Meet My Foot Feat, day 4

It’s only DAY 3 of my “convalescence” and the thought of spending most of my time sitting with my foot up for 3 WEEKS is __________.  Fill in the blank and it’s probably close to the mark.

So far I’ve worked on CATNIPblog posts, worked on Peggy & my Happiness project, started reading a new book and watched far too much TV.  My “rear-end” is already beginning to hurt as much as my foot.

I have more time on my hands (and feet) than ever yet have less focus than ever.  Looking for something creative to add to my sit-down-activities I decided to finish pages (upon pages) I started years ago in my many journals.  

judy’s journal, collage, acrylic, marking pens

Today I picked a page that required no thought, just schmearing a bit of paint with my finger and doodling with marking pens.  I have no clue why I wrote the fishy-poem I remember from childhood on the page.

Fishy fishy in a brook

Papa catch ’em with a hook

Mama fry ’em in a pan

Baby eat ’em like a man

Need to catch up? Here’s what happened to me:

In pain, Need Sympathy

Food for the HEEL

 

 

 

 

The HeART of Spiritual POWER

Want to see more collaged Contemplation Cards?  The theme was Power. Click here The HeART of Spirituality

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Sneek a Peek into my Journal – Stripping for fun (not profit)

Year of the SPARK  lesson:  Reverse painting on clear packing tape.  I didn’t like my results so I cut it up in strips.  What you see is the reverse order of the process.

3.  Cut-up strips on black paper

Thrown Around

Thrown Around

2.  Cut up strips, a variation

Cut up

Cut up

1. Painted-packing-tape, torn magazines and chalk

Pasted down

Cut-up, pasted down packing strips, torn magazine and chalk

Sneek a Peek inside my PRIVATE Journal

I’m never sure if I just have trouble following “rules”, have attention deficit disorder, or get easily bored.  I’ve decided it’s all three . . . and I’m not joking.

I decided to embrace “my tendencies” for the journal writing class.  Instead of just journal WRITING I’m combining it with doodling, collage, free writing (aka stream of consciousness) and what ever else might amuse me.

FURTHERMORE!

  • I do not like starting on blank white pages so I smeared paint on the pages.
  • I do not like doing anything in sequence.  I am just writing, doodling, collaging at random throughout the journal

Old Journal already covered with acrylic paint

Cover of old journal I’m using – already covered with acrylic paint

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A free-write with one-line doodles

Prompt "FIVE"

Prompt “FIVE”

In class – randomly pick a word cut out from newspaper.  Free associate a list of words  (The last word written might have significance).  I free associated all over the page and lost track of the last word (which, as you know, is rare for me as I like to get in the last word).

Maybe it unconsciously prompted this next collage?

FIVE Fingers

FIVE Fingers

I might use this collage as a writing prompt to see what my unconscious is saying  . . .  or not

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It’s suggested to journal 3 pages every day.  Instead of 3 pages I did 3 sections: Free writing, things-to-do-list and one-line bird doodles

P.S. Since this is my PRIVATE journal don’t tell anyone else.

Visions of Unconscious Meanings and Messages

Here are 3 vision boards done by an incredibly intelligent, creative, witty and caring woman who has been in MAJOR transition for over 3 years.

All 3 boards were created, one by one,  over a period of a month.  The instructions were simply to cut out pictures that appealed/spoke/grabbed her attention and then paste them on the board.

When she described each element of each board she talked about the literal, conscious meaning it had for her. When we processed each board, separately and as a series, we focused on the unconscious, symbolic and metaphorical messages and meanings.

I’ll show them in the order of creation focusing on just a few elements to take a glimpse at how her unconscious outlook has evolved over that period of time.  Please note these are my observations and not hers.

#1

  • Lots of masculine-feminine energy = black-white on horses, woman & man cuddling etc.  Her masculine energy is holding onto her feminine while her vulnerabilities (midriff & lamb) are exposed to the world
  • Black & white scarf of lamb imposed on Bon Voyage words.  The scarf is “man-made” which is an attempt to take attention away from natural vulnerability.  Bon voyage indicates a letting go/moving on.
  • Feminine hand reaching out for the precious gem. Diamond is a natural element formed over time by compression and “cut” by others.  She is reaching out for the three-diamond ring.  But it is the large square ONE-diamond ring is the one touching the fruit of her labors (tomatoes – With the exception of the animals the tomatoes are the only natural, non man-made thing on her board).  She is reaching out for the less valuable/smaller of her attributes/talents/qualities.

