Shame monsters – Picasso, Shelley Klammer and Joseph Arthur

I am working with Monika on an 8 week course – ‘ Art journaling for selfcare’ . We are looking at running a session about shame and guilt. I have been searching for images that we could use as inspiration on line and I found Joseph Arthur. An artist who paints, writes poems and songs. He also paints as he sings ……

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XZBj7bNltbM

I found Arthur looking up ‘images of shame’ on google – a link took me to a poem using some of his paintings as illustrations https://steemit.com/poetry/@ezravan/to-shame-the-loneliness-original-poem-accompanying-paintings-by-joseph-arthurstemmit.com

Watching lots of videos of Arthur painting faces reminded me of Picasso’s crying women

Shelley Klammer is an art therapist that I admire and use regularly for inspiration. She suggested doing an intuitive painting about shame and then ripping it up and seeing if one wants to rip it up or comfort the picture …..

https://intuitivecreativity.typepad.com/expressiveartinspirations/2015/09/healing-the-shadow-with-spontaneous-creativity.html

I loved the idea of a shame monster to attack ( not sure what that says about me …..) but, was struggling how to present it to our group without scaring them – by making them draw – I had fun having a go at making a portrait using cut out features I prepared, also using magazine faces and felt pens.

Next to add some text

I like this quote from Arthur

‘You never have been young

You never have been sane

And if you say that you don’t care,

In your eyes I see the shame

Looking through the window of your mind

I see your lonely shadow running out of time’

Joseph Arthur Termite song 2002

I worked on her a bit more And then screwed her up.

And then had a go at ripping into her

I needed to stick her back together again ….. she isn’t half so scary now

redacted poems

One of my favourite art journaling methods is to use found text and make simple poems.

I first discovered found poems when I was teaching in the 1980’s, when hubby used them in his English classes. Redacted poems are not quite the same, but I use the same principles, they don’t rhyme and they don’t have to make sense. I have found when teaching art journaling they are a good tool to use if people struggle with using images.

I like messing around using different materials to redact the words ( if you want to see lots of examples on Instagram you need to search #blackoutpoems) I like crosshatching and using washi tape.

I think the cross hatching with mandala detracts a bit too much from the text – but it is fun doing it.

Yesterday Monika and I taught a class where we used text by Bene Brown and other ‘goodread’ quotes about vulnerability as the starting point.

I asked to photograph the work – but promised to just use fragments to illustrate the different techniques the participants used to make their poems. I love the variety of materials and the colours.

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/vulnerability

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13588356-daring-greatly

The Beild centre at Blackruthven

https://www.bieldatblackruthven.org.uk/

I taught an art journaling type of exercise at a retreat this week. The Beild Centre is lovely. The accommodation is a converted stable block in the grounds of a small stately home near Perth.

The art room is fab – loads of materials and a log burner to keep you warm

There is lots of great art around the grounds we particularly liked the mosaics which are like small green pools set in concrete in the path around the stable block.

This is my view from my bedroom

Sculptures a pond, and a walled garden.

The group I visited with were coming to the end of a 2 year journey. I planned a piece that they could develop as their own, using acrylic, stencils, collage. I was unsure of the participants art skills so I needed to have a frame work to work with.

Above shows a step by step work sheet I provided. The concept was to build up a strata of ideas about the participants journey using text on the faces rays and layers of paint to represent time

One of the participants wanted to do her own design and had a clear idea of what she wanted to do

The rest of the group used my basic idea, choosing their own colour schemes and a variety of stencils

The face was a stencil designed by Andy Skinner. This was the first time that I had taught a canvas workshop with paint. I needed my wits about me all my years of teaching experience, lol .

Art journaling and Megeve

We had a short break with family skiing in Megeve, France. Well the family skied and I mostly did art stuff.

Megeve is a pretty village – away from the main thoroughfare you can find some interesting doors and windows

We visited in February /March and all the Christmas decorations were up so I took lots of reflections in the big baubles

I also did some watercolours and art journal type images

My journal page above looks at stitching family together

Landscape using a ski map as collage fodder.

