and the guilt in my heart. Some of them at least. It made me happy. I now know the true healing powers of creating.





Dina Says:

So many things in life make me happy! This mini art journal is about how my artistic experience brings me happiness. I get so much joy from creating art.




Journaling Reads:

I made this layout back in May but it’s a perfect example of what makes me happiest in my life. Seeing my kids and my husband and my parents and sister laugh. Seeing the people I love happy is the biggest source of joy in my life.





Opal Says:

What makes me happy is starting my day with the view off my deck and a cup of hot, strong, creamed and sweetened coffee in my hands, the warm and fragrant steam rising to meld with the layers of color before me. My ‘view’ is composed of narrow torn strips of batiks in the colors of earth, sky, and water, raw edged, and overlapped, twisted and undulating as the constantly changing currents The top stitching was done by hand.





Wendela Says:

The smiling faces of my kids…when the kids were happy, so Am I!!





Amy Says:

Working with color and line… makes me happy. This freeform piece is unfinished. When I started it a few weeks ago, I thought I was making a strip I might turn into a scarf for myself in tonal greens and Asian fabrics with touches of pinks. As the strip evolved, I started to envision this strip repeated (in concept) and used in a very Asian-inspired quilt. I’m not sure which direction I will take, but there’s a feeling of “pathways” and movement to it that speaks to me.





Shelley Says:

What makes me happy….family, friends, travel, photography, chairs, NYC, Mexico, nature. These are just a few things that make me happy! I had a metal “tree” of sorts that I decided to hang photos of some of the things that make me happy.I like how it turned out and will display it in my house and switch out the photos when some new “happy” inspiration comes along!





Larissa Says:

What makes me happy is to be able to dream and to be free in my thoughts.





Anna Says:

It is easy to make me happy – I love sunny days, birds singing and a cup of good tea. I love meeting new people, learning new things and also sharing with others the knowledge I have – that all makes me happy. But the biggest happiness and joy in my life brings my husband, Jedrek, who is my beloved man and closest friend for over 12 years now. He is always beside me, no matter what happens. He knows all my dreams and he is the one who gives me support. He makes me happy everyday – just because we are together. This layout is about him and for him.





Carole Says:

What makes me happy, my children are the biggest part of my life, I love this photo of them both, just enjoying being out and about and being together, my hubby took the photo, there is nothing like family, so very Thankful.



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What makes you happy?” 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.




4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

One of the things that makes me happy is puttering around funky neighborhoods, shopping and snapping picures. Here’s my most recent walking tour of one of Atlanta’s friendliest areas.

Comment by Kathy McCullen

Thank you all. I have so many new ideas for my journaling.

Comment by kathy f.

Telling a story makes me happy. My painting is on my blog.

Comment by Kathy McCullen

Pretty – and happy! Thanks for sharing everyone!

Comment by iHanna

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