#2

  • Lamb (top) has given birth.= vulnerable feminine is letting go of artifice (scarf) which leads to new creations
  • Masculine and feminine going into the unknown.  Masculine leading.  They carry lanterns to light the way.
  • The feminine hand now is gloved (whimsically – polka dots – covered) and a dove perched on finger.  Hand has moved to opposite side of #1 board and  pointing off #2 board to a next step.
  • The dove is a sign of peace and can also fly.  She is beginning to make peace with herself yet still covers her vulnerability  with her whimsy & humor.
  • Shoes are pointing in many directions – not sure which way to go.  The black boots are the strongest image walking toward the 6 fruits of her labor.  She said one of her favorite numbers is 5 which she pasted several times on the board (conscious mind).  She doesn’t recognize one of her talents/strengths as symbolized by the 6th tomato (attributes/abilities etc. that have had fruition in her life) at the base of the inverted tomato pyramid.  Once again her focus is on her old perceptions and beliefs rather than noticing the new and unexpected.

#3

  • Lamb is now represented by a puppy. White, pure,vulnerable but playful.  Artist needs to incorporate play into her life.
  • There is a diamond ring ON the hand holding the beverage.  She now is beginning to “wear”, show her value. It is not clear if she is going to drink in who she is or she is offering it to another.
  • Diamond is also represented with natural stones under the puppy’s right paw.  The hard edges of a chiseled diamond have soften with playfulness and their naturalness is at the heart of who she is .
  • One shoe is pointed in the same direction as the #2 boots.  Shoe is whimsical (playful) like the gloved hand.  The feminine playfulness is becoming grounded.  The other foot is missing indicating she is still doing a balancing act (perhaps between masculine and feminine?)
  • Women/man on horses (circle on blue chaise) – now separated with the masculine leading in comfort (the chaise).  Comfort with both her masculine and feminine will lead to home, lead to clear vision of her femininity (woman framed on balcony) will lead to her converting the old (vinyl record being converted to digital) and fashioning it into a new modern version of who she is.
  • Feminine is predominant on board #3 indicating her journey of transition has been primarily about  her femininity and vulnerability.

_________________________

These boards are incredibly rich in images, meanings and messages.  She has done good work in only one month.  The unconscious knows!

Even though YOU did not make them you still can find  YOUR OWN UNCONSCIOUS meanings and messages through them.  

Images are like a Rorschach!

What are the images that have meaning for you?

It’s Hard being Human.

I snapped at my husband today.  I felt justified to boot.

Why would a therapist, who KNOWS relationship dynamics, why would a therapist who counsels others on how to conduct themselves to make their life better, why would a therapist respond in such an unhealthy way?

Why would a woman with a husband and friends who love her and dog who gives her licks upon request, why would a woman who believes that we are all connected and God is in all  feel alone?

Hate to admit it, but I keep getting reminded that I’m human.

After the stress, excitement, tension of  being “up & on” all day yesterday I’ve crashed.
My body’s aching, my face, feet, legs and arms are burning, I’m exhausted and yes, I feel alone with it all.
Humbling experience.

Ironically, one of the pictures I talked about yesterday was the collage I did depicting my exhaustion and the part of me who yells to pull myself together, get up and get going, the part of me that just sits, frozen in place, and the exhausted part that just lays there listening.

I also talked about the Buddhist saying –
Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Today I told that yelling me to shut up and leave us alone.
I choose suffering.

Therapeutic Creative Expression – Jumbo Journals, Week 6

The journal process is a metaphor for layers and layers of experiences, feelings and thoughts of our lives; Some things covered up;  Bits and pieces of others showing through;  Each layer enriching the next; Forever creating who we are.

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The pages are layered more and more with stacked writing, collage, spontaneous poetry, faux sketching, paint, stencils, torn paper, tissue paper, magazine images, words, tissue paper, stenciling, markers, foil, torn paper, cut paper, scribbles, scratches, doodles and all things creative.

