Sunday, May 27, 2012

Art, Heart, & Healing Mixed Media Free Workshop

I saw a little blurb float in my FB stream this morning and it was a post about a free, mixed media online workshop. The words mixed media had caught my eye first, but when I realized it was free, I was thrilled because I had been wanting to take an intensive online course for a while, but I haven't been able to afford it. Thankfully, Tam, an online mixed media teacher, decided to offer her four week course for free, and the theme was Art, Heart, and Healing, just what I was looking for.
Here is the link to her ning network where you can sign up for the workshop:  workshop link


This is the image Tam teaches for the first lesson.


Two days ago I had shoulder surgery so I knew the painting part of this might be a challenge but I chose to go ahead and join so that I could begin working through this issues and ideas that Tam suggested. I found that for the first art journal exercise, I was actually able to do most of it without having to move my shoulder to much, and working through a little bit of pain never hurt, so today turned out more productive than I expected. As artists, I think we tend to get lost in the process at times, at least I know I do, and many times it helps me to slow down, spend time with an emotion or feeling, right in the middle of painting, and learn from it. That is what I realized I would gain from this workshop. I am familiar with the painting techniques, but my spirit needed the respite and my body needed the healing so both of these trumped my desire to paint well. 



The first activity was to consider what type of negative self talk or ideas was floating around in my head these days and get those concepts down in my journal. I then spent some time thinking through why I let them hold me back, and after spending some time letting them see the light of day, I then covered them in a layer of paint to symbolically detach from them. I only did this after I figured out what message they were sending me, how that affected my beliefs and behaviors, and how much weight they held over me. This type of inspirational and 'feeling' art goes way past the act of learning to paint for me. It helps me connect with my creative spirit, my faith, and opens my heart to be bold and strong in moments I might not feel like. Intuitive painting is part of what I hold dear as an artist, so this workshop is valuable in fostering that type of ability. If you are one who enjoys journaling, is ready to consider healing concepts of the heart and spirit, then you might want to join us in this workshop. There is no time frame as all the videos are online already, but the experience might be just what you are looking for. 


Here are the up close images: I used watercolors, crayons, white acrylic paint, watercolor pencils, and a silver gel pen. The orange image has all of the self talk written out, then painted over. You can see hints of those 'discarded' words through the layers. There is also no right or wrong way to do these activities as Tam points out. She uses tons more layers than I do, but the end result fits my needs, so it works.




My finished journal page turned out interesting for me. The layers represent all the layers I feel I deal with on a daily basis, and some are more important than others. I wasn't after a beautiful portrait, I was simply after honesty of feelings, emotions, and connections with my creative spirit. This journal gave me that connection. After I finish all four weeks I am going to offer a workshop for those in chronic pain similar to this. There are so many of us who hurt, need healing, but have limited resources to seek help, especially artistic resources. If you decided to join the workshop let me know, we can message one another through it. 
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