Beautiful views and a ski lift queue.

I made a couple of girls giggle wearing my fit flops in a cable car

And I forgot that you shouldn’t put bubble bath in a jacuzzi bath – luckily there was a loo nearby for the extra bubbles

Working collaboratively on some mixed media pages

A friend wanted to produce some mixed media pages about her experience of living as an immigrant in the UK over the past few years.

We discussed colour, themes, and what she wanted to convey.

The pieces are to be used as part of a presentation of an academic paper on a slide show loop. We felt that it was important to use a colour theme- we chose a turquoise back ground and spread acrylic paint onto cartridge paper with credit cards.

We did some research on google looking at fear. And found a few images to look at as a starting point.

https://www.alamy.com/the-hands-of-a-child-pressed-up-against-the-frosted-glass-of-a-door-image4635144.html

http://www.paintedpath.org/2011/02/on-being-vulnerable.html?m=1

We found a load of other images but these were two that seemed to talk to my friend the most – built up layers of paint , found images and newspaper collage

We fancied a bit more layering so added baking sheet

We made a copy on my printer – the paper was too big to be copied whole, but we decided we liked the image cropped very much – it conveys the feeling of being trapped much more effectively

The second piece felt much more easier to do.

We added ripped bits of paper onto the back ground and then swirled acrylic paint in a loose circle on top. The figure is a found image from a magazine. We wrote words that my friend wanted on news paper and then added torn red pieces and swirled on top of everything with gelatoes

I have been feeling a lot of pent up anxiety and emotion about Brexit and Trump recently and this was very releasing – even though it wasn’t my emotions being targeted- using art in this way always amazes me.

Using origami in art journaling

I have found making origami in a group setting helps with bonding of participants. People chat about how to do the folding and each other with tricky bits.

I have used Chinese fortune tellers and butterflies in this way. Lisa and I used the Chinese fortune tellers to explore ideas and feelings about the theme of ‘change’ in an existing group that was well established, but was about to experience change in participants and workers.

I used butterflies working with Monika and a group which was coming to an end. We used the metaphor of metamorphosis and endings to help the group come to terms with the group finishing

Art journaling for self cares

I am running some art journaling classes in Edinburgh and I have produced a blog post that will be available on the Eyre Place Osteopathic practices’s blog soon – I thought I would share here too.

‘I have been visiting Eyre Place Osteopathic Practice for a few years and have enjoyed Osteopathic treatment from a variety of staff. Glynis asked me to produce some art for her 18th year anniversary celebrations. So when Monika and I decided to set up a business for art journaling for self- care I immediately thought of 23 Eyre Place as a venue to host a course. ( Monika and I don’t at present have our own premises) We are www.healingtherapycentre.co.uk

you can book appointments and visit Glynis And her team at http://www.eyreplaceosteopath.co.uk/ they also blog at http://eyreplaceosteopath.blogspot.com/

Some of Tess’ art journalling pages for an international letter swap

I am an artist teacher and Monika is a counsellor, we met running art journaling sessions for Safe Space Dunfermline and enjoyed working with each other so much we decided to see if we could run some classes in Edinburgh.

The course is run along therapeutic guidelines with lots of emphasis on mindfulness and group support. An art activity for example found images and text from magazines used as a starting point to explore feelings around a topic e.g shame. The work is discussed in pairs with an emphasis on the process involved. For example – what did it feel like when you were looking for images, tearing paper, drawing with crayons? What were you thinking of? What came up for you?

Art journaling pages by Tess produced using found images/ text and pen and ink whilst on a visit to a London

It is not art therapy because I am a teacher and the experience is directed, but it can have a therapeutic result. An important part of the session is whole group work. Where members explore their experiences verbally and are listened to by the group.

Using origami as a journal – making a piece to reflect on ‘change’ a well established group is experiencing changes to workers and participants and it was important to work through that

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