(The colors in the slides are not as rich and deep as the originals — I’m having trouble with iphoto)

The Mask We Show to the World – In the Face of Pain

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A favorite Therapeutic Creative Expression exercise is mask painting – whether it is on an actual mask or on a 2-dimensional outline

I have participants paint or collage the inside and the outside of their mask representing in color, symbol, design how they experience

PHYSICAL, MENTAL or EMOTIONAL PAIN:

what they present to the outside world and what they experience on the inside that no one can see.

There is a worksheet on the TUTORIAL PAGE – click on TUTORIALS in the header and scroll down – that helps PROCESS the exercise.  The processing is as important as creating the mask.

The green mask is the only one that is collaged using torn pieces of magazine as “color”.  All the rest are painted with acrylic paint or drawn on with crayon.

I have three masks hanging in my office waiting room.  I find all the masks beautiful, each in their own way.  

Even if you don’t draw/paint or collage your mask imagine it in your mind’s eye and do the worksheet.

I would love to know what your vision is.

Alone or Lonely: Which is Worse?

  • Collage, Mitten-hands stop me from reaching out. Noodle-brain -in my mind, not my heart

    First, I’ve been feeling a bit lonely lately.  Lonely in the sense I’ve not had time, taken time, to be in contact with my good friends, locked in my home office with paperwork.

    Second, I saw an interview on one of the morning shows about how some women were choosing not to marry at all or wait until their late 30’s, 40’s or 50’s — how their lives “alone” were not lonely.

    Third, I was talking to a friend about how difficult, how lonely it must be for someone to lose a spouse through death.
    She looked at me with a slight questioning surprise in her eyes when I said that it can often be more painful to be alone in a relationship than lonely without one.

    The question of which being more painful, alone or lonely, is an interesting one.
    In my practice, I see the anguish of couples who are without connection, without love, without companionship while IN a relationship.  I’m absolutely not diminishing the anguish, the pain of losing a beloved spouse or partner.

    I’m simply saying that loss through death can be mourned and the finality, while always difficult, can be acknowledged and accepted.  
    When the relationship is dead and both partners are still alive the grieving never stops, the pain often keeps increasing rather than diminishing.

    For those of us with chronic medical conditions there is often a pervasive sense of being alone.  A thought that no one can really understand, no one can help even if they want to, that we have been abandoned by God or worse yet, being punished . . .

    I think that loneliness has to do more with our state of mind than state of our body or state of our relationships: How we view the world;  How we define our expectations, fantasies, shoulds, coulds and woulds.
    Upon more reflection the most devastating might be  
    being alone AND lonely,
     also a state of mind.
    Powerful thing that noodle-brain.

Give Wendy Support and Get Yourself Inspired!

http://createtoheal.blogspot.com

Check out Wendy’s new blog!  Here’s what she’s doing in her own words and a few of her scribble pictures. She explains the exercises that YOU can try too!

P.S.  Check out the polka-dotted fingernails that coordinate with the bikini top on her blog.

Why Create To Heal?

“Art can be therapeutic.
I am not an Art Therapist, I am simply someone who uses art to help deal with the day to day trials of living with a chronic illness.
My goal is to create something every day! Draw, Paint, Make a Collage, Take a Picture, Create a Recipe…anything.
I may not be able to post every day. However, I will try to post every thing I’ve created. (so some days you may get one day’s worth of creation, other days you may get many.)
When one lives with a chronic illness some days it can be hard to accomplish anything. Having this goal to create something every day, gives me something to strive for. It also gives me an outlet to share how living with a chronic illness affects me.”
 Subscribe to her brand new blog!

My Early Lesson in Holding on and Letting go

Pastel Chalk on black paper with Alien

My fear of alien creatures began when I was 8 years old.   I woke terrified, from a deep sleep in the shared  bedroom with my 3 year-old brother.  Ricky was sound asleep in his bed  by the door;  my bed on the opposite wall.  If I stretched really far I could almost touch him as he slept.  I preferred sleeping on my right side; more comforting with my back to the wall facing Rick and seeing the door.

I woke up suddenly.  The room was pitch black, the house totally quiet. I was gripped with terror.  My left hand was holding on tight to another hand that belonged to a creature under my bed.  I was desperate  to let go of that hand but afraid if I did the creature would leave and no one would believe that it had been under my bed.  An eternity passed before I could no longer stand the terror and dropped the hand.

