Friday, October 31, 2008

Stealth Art

So here’s what we were talking about earlier today. Living within your means. You know, not buying things you don’t have to have. Small house. One small car to share. Enough, but not extra. Can we live like that? What about the occasional treat? And what about art and music? How life sustaining is art? How critical is it to make art? Where is art time on the “gotta have it” scale? I think I probably talk about art more than I actually do it. I always like to do art, but I don’t do it as much as I used to do. I used to spend maybe 10-15 hours a week in the pottery studio. Maybe even more. How come I don’t do that anymore? I can’t come up with a good reason. I remember hearing an addictions counselor explain one time that we don’t have to make up rules for things that aren’t a problem. We don’t, for example, say, “I’ll only have one glass of milk today.” The way we might say “I’ll only have one glass of wine.” Usually drinking milk isn’t a problem and we don’t need to set artificial rules about milk intake. I keep trying to talk myself into going to the art studio and finding reasons I can’t go and then feeling bad about not working on clay art. Sometimes I have to sneak art in under my own radar. I call it making stealth art. I can do it casually, on my lap. It can be knitting. It can be teabag imprints on paper. Later on I can go back over the tea art and doodle-outline shapes that present themselves in the dried tea blot stains. The ultimate teabag Rorschach. Yes! Stealth art. Wow. Looka that. Looks like Shamanic Power Animals to me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Blogalicious. I’ve been trying to get all experty and technical and then I threw it all away. You know how I keep saying, “don’t forget to have fun?” I was forgetting to have fun. Thank you to all my lunatic friends for reminding me to take myself less seriously. So here’s a picture of part of my recent project. It’s an invention just begging to be made real.
Here’s how it works – each person wears an aluminum foil hat (well, yes) and each wears special goggles. There are transmitters and receivers and through these the participants can experience each others’ hallucinations – audio, visual, olfactory, kinesthetic. It’s a bonanza of sensory input! Imaginary? YOU make the call.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Travel and Mindfulness

We just took a trip across the country to visit our daughter. She’s our only girl, and she lives far away and it’s a long time between visits. I loved being there with her and I miss her during the long dry spells apart. Whenever I travel I find that new experiences have a way of grabbing my senses. I focus more on each moment. That’s what art is about. Mindfulness. You don’t have to travel to practice mindfulness. Stop and take it all in. Breathe. All mindfulness requires is to give up the fixed ways we have learned to look at our world. Observe your thoughts without being critical. Examine a leaf in fall color. Draw a picture. Or pick up a camera and record the moment.

The first thing I did when we got home was go to the dentist. Nothing else is quite as riveting as being in the dentist’s chair. Oh yes, it gets my attention.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What is Art Therapy and Why is it Important to Work with an Art Therapist?

What I know about art:
art is fun
art can be messy
art surprises
art tells a story
art can keep a secret
art is curious
art is poignant
art saves lives

What is Art Therapy and why is it important to work with an Art Therapist?
Art Therapy is making art with a person who is educated about how art and your psyche relate. Working with a real Art Therapist (there is a master’s degree and nationally recognized credential for this field!) makes a difference. Because art making is so powerfully transformative huge shifts can come very quickly. It is important to know how to contain big feelings as they come up. Some of us need containment and some of us are so numbed out and our feelings are so shut down that we need help to become MORE expressive. You might not be aware that some materials could be triggering to those of us that are carrying scary memories.

Q. If I don’t even know what I’m feeling, how can art help me?
A. Some materials can stimulate your creative juices and bring up your energy. With art therapy you might find dreams changing. You might become more aware of your surroundings. You might find your relationship with yourself and your past is changing. As you gain more control in your art you may find you gain more control in your life, too. A good Art Therapist will know what materials and interventions are appropriate for you as you work together.

My personal philosophy about art making is this: I believe that we are made of the same creative stuff that created the universe. The energy of creation is in every molecule of us. Therefore, when you stimulate creativity in one area of your life (by making art, dancing, writing a poem, knitting, etc.) other parts of your creativity are also stimulated. When we do something creative we begin to heal in thousands of unseen ways because we are tapping into that original creative source from which we are made.
There is much more information about Art Therapy out there. Please visit my website,

The above blog was taken in part from an original post by Susan Boyes January 3, 2008 on