creative Therapy

Catalyst One Hundred and Twenty-Seven
January 19, 2011, 5:00 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-seven:


What’s your word or focus for 2011?


We’re thrilled to have Katie Kendrick as this week’s Guest Artist.


Here’s a quickie self-bio for Katie:


Katie lives along the Tahuya River in western Washington where she wanders the woods and rivers edges, listening to birds, lying in the hammock during the warm season, and marveling over rocks and sticks all year long. She teaches art/creativity workshops nationwide but is taking 2011 “off” to work on a book about her art due out in print in December 2011 She loves to work in a variety of mediums, to play and create alone and with others, and believes from the bottom of her heart that art continues to save her life each and every day..


Make sure to check out Katie’s blog and site.




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




Katie Says:

The word I have chosen to focus on in 2011 (we mutually chose one another, the word and I) is OPEN. The word gets down to the core of all the work I do in regard to myself; in order to see, feel, perceive accurately I must suspend judgement, the idea that I “know”, and open to the information that the universe if trying to communicate with me. That information is reflected in countless sources: difficult relationships with people I love, my every changing emotional landscape, the weather outside, the volatile world environment, birth and death. My intention is to allow the flow, to open to it, to experience it fully, so that I may find strength, courage, clarity, and love through the unending grace of the universe. I am a work in progress and I find compassion for myself in this place as well. The image that I’ve painted here in my journal is one that I see in my mind’s eye every day, this is my imagining as I sit in meditation as I send roots down into the earth from the bottom of my spine, roots that stabilize me. Here is where I send my difficult emotions, down those roots and into the earth where they are transmuted into pure love. I ask for and receive strength through golden light that flows from my roots deep in the earth up my spine and and into my whole self, infusing my heart with love and forgiveness. I find this practice to be a source of infinite stability, constant through all situations and emotions, I have only to ask. I also open to guidance and pure love and light of Source radiating and pulsating love through time and space, streaming down through the top of my head, filling me with love and light. This beautiful energy coming down through my head mingles with the earth energy coming up through the bottom of my spine and the combination provides the perfect balance of clarity and strength, all that I need for the day. It is as simple as tuning in, asking for guidance, being OPEN to the flow…. (FLOW was the word I focused on in 2010 and it was a powerful teacher).


Technique Highlight:

This image is painted to cover a two page spread in my journal. The journal is handmade and there is red duct tape connecting the two pages which i gessoed over. I had a clear image in my mind of what OPEN symbolized to me so I did a quick sketch and then began painting in some color with acrylic paint. I also glued some collage images down that had symbolic meaning for me and painted over them, integrating them into the whole (the roots and the door over the heart were images I added). I used stamped a spiral design over the body interior to break up the color some and to add another symbolic element. I used graphite pencil to highlight/darken areas when I was done.



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




Amy Says:

I am notoriously private about my “word” for each year. I take it to heart. I nurture it. I listen to it and learn from it and try and see what it has to teach me during the year. In the years I have kept a “word,” the process of selecting a word has taken time. But each year it has been the right word. I use the word throughout the year in my work, dropping it here and there without revealing it as “the” word. 2011 will be no different. When I worked on this piece, I was saying goodbye to my word for last year. This piece is not about that word, and I didn’t know until I finished that this piece seems to be the bearer of a word for this year. I have heard this owl whisper words to me, and I have been listening. I feel sure this owl is a harbinger of this year, and while it may be a few weeks before I lay claim to the word for this year, there is something symbolic and mysterious in this owl’s eyes. I believe she knows.





Anna Says:

I strongly hope that 2011 will be a good, creative year as in the end of the 2010 some new perspectives opened for me and now I need to follow them. My main problem is to believe I can really do it, it is all possible and my dreams may come true one day. So, to sum up: I have to remember that I’m good enough, it is time to believe in myself and follow my dreams. Fingers crossed!





Carole Says:

My Focus for 2011 is getting my son Chaise through the first Year at School “Prep”, very excited for him and his new adventure and excitment and I hope he has a wonderful year. As a mother I will participate anyway I can to make it a smooth transition from Kindy to Prep for him.





Dina Says:

My word for 2011 is “Confidence.” I chose confidence not because this year I want to have more confidence in my abilities, more confidence in branching out and trying new things. It will be a fun year!





Fran Says:

My focus for 2011 is to be present – to listen and be aware of what is happening around me – both internally and externally.


My goal is to listen to that small still voice in my head and to pay attention to all the synchronicity around me. I’ve been practicing this for the past two months and I’ve noticed that I’m more creative, more connected, and more true to who I am when I do this. It has been a great growth experience and I want to continue it.


This piece is a piece I created by listening to my small still voice. I had planned to go out and run errands, do some things that were “on the list” of things to do. None were urgent, but it was the day I had expected to do this, so I figured I should. Just as I was getting ready to go out, inspiration hit. I decided that I could create using my sewing machine and some scraps I had in my LARGE scrap basket. I just started piecing and created this composition. I created for the sake of creating and I loved it. I was like a child – just playing with my toys and really just letting serendipity come together. I hope that by continuing to listen and to be aware that I will continue to be inspired.





