Monday, July 19, 2010

July Art Therapy Techniques

This month the theme is Washington D.C. and just American patriotism in general.

Believe in Yourself
This task is focused more on the discussion than the art. The main question for your group is what is something they never thought they could do, but eventually conquered. Some things include fearing public speaking but getting out and being in a play, or fearing yet eventually finishing higher education. Have the group create an image representing their conquest or try drawing the emotions felt from being fearful of the event to the joyful feelings once having completed the event.
There are many poems relating to this topic so it may be creatively beneficial to read a poem during the art making process.

Patriotic Moments
For this technique I used a spin art machine because it creates print that look like fireworks and one large piece of water color paper. Have each member of the group created one or two pieces of spin art. As each piece of spin art is completed turn them ink side down on the large piece of paper to create a print. Once all of the prints have been made you have just created your own group firework display. This can begin the discussion of patriotic memories. Where there any special firework displays, parades or family picnics that the group members can recall?

Proud to be an American
This task was done in November as part of Veterans Day
Materials: One piece of 18" x 24" construction paper, one blue square 5" x 5" or so, 6 strips of 24" white paper, 7 strips of 24" red paper, white glitter, markers, glue sticks.
Description: Each individual in the group gets at least one strip of paper. On the paper have the group write down what it means to them to be an American. Discuss the answers that come up. Collect the strips of paper and paste onto the flag. Complete by pasting the blue square in the upper left corner and adding glitter to represent the stars in the flag.

June Art Therapy Techniques

The month of June at the work place was about the Carolinas. The focus was on water, water colors, nature, and southern hospitality.

Tides of Life
For this project I used a tub of water, sidewalk chalk, a butter knife, and water color paper.
Each group member chose 2 or 3 colors of chalk. By using the butter knife participants can scrape chalk dust into the water. Once a layer of chalk dust is floating on the water, place a piece of watercolor paper on the surface of the water. Carefully lift the paper up off the water to reveal a swirling/ marbleized pattern.
Once each group member has created a print begin a discussion about the properties of water and how they might relate to life. Crashing waves or calm serene water, each may describe a period of time in our lives. Have each member Look at their print and discuss what emotions are brought to the surface. Are they reminiscent to current experiences? Or does the image represent a different time in life.

Box of Values
Materials for this project included a small to medium sized box with a lid, watered down glue or modge podge, tissue paper, and cut out words of typical values.
The project can be broken into two sessions- the first session focused on decorating the outside of the box and the second session focused on the inside.
For the outside of the box use the tissue paper and glue to create a collage of color. This decoration can be made to look specifically visually pretty or can have a focused intention of representing the outer self.
Once dry (or in the second session) discuss the topic of values. What values does the group as a whole hold and what are some values that each member treasures. Have each participant cut out words that represent their personal values to glue on the inside of their boxes. Finally, discuss what objects and treasures they may keep in their boxes that they hold as dear as their values.

Filter Flowers
This project is simple and uses large coffee filters, water colors, green pipe cleaners and glue (hot glue for speediness, but it can leave a mark on the filter)
Have each group member paint their coffee filter using the water colors. It is recommended to keep the water colors saturated with pigment as the color tends to fade when the filter dries. Once dry, attach the pipe cleaner to the back of the filter flower and voila!

What art therapy tasks have you been utilizing?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Big News!

Hello fellow art therapists and art therapist supporters! I have big news!

I just recently found my blog listed in the Top 50 Blogs About Medical Art Therapy
It is actually quite exciting to be listed among some other really fantastic blogs, so go to the link and check out the whole list!

In regards to this blog, I will be updating June and July shortly.... please stay tuned.

As always, feel free to comment with your own art therapy techniques and adventures to share.