There are many ways of being artful. I like to sit spontaneously doodling and scribbling with permanent gel pens.
For other fun ideas, take a look into scrapbooking and revisit your youth when drawing was a fulfilling emotional experience. Try drawing on your computer in the Paint file. Don’t forget to go to art galleries and art museums. Take friends or kids along. Looking at art can be as restoring health-wise as making your own. You can also make yourself an image journey with all the special symbols that tug at your heart. Fill it with photographs, doodles and scribbling. Everyone has fun making it and reading it.
To write poetry I sometimes start out with the words, “I am…or I am silly…or I am afraid…or, I am not like anyone else. You can also write a Pet Peeve Poem, by reacting to a common, everyday annoyance like the phone ringing when you’re in the bathroom! Choose a subject that really irritates you enough to be memorable or humorous. Decide if you want your poem to be serious, playful or sarcastic.
There is something about our milestones that beg to have their passes marked on paper even our annoyances and mishaps. Our only goal is to be truthful, and if we can fake that on paper, we’ve got it made. Mark Twain says, “Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore, are most economical in its use. Elvis Presley says, “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it isn’t going’ away.”
There are many ways of introducing transparency and spontaneous imaging to your art. Watercolors can amaze and delight all. Try dipping art sponges and soft brushes into watercolors lightly. Sparingly dab here and there on watercolor paper and see the liquid take form. You will see flowers, trees, grass, even faces as you shower your paper with unintentional wasps here and there. It might help to think of your images like living things. They have breath, purpose and a time to play and a time to evolve. Your only problem is stopping before you ruin them! We doodle and draw to communicate events and experiences we have no words to express.
Try your own pen and ink images. Again, it may be easier to let your non-dominant hand dab here and there with soft sponges and brushes, as quickly as you can, and see what your inner artist wants to show you. Then finish your drawings by playing connect-the-dots with your imagination. Don’t be afraid. Even if you consider yourself to be a non-artist like I have most of my life, you can tap into your soul’s palette. We humans were designed to need to express ourselves creatively.
My book is not a technical book on Art Therapy. I am not a doctor; I write for fun and wellness, mine and yours. I hope you can appreciate what I say, the way I say it even if I break all grammar rules along the way. I’d like to recommend the following books to anyone who needs healing from the inside-out by professionals. If you need a more technical and varied look at all the accepted and suggested techniques of Art Therapy, read the following which helped me immensely in my personal journey and in my own book:
The Soul’s Palette by Cathy A. Malchiodi/Art Therapy Activities
The Secret of the Shadow by Debbie Ford/Journaling and Creating with
The Angels by Terry Taylor/Unexpected help from the Unseen
Writing poetry, journaling and art making are wonderful and creative ways to turn the burning inside our heads into positive thinking, researching and recording. It is almost like celebrating or sharing ourselves without depleting our souls in the process. Cathy Malchiodi, today’s leading authority on Art Therapy says, “The soul’s palette is so many things: an agent of transformation, a therapy for the psyche, a salve for the body and mind, and a remedy for the ills of individuals, communities and the world.
Visual images, whether made of canvas or clay, produce profound physical and emotional benefits and were an unending source of inner knowledge. They were a way to get to the soul of the matter, to go on a soul search. Like an artist’s palette that contains an infinite spectrum of colors and choices for creating, our soul’s palette is a boundless source of wisdom and wellness. Expressing yourself creatively through drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography – – allows you to tape into a source of inner wisdom that can provide you guidance, sooth emotional pain, and revitalize your being.”
When I write I understand myself a lot more. I am always struck at how magical and unexpected the process can be. Writing really becomes satisfying when it reflects our best efforts. Writing is kind of like capturing what you know, what you think and what you have to say altogether in one place. Writing by its very nature includes detours, wrong turns, and repeat visits. While some of us work out ideas in our heads, others work our ideas out on paper also like me. Some writers need to talk about their writing, while others would rather keep their ideas to themselves. Writing is sort of like talking without being interrupted. It is like any other skill. It takes a lot of practice and patience to become good at it. Our dreams, hopes and inner voices are worth exploring no matter how ordinary they may seem. Some dreams even feel like on-off events while others feel more like a parallel world still going on even after we wake.
It is our past that often shows up in our dreams although rearranged and unrecognizable. I figure I am on the right tract of translating them when my dreams are a perfect fit to a past or present situation. Those of us who suffer emotional or physical pain try to fix what is broken and/or heal what is hurting when we are sleeping. I imagine there are millions of sleeping heads pouring slat into old wounds not yet healed. Science use to believe the brain was always awake. Now they believe no part of the brain is ever fully awake. I wonder if that is why so many of us daydream.