Julie Says:

For my word for 2011 I chose the word “grow.” I’m hoping that 2011 will be a year in which I will be able to grow in myriad ways — professional and personal. I chose to represent “grow” with a plant — something organic that you can’t control. I think you plant the seeds of growth, but you never know where it’s going to go! I’m excited to see what will grow in my garden in 2011!





Karen Says:

“Let go of the past, be free to do anything you desire. Anything.” My word for 2011 is free. I plan to let go of all of what holds me down from my past and also let go of all the ideas I have in my head of what I can and cannot be in the future. My plan is to work on whatever I need to work on so I can clean the slate. Be free of any burden. Free to do anything. Truly.





Karola Says:

My word for 2011 is: Courage.
Courage in everyday life, courage in making decisions, even those difficult, courage to overcome weaknesses, fears and worries; the courage to achieve dreams, the courage to take the risk, courage to live life to the fullest. The courage to always be yourself and do not change yourself, stick to their principles.





Larissa Says:

My focus for 2011 is “Enjoy Life”





Lia Says:

In 2011, I want to have focus in my life. In 2010, I had a lot of ideas on how to achieve what I want but no set plan. This year, I want to have a plan. I need to be in control of my life and focus is what will help me achieve as much as I can. I realise now that age will catch up with me, and there’s no better time than now to start working on what I want.





Lori Says:

2011 is the year I focus. Focus on me, focus on a new business venture, focus on my home and focus on my family. I used to be a project manager and love to schedule. I never do it for my life, however, because it seemed it would be too restrictive, but I’ve realized since I’ve stopped working that I need to plan. I have outlined one major year long goal for each category and am working backward to the smaller steps. I will ultimately have a daily to do list. I’m making it doable and easy so I can succeed. I have, also, signed up for Ali Edward’s “One Little Word” class. My page was done using her pre class template. Her class is a year long class and will serve as a great way to keep me focused on my plan. I look forward to focus in 2011.





Opal Says:

I had two words that I have seriously considered and mulled over for several months now. I went back and forth, weighing the merits, potential, and application for me in the 365 days to yet unfold. With the deadline coming upon me faster than a blink, I decided to combine both words into one image since they had much overlap. I don’t reveal my word(s), but maybe they are obvious.


This piece is 8.5″ x 11″, and constructed as a quilt. The free form quilting is in orange thread with the ends and beginnings left exposed and hanging, as most of our days have a beginning and end and strings left hanging that tangle with the ones that came before and the ones yet to be.





Shelley Says:

My word for 2011 is “release”. It has been a difficult year at times for my children and myself. My word “release” comes from my journey to let go of all the negativity and hurt from the past. I know this is an on going process for me. I am not sure I will completely get there but this year I really want to focus on all the good in my life and “release” the feelings and emotions of the things that tend to bring me down. Just the sound of the word makes me exhale and helps to cleanse my heart.





Wendela Says:

Here is my favorite word for 2011 TRUST. Trust in Him at all times…



Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s your word or focus for 2011?” 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 month, enjoy each and every moment.



Creative Therapy in 2011
January 17, 2011, 8:45 pm
Filed under: other

Hi everyone!!


I know we’re already three weeks into 2011 but I am just starting to get my bearings for the new year and before we post our first catalyst for the year (coming on Wednesday), I wanted to make sure to give you heads up on some of the changes we have for the year.


First and foremost, we welcome a new artist, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, who is a constant source of inspiration to me. I am beyond thrilled to have her here. She’s amazingly creative and unique and truly talented. We are also overjoyed to welcome back Fran Saperstein who was one of the original artists. She’s back and will be creating with us all throughout the year. Fran is also unique and amazing and so very talented. So we’re thrilled to bits for both of these artists as well as the rest of our amazing team.


Now, some of you have been emailing me about catalysts and how you haven’t been receiving the emails, etc. We’ve slowly begun to reduce the frequency since 52 pieces of art a year was beginning to be a bit too much. Instead of closing the site down and walking away, we decided to scale back and post once a month instead. We will still have amazing guest artists and inspiring art from the team. The catalysts will go up in the middle of each month, likely the first Wednesday after the 15th of the month. If you want to be sure to receive an update when the catalyst is up you can subscribe to our feed, follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook Page, or email me and ask to join our notification list.


Thank you so much for continuing to visit us and for your inspiration. Here’s to a fantastic and therapeutic 2011!


Let’s Kick the New Year off With a Giveaway!
January 12, 2011, 1:22 pm
Filed under: other

Shall we?


Our amazing sponsor Sakura of America is giving away a set of these stunning pens to one lucky creative therapy reader.



Please leave us a comment for a chance to receive these pens. They are unbelievably awesome! I’m afraid participants have to be in United States or Canada only for this one. We’ll announce the recipient at the end of the month.


I’ll be back later this week to give you an update on our plans for 2011!