Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Art Therapy Journal

There is no doubt that art can be very therapeutic.  In fact, it helped me get through so many dark times in my life these past few years.

The following are things I discovered about myself yesterday during my therapy session.  I had forgotten just how much these things impact me and are the root of my daily issues.

  1. I don't do well with change.
  2. I am still a perfectionist.
  3. I still have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  4. I have major issues with uncertainty and the unknown.
  5. My memory REALLY sucks.
  6. All of these things cause great amounts of anxiety.
  7. I have little control over these things (OCD?) and I am going to figure out a way to take back control of my brain.
One issue I have for dealing with these things is that I have really bad memory problems.  I have fibromyalgia and sleep disorder, both of which come with major memory issues.  I have been working on my anxiety issues for years but, with memory issues, it is like the slate is wiped clean every so often and I forget what I've been working on and progress is lost.  I even forget that these things are issues sometimes!

One way I plan to deal with the memory issue is to start an art journal project specifically for remembering the issues and how I am supposed to deal with them. 

I have taken many online art and art journaling classes over the past few years.  It is hard for me to remember what I have learned.  Therefore, it is hard for me to incorporate these ideas into my pieces on a regular basis.  I just can't remember the techniques I have learned to use them when I need them to art journal about an issue.  I know I could have/ should have taken more notes.  And, I did.  I can't find them all in a messy studio :-)  (I also have ADHD).

Yesterday, some things clicked for me.  First, I went to therapy and we got to the bottom of my issues, as outlined above.  I knew these were my issues, I had just forgotten.  Second, I heard a story on NPR which dealt with memory loss and was very inspirational for me.  The link is below.  Third, I happened to notice on Julie Balzer's blog an art journaling project she did a few years ago and the words "Tell Your Story" stood out to me.  The link is below.  I also found a story on NPR about telling stories as a way to help with memory loss.  The link is below.  

"Tell Your Story"

"For Elders with Dementia, Musical Awakenings"

"Alzheimer's Patients Turn to Stories Instead of Memories"

Something hit me..... I need to start an art journal specifically for dealing with my issues in a therapeutic way- one that I can pull out and use to help me remember what I am dealing with and HOW to deal with it.   I plan to post a list of links to helpful books, websites, and blogs in the next few days, as well as post my progress in my therapeutic art journal.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lifebook Weeks 16-20

Week 16:  In the Moment with Traci Bautista
Abstract- collage,acrylics, alcohol inks

Week 17:  Gratitude in the Now with Tascha Parkinson
Gouche, Pitt Pen, Collage

Week 18 was an artist interview with Carla Sonheim
I have taken a few of Carla's online classes so I opted to not do a piece for this week.  The interview was very good.  She talks about her experiences as an artist, writing and publication of her books, teaching children art, and about dealing with depression.

Week 19:  Honoring your Inner World with Danielle Daniel
Spray Inks, acrylics, stencils, india ink, faber-castell markers, charcoal, graphite, collage

Week 20:  Honoring your Inner World with Serena Bridgeman
Spray Inks, stencils, collage, graphite, acrylics, gesso, watercolor

Lifebook Weeks 11-15

Week 11:  Tree of Life with Tamara Laporte
This one was done in only tinted charcoals (I LOVE THESE)

Week 12 and 13 are in progress LOL

Week 14:  Spring Time Journaling with Dyan Reaveley
Spray Inks Collage
This one was so easy and great for an art journaling page. Plus, Dyan is a hoot to watch!  
Spray inks, Stencils, Collage, Black Pen

Week 15:  Quirky Animals Spirit Totem with Tamara Laporte
I went to and took their quiz.  I found out that the butterfly was my spirit animal :-)  Watercolor crayon, acrylic, faber-castell markers, india inks, collage

Lifebook 2014 Weeks 6-10

Week 6:  Spray Ink Love with Tamara Laporte
Warm-Up- Negative Space, Composition, Spray Ink, Stamps, Collage, Washi Tape, Gesso
Main Lesson- Positive Qualities- Spray Inks, Stencils, Stamp, Charcoal, Acrylic, Watercolor Crayon

Week 7:  Pop Up Positives with Jane Davenport
3 qualities I value in Myself and Others-  (1)kindness, thoughtfulness, a big heart (2)Creativity (3)Intelligence
Creating a Pop Up Page, Watercolor, acrylics, washi tape, collage, scrapbook papers

Week 8:  The Joy of Intention with Alena Hennessy
Mix of abstract combined with flowing natural shapes
Acrylics and collage

Week 9:  An artist interview with Claudine Hellmuth
Since this week was an awesome interview, I decided to do a piece in her style- retro whimsy

Week 10:  Positive Life Connection with Tamara Laporte
I did not paint over face like the lesson originally instructed.... I think this was the week I had to get a root canal :-(
Paint over collage, poetic language
watercolor crayon, collage, stamps, stencils

Lifebook 2014 Weeks 1-5

Week 1:  Warm-up with Tamara Laporte
Color Theory (Primary Colors)
Watercolor Crayons, Acrylics, molding paste, collage, stencil

Week 1:  Art Guardian Portrait with Tamara Laporte
Meditation and "Word for the Year"
Watercolor crayons, acrylics, collage, graphite, charcoal, Liqitex iridescent medium

Week 2:  Bonus Lesson- A Happy Affirmation with Micki Wilde
"What I want more of in 2014"
Watercolor crayon, Sakura gelli roll pens, washi tape, collage elements

Week 3:  Creativity and Play with Carla Sonheim
Creativity Exercises in page pocket and creating a Textured Background
Gesso for texture, chalk pastels, collage papers, washi tape

Week 4:  Be True to You with Kelly Hoernig
Using 3 elements, Acrylics, collage elements, washi tape, stencils, stamps, ribbon

Week 5: Sugar Sugar with Marieke Blokland
"Cotton Candy Diva"
Acrylics, Charcoal, Collage

Lifebook 2014 (Introduction)

So this is my second year of Lifebook 2014 with Tamara Laporte. You can find her Mixed Media Art classes at She does offer tons of mini-workshops and even an awesome free workshop!  I have taken several of her workshops and LOVE each and every one of them!

Anyway, I have been busy this first half of 2014 and have not had the time to post my work for this class. So, this is a catch-up post to let you know what I have been up to :-)

Last year I did all of my work for this class on Strathmore 400 series Mixed Media paper in the 18x24 size. I loved this size but it is large.  Therefore, I decided to go to 11x14 for this year's Lifebook.  It is PERFECT!  I love this paper because it is wonderful with wet and dry mediums, doesn't pile or bleed, and has a nice vellum surface.  It is thick as well and you can throw anything at it.  I am using three rings and, yes, I am punching holes in my work to insert the rings to bind the book.

I have been working on my cover a little bit here and a little bit there.  So far, I have completed the background and added some butterflies.  I will add the text "Lifebook 2014" later.  Here is what it looks like so far....

I used a combination of collage papers, spray inks, india inks, and stamps to create this background.  I added 3-D butterflies which were covered with black gesso and white india ink.