The tingling started almost immediately.  Strange electric currents began shooting up my arm.  Too late. The creature had  already left its mark on a young psyche.

I sometimes will click on an unknown link that hit my blog.  Today I clicked on http://cgoverts.blogspot.com/2011/04/to-z-senses.html

Turned out to be Claire’s Writing Log. Her post was interesting and very well written.  This passage brought back a flood of memory:

“Proprioception is our body’s way of determining location of our body parts relative to other parts and objects around us. This is what tells us that our arm is resting against a surface, perhaps the arm rest of an easy chair. This is something that we can notice the absence of. When I was younger I used to toss and turn at night, and there were a few times I had pinched a nerve in my arm. With me having been asleep it was past the point of simple tingling that usually happens. I couldn’t feel my arm at all, and I didn’t know where it was because the nerves in said arm weren’t communicating that information back. I had to find that arm with my other arm, and once I massaged the feeling back in it was fine. But it was the weirdest sensation to not know where a limb was.”

Thanks Claire.  It’s nice to have a bedfellow.

P.S.  Claire’s post is very interesting – about senses beyond taste, touch, smell, sight, sound –  pain, proprioception and balance.  

take a look http://cgoverts.blogspot.com/2011/04/to-z-senses.html

My Pain -Therapeutic Creative Expression Journal, in progress

Collage page from Judy's Journal

In preparation for the next Therapeutic Creative Workshop – a 4 week Mask Painting workshop which focuses on The Face of Pain, The Face of Pleasure – I reviewed some of my past journal pages on pain.

This page is still in progress but it is an example of how to start your own non-verbal expression of feelings.

Here’s what I did and you can too.  It’s easy.

How to:

  1. Cover the page by smearing craft paint on the page with an old credit card.  Let dry.
  2. Pick, quickly, spontaneously and intuitively pictures that represents pain.   I used magazines.                          ( The pictures can be a literal, symbolic or metaphorical representation.)
  3. Cut away the entire back ground of each picture so you have just the basic images.

Processing for Understanding:

Even though my page is not finished I am beginning to see some of the unconscious meaning.

  • 3 Hands:  Only one hand is complete and that is the right hand where the arrows are pointing.  My pain is directed at my whole being
  • THe largest hand has no fingers, only a thumb.  Without opposable finger on that hand I cannot grasp what pain has “handed me” in life.
  • The third hand only has fingers.  Again, without a thumb I cannot grasp.
  • There are 3 round circles that reach between the two hands, almost like “thought bubbles” reaching across the page.  Both hands trying communicate with each other?

I’ll do more on the page and let you know how it progresses.

Angry, WHO? ME?

Collage

After I was diagnosed with fibomyalgia in 1996 I “treated” myself with therapeutic creative expression in a form of visual journaling.  Years later  I showed them in a PowerPoint presentation at the National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in 2009. It was the first time I shared these pictures and I felt a bit exposed and vulnerable.

When I  made this collage I was having fun tearing out magazine pictures, concentrating on colors and shapes. The male body underneath the large face was pasted there because I thought it humorous to have a giant female head on a muscular, agile male body.

Until that presentation I had never looked at my pictures from a distance.  When I saw this collage projected larger than life onto a screen I was stunned.  It takes a LOT to anger me.  While anger was outside my conscious awareness my unconscious was furious.

I also realized that the jumping body underneath the female face represents the fibro – strong, active. Above the neck all I can do is be still with fury.

(I’m still not sure what the yellow paper over the nose is about).

The large head sees but doesn’t speak. The small head speaks but doesn’t see.

It still unnerves me a bit.

National Fibromyalgia Day is May 12th and events are going on around the United States.

To find an event near you click on this link

http://www.fmcpaware.org/awareness-day-national-events

Tax Deductible – The Chance to Get a Beautiful Art Piece (check with your accountant!)

Too many women have touched my life that have had breast cancer – relatives, friends and clients.

A few died but many survive to this day.  The survival rate is so much better than years ago and we all owe that to research and organizations like the American Cancer Society that promote education and support the research. I venture to guess that your lives too have all  been touched in someway by breast cancer.

