The Joy of Making the Invisible Visible
There are many ways of being artful and making the invisible ‘visible.’ 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. It reduces stress, ill health and depression when we’re busy doing something we love.
Anyone can make the invisible visible. Draw a picture. Doodle. Scribble like you were a child. Just assembling magazine pictures and photographs into collages make a great pastime. Enjoy these ideas with your kids. Our children get a kick out of just cutting up paper or pictures out of a magazine. You don’t have to be happy to want to create but creating something new, never seen before, makes us happy. Even our pain and depression can be turned into fine art; poetry and prose that can make us smile.
When we smile we feel good. Those who witness our efforts and our smiles feel good, too. See how contagious a creative thought, or smile can be. I will admit when artful thoughts and ideas begin careening at full speed in our mind, they are seldom finished products. They need our involvement. Each creative thought must be painstakingly revised, given shape, put aside and worked on again and again.
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.
There is something about our milestones that beg to have their passes marked on paper even our annoyances and mishaps. Collage your life, your dreams, and let your kids help you. 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.
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 with a need to express ourselves creatively.
My ebook, Sculpting the Heart with Art Therapy, the condensed version of Sculpting the Heart: Surviving Depression with Art Therapy, is a memoir and each word written is my way of showing others how to beat sadness and dysfunction. I write for fun and wellness, mine and yours.
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.
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.”
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.
When in tune with my inner artist, I am unstoppable. Strong. Able. Creative. I think about how hard my hands and fingers have worked for me; and, how often they gave me a sense of fulfillment. I thanked God for my natural abilities and prayed to be a tool of his love and creativity. If you are hurting and needing some tender loving care, try expressing yourself by doodling, scribbling, drawing, painting, sculpture and/or photography.
They all allow you to tap into a source of inner wisdom that can provide you guidance, sooth emotional pain and revitalize your being. We simply have to let our hands work their magic. I agree with Oliver Wendell Holmes’ words, a mind, stretched to new ideas, never goes back to its original dimensions.