Thursday, December 2, 2010


I had today off and spent it holiday shopping of which I am not so much a fan. No time for art, but it is time to go to bed. This all makes me very cranky.

Coincidentally, this is my latest spread in my journal.

I was thinking about a couple of things when I sketched this. The first being how rich and awesome my internship site is and the second how saturated I am with being a student. Learning feels like it takes time away from learning at this point. (If you've ever been about done with grad school, that last sentence might just make some sense to you.) I felt like this image in a yay-I-have-so-much-cool-stuff-going-on way on Tuesday. Today I feel like this in a damn-it-I'm-stuck-standing-here-catching-some-blue-liquid-and-not-doing-what-I-want way.

I wanted to make more postcards. My lesson for today is that not getting my usual scheduled art time makes me feel like shaking my fists toward the heavens and screaming a slew of cuss words.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Art Journal

One consistent assignment throughout several classes in my soon-to-be-finished (whoop! whoop!) graduate program has been the art journal in which we are asked to visually respond to readings and things going on at our internship. I have kept both written and visual journals for years, before I even started the art therapy program, but I have only recently felt inspired about the one I keep for school.

Allow me to introduce you...

This is my art journal.
It is made from a brown cardboard moleskin sketchbook. The outside is based on one of my untested A.T. theories (feel free to explore this for a thesis of your own. Idea theft is encouraged at The Art Therapy Rookie). My theory goes like this: people are more likely to feel a benefit to art-making when they feel competent and like what they made. I could be way off on that, but it's my experience people at least seem to like art therapy more when they learn something new and create something they appreciate. Maybe it's just a good way to get people committed to the work and the hard stuff can come later. I don't really know and I'm getting off track. Anyway, going with that idea, I decorated the cover with paper mosaic, because it requires not a lot of skill, can be adjusted for all ages and can create clean and structured patterns or images. Also, while doing it I discovered the repetition is meditative. For how-to information check out Perfect Paper Mosaics by Susan Seymour. There are several books on paper mosaic, but this one is the best I've seen. Her website is here. A super simple wikihow paper mosaic description is here.

Inside my art journal, I explore whatever is going on in my head, readings and internship site. The latest example is here.

Technically, I tend to use a lot of watercolor, but along the making-art-feel-more-accessible stuff I'm exploring, sometimes I use stamps or other techniques I discover at my local Michaels or Joann Fabric and Craft stores. With this spread I tried flocking for the first time, although it's hard to tell in this scan. Next week my goal is to try sewing stuff in here, since I've had so much fun sewing postcards for the postcard exchange. After I am done with exploring whatever visually, I try to take some time to put some words to the thoughts, which often comes down to writing on top of my work. This spread is about me trying to figure out the role art plays in therapy. I've been chasing that question around my head a lot lately.

In summary, art journals are a good time, allow a space to process stuff as well as try out techniques on self before introducing to others. Get one. Make one. You'll be glad you did.