Messing about with ideas around anger – using an exercise described by Cathy Malchiodi

Monika sent me a link to an interesting link through the facebook page ‘Psychotherapy Networker’

This three-part process uses the body as a foundation for exploring emotions and personal narratives: https://bit.ly/2G8EVjh by Creative Arts and Play Therapy Series at Guilford Press’s Cathy Malchiodi

The article describes how to use this process and describes examples of using it with a client. It goes into lots of detail and is a good read.

I wanted to have a go. Monika and I might use this idea with one of our art journaling groups.

The points below are lifted straight from the article

1) ‘ Show through colors, shapes, and lines what you’re feeling. Don’t worry about making it into ‘art

Wednesday Morning

I had woken up feeling very grumpy and in a lot of pain

I tried using red water colour pencils scribbling a circle really fast and then drawing squiggly orange lines- it wasn’t intense enough the colour of the pencils were a bit thin

I had a go using some gelato crayons I picked up in Seoul 3 yrs ago – I love the texture and rich feeling when you draw – it’s like spreading lipstick on to the paper ( I wish they came in more environmentally friendly packaging )

This was richer – but the paper was too small ( A4 – 10″/8″approx)

I tried A3

This was a better representational what I was feeling grumpy angry with lots of energetic pain – I worked very quickly blending the colours by only working strokes on top of each other – I missed my circles so I messed about layering the 3 photos in the Imageblender app

2) ‘Drawing the perception of that feeling in the body’.

( As I said I was very grumpy and in pain in quite a few places. I drew on a screen dumped image from Shutter Stock – I chose one that wasn’t sylph like ….)

I felt that these images weren’t expressing how I was feeling in a viceral way – my anger and the perceived pain were dissipating but I wanted a more vibrant image ……

3)  “What kind of story would that image tell me if it could talk? If it’s a worry, for example, what would that worry say?”

Initially I didn’t do this exercise, as I said my mood had improved during the exercise. I also had a bit of trouble working out what voice my pain would have. Seems a bit daft because there is a great example – I think I was having trouble making the pain talk as if it was in the first person ….

after a couple of hours doing other things this happened – (warning hubby says I am relishing my nasty vicious side in this piece , to be read with humour and a loud booming voice)

‘I am pain – running riot this morning eating into the muscles at the back of your neck,over the top surface of your brain.

You were stupid on Tuesday exercising and not warming up – I am making your back pay – shooting arrows into your hip- burning up your your muscles nipping and biting around your vertebra with every twist or turn

– for Gods sake lie down or sit still – then see what I can do after 20 mins without moving mwaaahaaaaaaahhhaaaaa

Lets bloat up your stomach until it’s so tight and throbbing you can’t think straight

– yes take that deep breath, I’ll catch your lungs and intestines on thorns as the air flows back in

I’m sewing needles through the skin of your left breast – can you feel it ache, as I pull the thread taught. let’s not forget your hands as I stick pins into your joints trying to distract you whilst you hold your phone just too long – oh yes – I feed on your internal screaming’

‘This is the three-part harmony starts the flow of embodied intelligence and becomes the foundation of trauma reparation and integration via the arts’

Thursday afternoon

Today my pain narrative doesn’t feel within me , when I re read what’s written on the page – probably because it was far too much fun making it as horrid as possible – I don’t feel that this matter’s too much , because making the art work took me out of my self and reduced the anger and pain ……


ICAD 2018

I am really enjoying making digital images for this years icad challenge. I don’t get the same art buzz working digitally in comparison to working in a messy paint way but it’s still fun.

I tend to start off with an image that’s on my camera roll or a found image. Then I just play with it in Freemix / imageblender/ my iPhone editing app until I am happy with the result

Today was Portrait

So I used a selfie from a few weeks ago. I can’t remember what I was pulling that face for.

I knew there had to be a mandala as a layer

Then I went straight into Image Blender

I particularly liked this image –

but the pattern felt too strong on my face so I edited it in my iPhone editor

I decided to crop the image for the final choice

Daisy Yellow’s icad

Every June and July Daisy Yellow/ Tammy Garcia / gypsy999 posts 61 prompts for you to follow. The suggestion is that you make small index card pieces. This year I am enjoying the digital collages so much I am continuing with those.

The first week of prompts are all about fairgrounds:

Roller coaster

Fireworks

Tilt-a-whirl

Ferris Wheel

Queue/ line

Carousel

Haunted house

I am having great fun blending using image blender, using found images (some from the internet ) and adding cutouts using the Freemix App.

30 day digital intuitive collage with Shelley Klammer

I follow Shelley on social media and loved doing her paper collage challenge a couple of years ago. I liked the idea of working digitally. I don’t have photoshop or an equivalent software so I use Apps on my phone. I usually use Image Blender. Shelley suggested Freemix so I downloaded it.

Initially it wouldn’t work so I made the first few using Image Blender. I like it as an App it doesn’t crash and you can build up layers using the ‘flatten’ option when you save. It’s a bit clunky on my IPhone6 using the masking tool because my fingers feel huge on the screen, but you can zoom in and make the tool very fine.

