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Intuitive Painting #6

I have been painting on a canvas for the past week. Each night instead of journalling in a notebook or in an art book, I took my journalling to a canvas.

Below is the previous journal entries in a 24″x 30″ canvas

Here’s the #6 intuitive Painting from yesterday.

I have been feeling more like myself. In the past few days decisions were made. I’m going to look into buying a home. I live in a townhouse, which I do love, but the neighbors and being on the board has caused toxic relationships to appear. I was happier here when I was not on the board. I had more free time and didn’t know what people were like here. Until now.

Yesterday, was house cleaning day. I started in my closet, took clothes to donation. And shredded papers and took that to recycle bin. In between of that, my art supplies got organized. I am happier to know that going inside a craft store is not needed any time soon. I certainly have own store!

During the evening it was relaxing, exercise and knitting. I fell asleep on the sofa. That felt great. I forgot to write and post this blog. So now it’s morning.

I will be seeing a few clients. And I will be resting maybe cross stitching. I’m glad to have my free time back.

I still want to quit being on the board, but not sure how soon I’ll find a house to buy. Until then I’m going to try to keep my peace.

Happy Day

Caroline

Etsy shop is open. Https://4pawsartstudio.etsy.com

acrylic painting · art · art journal · art studio · art therapy · book · journal writing

Chapter 6 Revitalizing Action

The last part of chapter 5 of The Creative Cure, by Jacob Nordby, had many writing exercises. I decided to return to those exercises later, as currently my mind has not been into the writing mode.

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is about revitalizing Action, page, 116 “I never feel more alive when I am in the midst of making something from nothing.” That was certainly true for me this past weekend. I spent the entire day in the studio painting and being creative.

Here are the key statements the author wrote that caught my attention.

“Creative practices also reduce anxiety, provide a sense of accomplishment, and connect us to others and the environment around us.” pg 119-120

“…the magic of practice lies in two ingredients: mindset and commitment,” pg 122

pg 123 “We compare ourselves to others and then reject our own work, not realizing we are rejecting ourselves and our pursuit of joy in the process.”

pg 126 the author stated that we may have a regular schedule for our craft but stated “..but we want to broaden the scope and meaning to include anything that helps us restore our connection to inner joy.”

Joyful Practice: it can decrease anxiety, stress, sadness, depression etc.

there is a list in this chapter and what makes you have strong emotional response he suggests to pay attention to that.

so here is what gave me a strong emotional response:

  • rescuing or raising animals
  • gardening/farming
  • photography
  • flower arranging
  • playing an instrument
  • sewing and textile art
  • fashion design
  • jewelry making
  • knitting/crocheting
  • hand-spinning yarn
  • making your own anything
  • growing a small business

This list will be used for the first exercise at the end of this chapter.

I am not surprised at the list that gave the a strong emotional connection. I’m curious about this exercise later in the book. Aren’t you?

I’ll post more later

Happy Day

Caroline

art · art journal · art studio · art therapy · journal writing · painting

Negative space journal art

Select 4 colors, as in the previous post…

Next draw geometric shapes on top of the paper.

Chose a color to paint around the geometric shapes. It does not have to be white. But if you want to use that area to handwrite on it, think about the dark and light colors to have lettering legible.

Use the white area to journal.

Happy Day

Caroline

art · art journal · art therapy · book · journal writing · Uncategorized

Chapter 5-Poetry for healing

The exercise is about feeling through words. This writing’s focus is on finding feeling words and let go of all rules that apply to writing poems.

He suggested to find a imagine that gives a feeling. I chose a photo of me and my mom.

Write a list of words that describe the emotion, scene, colors and any details. Think if the 5 senses.

Happy, safe, pink, joy, giggle, love, soft, warm, calm, passion, excitement, kind, accepted, clean, sweet, gentle, cuddle, affection, sparkle

What are my thoughts

I never wrote a poem this way. I liked it. It gave me a nostalgic feeling, a longing to return to that time, it brought tears in me, that I’ll never have that touch again. The tears are about the loss, grief of my mom’s passing, but it’s also a longing of wanting to have affection again.

Page 97. “…The real practice is to nourish a sense of safety and begin to send signals to your subconscious that you are good enough and worthy of being heard and seen and accepted.”

Happy day

Caroline

art therapy · book · journal writing

Chapter 2-the creative cure

This chapter is about the joy and the art of self-discovery:

The past traumas certainly can burden anyone from “creative self-discovery.” the author explains about using a mentor-muse, he calls it Joy.

The joy we once had as children. “Joy is the essence, the fuel, and the energy of the creative life.”—love this quote from the book!

He explains how we lost track of joy, and seeking it in others and acceptance of others. As well as failure and rejection. “we try to live the life others want us to live or become who others told us to be and acquire what others told us we should want.”—How true is that?