If you’ve not  been following the SketchBook Challenge this was just posted.  This is a great idea and opportunity to get an ORIGINAL collage by donating to the American Cancer Society.  My small contribution is to post this information and ask you to pass it on to anyone you might know who would be interested.

With love, Judy

Information:  http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/NewFiles/ACSFundraiser.html

One Cause, One Wednesday, One Hundred Collages
One Cause – The Fight Against Cancer.
One Wednesday – February 16, 2011.
Sweet Tea House by Jaime Fingal

On Wednesday, February 16, ONE hundred collages will be offered with a minimum donation for each collage of:

$160 for two hours (10 a.m. – Noon CST)
$80 for two hours (Noon – 2:00 p.m. CST)
$40 for two hours (2:00 – 4:00 p.m. CST)

You can preview the collages at least one day prior to Wednesday, February 16 for a preview and all the details about how to acquire your favorite collages. Collages will be featured periodically on  blog prior to February 16.

One Hundred Collages – Created for this event by an all-star team of artists: Natalya Aikens, Pamela Allen, Laura Ann Beehler, Liz Berg, Pokey Bolton, Laura Cater-Woods, Jette Clover, Jane Davila, Jane Dunnewold, Jamie Fingal, Gloria Hansen, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Lyric Kinard, Jeanelle McCall, Linda Teddlie Minton, Karen Stiehl Osborn, BJ Parady, Judy Perez, Wen Redmond, Cynthia St. Charles, Virginia A. Spiegel

Hope by Karen Stiel Osborn

The goal – Raise $8,000 for the American Cancer Society in just one day. More details and a preview of artwork: http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/ONEFundraiserPreview.html

FiberArt For A Cause has already donated over $205,000 to the American Cancer Society through the generosity of fiber artists and their patrons.

Information:  http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/NewFiles/ACSFundraiser.html

Contest: Pacemaker Names and Portrait

Laurie M. Judy my first entry is the name J.P. (judy’s pacemaker) I’ll think of more. We can enter more than once, right?  RIGHT!

Linda W.
How about “Rose”. Because your wonderful little P.M. puts the rosey color in your cheeks and ensures you will continue to see the world through Rose Colored Glasses & a Rose Colored Heart……You can even have a beautiful rose tattoo.

Cindy D
I think you should name her “Tweeker”. She tweeks when you need her to and as all pacemakers they need to be tweeked so they do their job right….(Just like everybody else) we all need a little “tweeking” from time to time to help us keep on “pace”.

Daru
Our family had a friend named Ticky…but we could give her a title Miss Wired

Here are some facts to jump-start YOUR creativity:

♥ Her parents are Mr & Mrs Biotronik

♥ Her adoption cost $38,000, not including doctors fees for 8 hours in the hospital (no meals)

♥ She’s a girl . . .

Submit your name!


Tutorial Time: Collage – Dualities

I want to show you how you don’t have to do creative expression all at once.  If all you have time or energy is 5 minutes you can express a lot in 5 minutes – release some tension, emotions or just simply create.  The important thing is that you don’t have to think or plan — just do it spontaneously.  Remember it’s CREATING that is healing NOT the CREATION.
Here are the very first steps in my collage.
1.  I drew a face with pencil and then cut the two halves apart
2. I cut out magazine pictures and photo copied them in color and black & white.
3. I pasted magazine pictures on the page:  Color copy on one side, B & W on the other side
4.  I used a cross-hatch stamp to stamp a random pattern
5.  I put a small bit of white color on the face and over the top of the pictures, using acrylic paint mixed with glazing media to keep the paint transparent.
(This begins to blend the photo-copies into the page)

A Month later . . .

I had about 15 minutes before bed and here’s what I did:
I started adding paint to the dual picture. I kept the two split sides next to each other as I add the first layer of acrylic paint.
I prefer to work spontaneously and intuitively.  So I just took a couple of tubes of acrylic paint and started adding to the picture – giving as little conscious thought as possible.  I mixed the paint with a lot of water and acrylic glazing media which makes the paint thinner and more transparent.

That way the collage pictures I had pasted down will show through even if I put paint over them.

When the pages are separated you can see a bit better how each side of  the split picture begins to take its own look:

When I get another 15 minutes I’ll do some more!