Life Journal Workshop: Healing with Art
One of the things that I love most about journaling, doodling, and playing with colors is the healing it brings. Healing with art is not only possible, but it’s fun too. In January, I got really busy and wanted a way that I could tap into my creativity and work through what I was experiencing. For me the combination of journaling and doodling is a powerful tool for transformation. So I began to create what I am calling “Interior Landsacapes.”
I chose a 5.5 x 8.5 Strathmore Journal designed for mixed media so that I could draw, paint with watercolors, use Sharpies or other markers without worrying about bleed-through. I love the heavy texture of the 90 lb. paper. I like this size because the pages are not intimidating and I can fill them quickly without feeling pulled to spend more time than I have for creative play.
Creating Abstract Art that pleases you
I love creating abstract art like this. I am not attached to the outcome, I just love the creative process. I am engaged in capturing how I am feeling in the moment. Sometimes my lines and colors are gentle and soft. Other times they are bold. Sometimes I am angry and want to pound the paper with heavy strokes. Healing with art happens when we allow ourselves to pour our experiences onto the page, and then release them. The trick is to capture the color, texture and shapes that help define your interior landscape, not to focus on drawing the perfect tree, flower or face.
Here’s how to begin healing with art:
1. Get a journal that you will only use for your interior landscapes. This is your sacred space for releasing, forgiving, celebrating, grieving or being pissed off.
2. Collect some of your favorite tools and create a sacred space for creating. If you don’t have the ability to create a permanent space, get a small box that will hold your journal, some pens and pencils and a few other tools: watercolors, a small box of oil pastels, colored pencils or markers. There are no right or wrong tools.
3. Set aside 15 minutes, I promise, that’s all you need! Make sure you have the time to do this work uninterrupted! Sit down, pull out your journal and open it to a blank page. Take a few deep breaths and simply ask yourself, “How am I feeling today?”
4. Set aside your inner critic, just ask her to go play somewhere else for a while. Pick up a pen, pencil or other tool and start randomly drawing. Whatever comes out is okay! This is for your eyes only unless you choose to share it.
5. Add color to your image if you want to.
6. Make sure to leave some blank space around the edges of your art for journaling. As you draw or after you are finished doodling, write down words or phrases that come to mind about your art. Sometimes I just get a few words, other times I find myself writing more on the page next to my doodle. Do what feels right.
Why does this work and how does it heal? Healing with art happens when we allow our subconscious mind to communicate through colors, shapes and images. It allows us to release pent up feelings onto the page in an easy flow or to celebrate a success. Putting our feelings into images is a way to quickly get to the core of our current state of mind. Perhaps you find you are feeling angry and don’t know why. Perhaps you are feeling incredibly loved and grateful and want to celebrate that feeling.
These interior landscapes are also a great way to remind us how to be creative and to remember the joy of coloring for fun, not for a grade or the approval of our parents. This is all about you and that deep draw towards creativity that is calling you and you have been ignoring!
I am passionate about helping women reconnect to their inner creative source and remember to enjoy the creative process. My newest project, the HeartWiseâ„¢ Sister Circle, is a group for women who want a safe place to dust themselves off, remember how to be creative and create a vibrant new vision for their life. I am currently offering a free 30 day trial. Click here for details.