Let me share a little: When I was young, college was expected, I was told along with others in my generation, go to college and you will have anything and everything you want. So off to college. I studied art, but I had to figure out how to make art a living to not go against the norm. —the society norm. I really wanted to own an art studio, self-employed in the small town I grew up, but…

off to graduate school to study art therapy and counseling. Now don’t get me wrong I like helping others, but honesty if I can do it again, I would have spent the time and money and energy into owning an art studio. But I heard a nag at me, get a job that offers vacation days, sick days, 401K and other incentives, mainly health insurance. You won’t live a good life unless you have those. So I studied and struggled through graduate school and not to mention the torture of writing a thesis.

Then I got the job with PTO days, 401K, health insurance and the incentives. Well what were the incentives? I got free supervision to increase my licensure for practicing counseling in my state, but still have to take another exam. Another expense. I hate exams, terrible at exams, but I did it. I passed. And onto working and making money. Oh I guess at this time, I am to shut up, because I got the job with PTO, 401K and health insurance and the incentives.

Where’s the joy? I am screaming mad. Was I fearful of trying something that went against the social norms and my family’s expectations? YES! I would be a failure if I left everything and went for something that was different and no one else in the family ever did.

So I compromised. Did I? I left my job of 7 years and went into private practice. I went against part of the social norm. I am now working as a contract worker. So no more PTO, 401K, and incentives. But I had to buy my own health insurance, and anyone in American knows how expensive that is! Where’s the joy?

Let me step back a little…I worked mainly as a counselor, I did some art therapy. Meaning sitting at a chair talking and processing with clients was most of my day for about 6 hours. If I did art, I was not making it, it was the client who got to make the art for about 20 minutes, then we processed it using the counseling process.

I lost my creativity and my feeling of being creative after I witnessed something in elementary school. After that year it seemed more traumas occurred and I spent countless years of anxiety especially during school. I saw too many teachers get angry and yell at students, toss them out in the hallway and throw things. I saw too many times someone physically assaulted-even at a young age. I saw too many times health issues getting out of control. I heard too many times people teasing me. I heard too many times that I wouldn’t go to college because I am not smart enough-insert–laughter. I saw my mother’s death. I am now seeing my aging father getting thinner and weaker. I did not do art during these times to help in my healing. i didn’t know I needed healing. I had no idea I was traumatized until I started taking a better look at my life experiences. I never felt my life experiences were important, but other lives are more important. I grew that my sisters, my brother and my neighbor and cousins lives were more important and my experiences were none. Why did I get silenced from a life I should have been living and instead was living a life of a silent nightmare and no one knows what I experienced?

ART IS MY JOY.

The author included a few questions in this chapter:

Question 1: what am I feeling right now?

Tired, bored in life, depressed, sad and have too much physical health issues from having rheumatoid arthritis, my back is tight, my neck is tight and I guarantee after I finish this blog and wash the morning dishes, I will want to take a power nap. Not to mention I just work up for the morning.

The author mentions to “answer the question as it relates to your inner world.”

I really can’t stand the people who were once in my life. I am angry at them. I am angry at myself for holding onto those friendships. Once they found someone else more interesting they dumped me like I was trash. I cried for days and years over these people. I am angry at the men who acted as if they wanted to date me, but they were tied to some other girl, one was married. Where do these people get off to destroy me and my beauty and love that I can give to others? I am angry that there are people in my life today, that don’t realize how I have been lonely for decades, but they think I am fine. I have to put up a front, if I don’t everyone will “fix me up” with their choice of who I need to be with. Ughh, trust me, I was once asked by someone who wanted to fix me up. NO!

Oh and those people never really supported me with my art and my dream of having an art studio. They popped my dream. But I had no choice but support them on their dreams of marriage and family. Whatever!

Question 2: what do I need right now?

I need some paint and canvas and throw my anger out on it! I need someone who will mentor me to own an art studio, even though I have debt and need health insurance and need to still pay on my mortgage. I need to find a way. I need to find a way to show the art skills I know from being an art therapist all my life. I need to have time to write the book about art journal making that I want to self-publish in the next 5 years. I need to not work 6 days. I need to work on not wanting every expensive thing for my home renovation in order to not work so much. I want to work from home. I don’t want to work for the current private practice. I want to work for a telehealth counseling center for 4 days and them work on my book and art the remaining days. I want to go against the expectations that everyone has for me. I want to own my own art business.

Question 3: what would I love?

I would love to have an art studio that has endless storage for supplies. Has space to rent for artists to us for their personal art work. To offer art classes, no therapy. To energize the community with art and creative activities for all ages. I would love to work on more YouTube videos and have time to write my book. I would love to sell my art.

I can tell from this writing, there is still anger in me about my past friends and relationships. There is fear of going against everything I worked hard for and vulnerability to do this alone. This chapter really did not hold back on getting me to think about fear, failure and vulnerability. This chapter certainly did not hold back on pushing to get me there quickly. It was a force that needed to happen.

Now what?

Today my plan is to work on a painting for a few hours. Then I will be concentrating on the cross stitch and most likely will be watching Hulu or Netflix this afternoon. I will be cooking lemon chicken in a crockpot today. And if I have the motivation, maybe do some small house cleaning in-between.

coming up in posts: more about this book and the exercise I am willing to share. And more updates of knitting, cross stitch and painting.