I have been using my photographs and found images to make these and added my mandala drawings to add my ‘stamp’ on them – I like the individuality I can achieve working this way, but I wanted to learn how to use Freemix.

Freemix is also very easy to use. You work in layers and there is a vast database of images to use. I haven’t found out how to search it yet. So you have to trawl through looking for images. I have found this cuts down on the intuitive element a bit but I am feeling happier working with it after a couple of goes and I worked out how to add my own images too

Again working with it on my phone feels a little clunky, I need to see if working on my iPad would be more effective. Some of the ladies on the challenge are producing lovely collages with more depth and sensitivity. Though I think the middle one above it getting there. I discovered how to make the images more transparent – that helps

Here’s one I rejected

Visiting emotional triggers

2 years ago my son was in a road accident in South Korea – this week my daughter was poorly with asthma and flu and had to go to hospital. I am doing an initial counselling course and found it very difficult to do an empathy exercise with another student.

My irritable bowel has also been playing up, so all my emotional stuff is roiling around my stomach. I wanted to see if I could work through all the rubbish visually to see if that helped

I started off having flash backs after Face book reminded me that I was in Korea 2 years ago. My son was not really in any critical danger but he did fracture his skull in 3 places. So I went to Korea. It was a difficult time as you can imagine.

I came up with this image as a starting point after searching for flash backs in google images

https://www.writermag.com/2015/11/19/dos-donts-flashback/

Thinking about PTSD – which I don’t have, but being a visual animal and sensitive to being over stimulated – I thought it would be interesting to have a look at what images came up for PTSD

I love this one but it didn’t resonate with me at the time.

https://becomingsoldiers.wordpress.com/

Here are some more I found interesting

https://themindsjournal.com/

https://agileleanlife.com/emotional-flashbacks/

I decided to start messing about digitally with a couple of these to see what I came up with – this is how I usually work. I liked the scribble and the spiral

Unfortunately when I worked in my journal I didn’t do a step by step, but after a series of layers this is what I came up with.

You can’t really see the resemblance to the original images. I started off with a spiral clock doodle and then added layers of pattern, text , and a big loose scribble. I tried adding a lady in the middle but it didn’t seem to convey what I was feeling. however I liked the phrase ‘in the eye of a storm’ so an eye seemed more appropriate.

After lunch I doodled while waiting in a cafe, for a friend. Typically I forgot paper, but I had a pen. A few companies produce nice weight paper advertising leaflets which were on display at the cafe, so I decided to appropriate a diary to work on.

It helped to situate the doodle in a time frame of Feb/ March to anchor my thoughts. I like the look of asemic writing – what I use is technically not that – I write on top of my words a couple of times to hide the meaning from the reader – so I write out all my feelings but you can’t read it.

Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content,” or “without the smallest unit of meaning.” With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning, which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret’ (Wikipedia)

And I’ve gone off at a tangent….

Suddenly – just like that, it’s all about chimneys and architecture ……

And then – I am spending ages on my iPhone layering and fiddling in my apps – making my self bug eyed and just a bit obsessed (again)  if you ask me ….






At least some of these are  taken and played with outside,  wandering Edinburgh getting some fresh air (lol) – anyone watching me must have thought I was doing a window or door survey ……..



And I notice I am doing a bit of painting – though still architecturally based 


And then there are those that I deleted 


Apps I love using :  

Image blender, where you can layer two images , mask , arrange and change filters


Prisma – adds arty filters to your work , my favourite is ‘Heisenberg’ – which has an image of Richard Cranston in role, as its logo ( so I get to break bad and change my art into stylised cartoons , with the press of a button) 


The filters on the iPhone camera – particularly  ‘Exposure’ ( my phone never uses the correct exposure automatically? ) and some thing called ‘black point’ which are  part of the ‘light’ menus  


Layout – inside IG which puts my pictures into nice grids 

Early morning with my Apps 

I don’t know if it’s my age, menapause , or just the fact that I haven’t recovered from my California jaunt ( we have been back over a week) but I am not sleeping well and was up at 6am wide awake playing with my iPhone ( again)  I only went to bed at 1am…..

Morning routine – tea, check face book, email and Instagram feed. 

If that hasn’t put me back to sleep , then I play with my apps .  


To day it was manipulating my TV doodle from last night  – which was ridiculously intricate 

I tried reflecting it but the shape was too round and the results too flat 

I wanted to add colour without any real effort – so I layered it with another set of doodles from this week using  Imageblender and finishing it off in Snapseed

It was still only about 6.30am 

I fancied layering this with a photo with good contrast- so I checked back with some of my California pictures ( I can’t quite believe I can say that) 


Oakland bridge 


Then I couldn’t resist reflecting it 

Still too early to get up …. 

I remembered my image from Sacremento airport – Imageblender and into Prisma



Layout 


And back into Reflection , using the invert colour filter , rotate and then layout in Instagram , finally  a yawn ……