The one thing you have that nobody else has is your story

Posts tagged “art story

Buzzing Around

Posted on March 4, 2015

I have a memory of the very first time a bee stung me. I was about 5 and playing on a playground in my bare feet. I stepped on a bee and… OUCH!

I’m not sure how this painting was started. Honestly, it was a painting that had been initiated years ago by another art therapist, and I came across it hiding under a pile of things in the art closet. After our group worked on it, It looks entirely different now.

A participant told a story of how his Dad kept bees, and one day he made the poor decision to investigate–resulting in many, many bee stings. Others told stories of their own encounters with bees. And while we were story-telling, we passed the canvas around, each participant dipping their thumb in yellow paint to make a bee on the canvas.

In the end, participants all loved how their painting turned out… even if it did evoke memories of being stung!

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The Importance of Reminiscing

Posted on February 18, 2015

 

The group focus at one of my programs has been on using recycled materials for inspiration. Who knew that a stash of styrofoam cubes could evolve into such a beautiful creation! My seniors created this church. It’s been a project that has spanned several weeks and resulted in an overall increase in group participation! During our first session, we painted styrofoam shapes and glued them together to create the church building. When I asked the group what the church needed next, several ladies responded, “The church needs members!” So, we created members using clothespins and fabric scraps. The project continued to evolve and the participants decided at various points that the church also needed a piano, a ceiling fan, a steeple (made from favorite hymns), a pastor & pastor’s wife, pews, the church choir, and stained-glass windows.

During this creative time, I have worked with participants on reminiscing about church life and the role that church has played in each participant’s lifetime. We’ve talked about church attire, falling asleep during a sermon, and the overall level of meaning that a church may or may not have played in each individual’s life. During one session, we listened to gospel music and let me tell you that It gave me chills to hear several participants (who are often very quiet and minimally engaged) begin to sing along with deep southern gospel tunes. This group has some soul y’all!

I think one of my favorite components to this project is how many of my ladies attempt to stick the church members and choir group into their purses! Each session, before group is over I have to count the number of clothespin dolls and check pursues to make sure no one is running away with our group art! And the typical response when I do find a choir member or two in someone’s bag: “Well, how did that get in there?” and then everyone starts to laugh.

Take time to notice the detail and care that my seniors put into this project. I often find that with this population, dimensional activities have a greater impact than other activities. The act of holding the clay/ clothespin/ etc. is very engaging. While art therapy does not focus on the product as much as the process of creating, I can certainly state that this group has been truly proud of their end product (as they should be)!







For you shall go out in JOY and be led forth in PEACE…

Posted on January 15, 2015

I have been completely fascinated with Starlings this fall. They have been all over our neighborhood and many times flock to our yard and cover every tree branch in our little backyard forest …Wikipedia describes them as such: “Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious.”— I love that description because it comes across as something I can aspire to. And yet, another website describes their wonder more as a nuisance: Starlings are considered pests because they nest in places you do not want them….Starlings will nest in almost anything that resembles a cavity, such as a hole in a building or sign, a bird house, a hollow in a tree or a crack in rocks. You will…

Art Stories Studio: Now Living in a Postcard

Posted on October 2, 2013

Sometimes, you have to leave what you know behind, all the while embracing hope.

Cleaving to different, exciting, overwhelming, scary, essential, joyful, great… You won’t know until you step out into the unknown.

It could be quiet or loud; small or big

It could be expansive, eye-opening and brimming with beauty…

This new story could be simple or complicated. It could be deep or shallow… You won’t know until you step out into the unknown.

I stepped out… and it’s made me stronger. It’s made my story richer; my heart full!

It’s a beauty to see and behold; it’s a tangible taste of glory and heaven.  (Ps. 18:19 He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.)

I’m in love with where the Lord has brought me; where he has opened doors, allowing me to share my gifts in Anchorage, Alaska.  (Ps. 16 You hold my lot; the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.)

Starting this business, Art Stories Studio, has been the beginning of living out a good story and using art to bring healing and life to others; from Birmingham to Anchorage. Not the story I intended to write, but a story I’m thrilled to be living out; adventures around each turn. New perspective, new joy, new hopes and visions for life. (Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)

The mountains change every day and I am a witness to them.

I am a witness to something so grand and beautiful and large and scary… this must be how ants feel.  (“The perspective of smallness that cultivates surprised wonder–grows gratitude, yields joy…” From Ann Voskamps book, 1000 Gifts).

Thanks for supporting Art Stories Studio with your thoughts and prayers! Our first year in Birmingham, Alabama was great and filled with opportunities at UAB,  Samford University, Childrens of Alabama Hospital, VSA Alabama, various schools and senior facilities around the city, and many individual clients. I’m so thankful to continue the vision for this place wherever the Lord leads. Please continue to lift up the work being done through this facet!

Get out there and live your art stories!

Audrey Hepburn Pop Art made easy.

Posted on March 5, 2013

Last Saturday, I had the experience of leading an art activity with several members of a local church. It was fun! While not an art therapy activity, the therapeutic value of making art was experienced by everyone that came. Many people mentioned how good it felt to create; that they don’t have an outlet or  make time to create at home, and how the experience of creating was enjoyable because they could see the end product of their time and effort. Another therapeutic element to the activity was that all the art was being created for someone in the church who had recently lost all of their belongings. Often, the simplicity of helping others has therapeutic value in and of itself– as it actually makes you feel better!

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IMG_3915The technique to create the Audrey Hebpurn Pop Art is quite simple. Simply print off a picture from the computer (adjust it’s size as needed) and then trace the image with a sharpie in each of the window panes. Once the tracing is completed, FLIP THE WINDOW OVER and paint on the OPPOSITE side. The side that you paint on is the back of the artwork. Once it is lifted up, you’ll still see the lines that were made by the sharpie when you were tracing the image so your design stays in tact even if when painting, brushes went outside of the lines (See finished product below).

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The finished Aubrey Hepburn piece is fantastic!!

IMG_3925Same technique but with flower images. This time we used other media as well– combining both paint and various papers.

 

Hope Tree Mural

Posted on February 10, 2013

JanFeb13- Amelia Center Hope Tree Article copy

To read the full article that I wrote on grief, click here: Amelia Center Article

During the summer, I frequented the Amelia Center to work on a mural I began in the playroom. Occasionally I’d be painting for several hours, while other times I’d go for a short 45 minutes. Eventually, I completed it and was asked to write up the story about the mural’s development and it’s meaning for me personally. Below are images that show progress from start to finish:

Hope tree stage 1

Hope tree 2

Hope tree 3

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Finished Hope Tree