Happy Day,

Caroline

art · art journal · book · journal writing · painting

Creativity

What is creativity? Chapter 2 of The Creative Cure by Jacob Nordby

He suggests this mantra:

I am creative. I am an artist. I am creating my life.

uhmmm, Am I? That is the struggle. Do I see myself as an artist or see myself as a counselor. I certainly don’t do art daily. But I work as a counselor most of the week.

On page 4 he writes “somewhere along the way, we traded this immersive creativity for logic, predictability, correctness, and responsibility.”

That is very true in my life. Logical thinking must be present in order to establish stability for clients. Predictability, people depend on that to calm their nerves. Correctness-let’s face most of my day, I am correcting their behaviors or decisions. Responsibility, well that is part of the job, a lot of rules and laws to follow. So where is the creativity in my day?

Wait! He writes about the enemies of creativity: there are three types of areas that cause out block for creativity:

Socialization, traumatic experiences, rejection-pg 5

Socialization: There is an influence from society that causes the creative to not feel welcomed. The social norms seem to rob us of our youth and creative spirit. I conformed to a full time job with benefits and all the perks. I couldn’t life that way anymore. I went into private practice. I work better with a flexible schedule. When I started working with a flexible schedule, there were doubters, saying it will be hard to pay my bills. It hasn’t been hard, in fact easier! They said that I wouldn’t like having to work in the evening. wrong I prefer late afternoon and evening times, I feel more energy then. What do social norms know about me anyway?!

Trauma: I have witnessed and listened to trauma experiences for all my life. Trauma I believe has caused my flow of creativity to stall. It has caused intense anxiety, social anxiety and feelings of depression. I work with clients with trauma and have heard things that will never be able to unhear again. I feel a sense of sadness about people’s trauma. I never acknowledged my trauma until this year. I will never forget witnessing my friend being physically abused by her brother at her birthday party. I never wanted to go over anyone’s home. I still feel that way today. I prefer my place and I prefer quietness. I will not watch anything with abuse in it as it causes me to have anxiety and flashbacks.

I have experienced trauma of my mother’s death. It is something I don’t share, as there are parts of her death that will remain hidden and only me will carry them. I accepted her death, but the sadness of watching my father age is traumatic for me.

Rejection. Definitely happens to me all the time. I was rejected my the first boy I had a crush on. I was rejected by men that pretended to like me. I say pretend because it was simply that, they were dishonest with me and the woman they were dating. I was stood up my a man for a date. I was in the middle of getting ready, that I double checked on the time and he finally replied an hour late. And I was rejected for a job that I really wanted: I was more of an art job working with mental health. I was upset.

Here’s a few paintings about my grief and trauma:

More to come

Happy day

Caroline

book · journal writing · meditation

The creative cure-the book

I found myself at the check out with a book titled The Creative Cure, by Jacob Nordby. It drew me to it, simply because I have been feeling drained in all aspects of my life. Upon picking this book up I was doubting my own self-expression and creativity and skill. Since art school, I stopped doing art on a daily basis, I ended up in a career that is highly stressful and in relationships that were toxic and unfulfilled. I have no joy and feel my soul is dead.

I attend counseling and I was just talking about this with my counselor a few weeks ago. That was when I made a vision board. I really want to live my life based on this vision board. But… as the book describes: on page xviii

“I now knew that I had created a life based on acquisition of stuff that was fueled by an inner fear of rejection, all in a futile attempt to live up to society’s definition of success. I also knew it was quite literally killing me and that I couldn’t do it much longer. Yet I was stuck, afraid to destroy what I had built. how could I walk away from my house, job, wife, or kids? I felt I would rather die.” (Nordby)

There it was in black and white staring at me, the words I have been thinking and feeling. I now have no choice but continue to read this book and continue with the exercises in this book in hopes the creative cure will greet me as it did for this author.

exercise one: Journaling

what?! that is something I tell my clients to do. But me, you are asking me to journal. Yes, I don’t feel like I am a writer, I don’t want my vulnerability out there for others to find and I have no idea what to write about. He mentioned that journal writing can help let go of the traumas, sadness and anything stopping the creativity. I do believe that, so I must start writing.

exercise two: Meditation

okay you got me Jacob Nordby. Yes I meditated, but never was consistent. Yes I do yoga, but no I never connect it to a meditative state. So now I need to fulfill my time on the mat with more focus on a meditative state to connect with my mind and body than simply doing it to feel better with my physical health.

I will be posting more about the exercises in posts to come as I explore this book and find my way back to creativity.

where’s my flower paintings: glad you wondered: my studio has been extremely stuffy and hot. I am unable to safely be in there for a few hours without overheating and having my legs and feet swell. So the air conditioner man will be coming tomorrow and hopefully it can be repaired. But if I have to replace it I accepted the expense it will take on me. I really need air conditioning. My acupuncturist told me yesterday I need to eat cool meals and stay in a cool room, because my blood vessels are expanding causing edema to get worse.

A little doodle that I can do away from my studio ….

Happy Day

Caroline