Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another exciting art therapy experiment!

An experiment by myself at home - taken just after I put the paintbrush down.

My first effort!

Today I learned an art therapy activity from a friend who is learning all about holistic counselling. She very patiently listened to me talking about my plans for the future, and my fears of taking that step forward, then took me outside to play with watercolour paints! This technique is known as wet-on-wet. How you do it is by brushing water all over the back of the watercolour paper, then turning the sheet over and loading the other side with water. We're talking making a small paddling pool here, which for me as an artist was a bit strange - no structure or planning - help! Then taking a paintbrush in your non-dominant hand you start to paint as you feel led. No thinking is allowed! And you only have 3 colours on your palette - red, yellow and blue, though you are allowed to mix them. Away I went! Now they don't look too impressive at first glance, but that's the point; these aren't 'pretty' paintings, they are you having a conversation with your inner you!!

I was so excited by the first painting - I just touched the tip of the brush to the paper, and swirls and clouds would appear from nowhere! It's got an angelic feel, and as Leah turned the paper for me to have a look from different sides, I did see a few angels. I can see a figure sitting in the top centre of this piece, almost as if she has her arms folded around something. And the activity felt so relaxing and calming, it was lovely!

The second piece I tried as soon as I got home from visiting. This time I felt drawn to using the yellow as well, and I think it forms a shining centre to the image. As I stepped back and looked at the paper I could see the vision of a person, again wrapping their arms around the yellow centre. Both pictures make me feel nurtured and I find them very comforting. Funny how they both have the same theme of protection and nurturing, when as far as I was concerned I wasn't thinking about anything in particular!

Now the images aren't that great to be honest, and you may have trouble seeing what I have described, but it's well worth a try yourself. It only takes a few minutes, really, and it's so calming. Definitely art for the soul.

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