Art Therapy – Art therapy, sometimes called expressive art or art psychology, encourages self-discovery and emotional growth. It is a two-part process, involving both the creation of art and the discovery of its meaning.
Looking back on my childhood, I realize art has always played a big part of my life. When I was in middle-school I took a weekly ceramics course and my mom was the leather craft teacher for our 4-H club. Every year I would create pieces and show them at the county fair to be judged. I also had a love of photography and painting growing up. I credit my Aunt Jean for passing down the creative gene to me. She is an incredible artist and at age 82 she continues to create beautiful oil paintings. Here is her latest called “Going Home for Supper”.
In college I got away from creating art but as I got older, I have been drawn to taking different classes such as watercolor painting, making home-made greeting cards, drawing, jewelry making, vision boards, and photography.
Creating art is a way to show expression, it calms me, and I like to share my art with others in hopes to brighten their day and bring a smile to their face.
I have discovered some great places in Madison to help foster my creative gene and even with the stay-at-home order, these places are taking their classes to a virtual space to share and help others express how they might be feeling through art.
Taryn’s site is a mix of self-care and hands on activities. I have taken her classes in person and online and what I like about her classes, is she gives you permission to be messy and what ever you are creating doesn’t have to be perfect.
During this time, we need to be gentle on ourselves, and practice forgiveness. This is a crazy time that none of us have experienced before and we should not be hard on ourselves for any of the emotions we are feeling right now. Instead we should acknowledge the feelings and then move forward.
The American Family Insurance Dreambank has been one of my go to places for enrichment – body, mind and soul. I have taken so many classes at the dream bank from professional development to watercolor painting. The Dream Curators at Dreambank, have really done an excellent job of shifting their classes to a virtual platform. I miss being in their beautiful new space, but I am grateful to them for offering incredible, free content to help ground and provide guidance during this time.
Wheelhouse Studios is an open art studio located in the lower level of Memorial Union. You do not have to be a student at the University of Wisconsin Madison to take classes. I have taken many classes here since I moved to Madison five years ago. Some of the courses I have taken include making chainmaille bracelets, blown glass ornaments, and watercolor painting. They too have embraced the virtual world and are continuing to offer classes online.
When I am feeling stressed, or need to escape, I go downstairs to my craft room and I create. I have been making a lot of home-made cards during this time. When I have a calendar full of activities, this is something that in the past has been put on the back burner. While we are on this “pause” I am discovering the joy it brings me, and the joy it brings to others on the receiving end of my cards.
I feel grateful to this time for rejuvenating my creative gene and when my calendar starts filling up again, I need to remind myself, take time to create and keep feeding this passion for a better balanced me.