Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wonderful fun

Susie Crowther taught the Visual Journaling workshop I attended at the library last Saturday. There were ten or so participants, ages high school to myself the eldest at 63. The workshop was well organized and just the sort of workshop I love. We talked for awhile, heard Susie talk for awhile, then did a guided visualization in which we were cued to sense our feelings/emotions at the present time. Then we were to visualize an image that expressed our feelings.

My image came quickly and was somewhat complex. Above the ground we have the sun, the sense of warmth and joy. My word for the year, OPEN, which was the last word I added to the picture.
Below the ground we have roots and volcanic fire (energy) and all those who have recently died depicted as babies nestling in for the winter like gophers. We have rocks and peace and somewhat sad feelings. Notice that there are gaps in the earth's crust for the energies to flow and be released. Pastel.

For the second drawing we stood up to meditate and used movement, not big movements as the space was cramped, to express to ourselves something in our life that was disturbing to us. No a big trauma necessarily. One of the "lesser" traumas. My movement was a sort of marching forward, my boots firm on the earth. My drawing was about finding me a home.

I drew the house last. It is purple and blue, the colors of the higher chakras (energy centers).

I began the drawing at the bottom, with my bare feet, and a red energy--the kundalini chakra which represents the need for home, security and grounding. The red and yellow energy flows upward and manifests in the purple/blue home.

After each exercise we broke into groups of two and talked about our drawings. Then we also had time for those who wanted to to share our drawings with the whole group.

Susie Crowther is (I think) an art therapist. She studied with Barbara Ganim of Salve Regina College in Newport Rhode Island. Two art therapy books Susie recommended are: The Healing Power of Art by Barbara Ganim and Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words by Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox.

29 comments:

Annie said...

You are on your way, dear Suki. Those drawings had to be very healing for you, I am so gald you went to the workshop. Thinking of you, big hugs.

Kim said...

Suki, this is really good work! I am so glad you were able to get to this workshop and have such great success with it. I sure can imagine you gaining a great deal from visual journaling and photography - seeing within and seeing outside! How great is that?

You are so gracious to share here...we have a lot to learn from you!

soulbrush said...

these have such a 'soulbrush' feel about them. love em. so glad you are getting out to do things for you!

studio lolo said...

Oh I so need to get to a class of some sort just to be participating in something with other artists.
These are wonderful, powerful drawings Suki, and so telling!

I'd like to learn more about chakras and auras. Someone told me the other day that she saw my aura so clearly. It was blue and purple. I'd better look that up!

sukipoet said...

Annie, thanks. I have always found art therapy things healing and cathartic. Esp. when done on big paper. These were fairly big sheets.

Kim, I'd like to order one of these books actually. I have done visual journals before guided by an earlier Visual Journaling book by Cappachione I think. I need this sort of thing right now.

Soulbrush, I cant tell you how wonderful it is to be with like minded folks. Of course, I was exhausted the next day. My energy level is small...

sukipoet said...

Laurel, I learned about chakras via yoga and also lots of reading about Indian (from India) perspectives as that is where the term and ideas originate. Aura's are a different matter though if the colors connect to chakra colors you are sending out upper chakra vibrations. Blue is the throat and purple the third eye (I hope I have that right).

Lynn said...

How very interesting this is to me Suki. I like art therapy and wish I could encourage more clients to do this. People are so timid about using art if it is not already a part of their lives it seems. But I keep encouraging. Your pages are so clear and tell much, obvious from all you are going through right now.
I love the purple house and the open sun, as they are so positive. I do believe you create what you want in your mind first and then you draw it to you. My favorite affirmation (to cover all bases is) "This or something better is coming to me now"...
I wonder the age of the person you shared with? A younger person could learn much from you! ;-)And did you share with the whole group?

Cynthia said...

Oh what an incredible workshop! I'm so glad you were able to participate and share it with us, Suki.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Sounds like this was the perfect class for you at the right time. And you didn't want to go to it. Now aren't you glad you did? :))

~Babs said...

Very interesting.
I'm really glad this wokshop was available to you. Kindred souls,and all that.

Cestandrea said...

Suki, this is so interesting and great work. I like the way you pictured your openness and the fire, which drives you. Very evocative.
love
Andrea

kj said...

suki, i've come to believe that being with like-minded folks is essential, not a luxury. my connections with writers and artists is food for my soul and fuel for my hands.

i'm inspired by your colors and words.

sukipoet said...

Lynn thanks for your comments and questions. I think some of the people taking this workshop did not usually incorporate artwork in their journals though some obviously did. I shared individually with the high school girl (home schooled) who was quite interesting. The second time I shared with a woman a bit older than high school yet still quite young (to my eyes.) I shared aloud to the entire group both times, I am always happy to share aloud.

sukipoet said...

cynthia, thanks. It was quite wonderful and even made me wonder if I should get some training in Visual Journaling. (Ie to give workshops kind of thing)

Cris, I am glad I did. thanks.

Babs, they were pretty kindred souls for sure. At the end one woman said she'd like to do it again.!

sukipoet said...

Andrea both those images are ones I want to keep top in my mind.

KJ I agree re: like minded souls. I am glad I am finding a few. I know they are up here, it's just how to meet them and get together with them.

Lynn said...

Suki I truly hoped you'd shared with the younger set as I was sure they would learn from your wisdom and life experience...even if you told them very little, more through the art than the words.

I can definely see you becoming a workshop leader for such a group.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

"Open" is a lovely word ~~ so many beautiful pictures come to mind:

Welcome, open arms, "Open" sign in a cafe window, mind free and ready to soar, cupped hands ready to receive blessings . . . You have chosen wisely.

Your journal speaks volumes -- thanks for sharing so OPENly.
: D

sukipoet said...

Lynn, thank you so much for saying that about me sharing with the younger women (in this instance). I am touched. Well, I used to teach writing workshops and then a few times a workshop where we both wrote and drew pictures based on Dan Wakefield's book/method so it really wouldnt be a big leap to do a visual journal. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Debbie, thanks for your relflections on "open" which is my word of the year.

katie jane said...

Ooooo..this sounds like a wonderful class. Just the kind I would like, too. I think this is good work for you, but I do believe your feet are on firmer ground and moving forward now. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Suki, I am happy for you that you got to this workshop. It has brought to the fore what you obviously know needs to be done/found. I hope you are feeling empowered by these drawings.

Teri C said...

Everything you sketched and said is so interesting. You really exposed your feelings and emotions, and I'm sure it did you a lot of good. Thanks for sharing.

patti said...

Your picture reminded me of a board game we used to play as children called 'the game of life'. You had to pass through all manner of events before you could pass go.

You seem to be ready now to march right on into your life. An opening.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, This sounded like a perfect day! A class of 10 is a perfect size and it sounds like a wonderful mix of visualization and art making. WOW!

sukipoet said...

Katie Jane, thanks for your vote of confidence. Hope this is true. Certainly literally it is true as the ground out there is very firm, frozen in fact. :)

Lisa, I do feel empowered esp by the doing of the drawings. I find the process so interesting, working with emotions in this way.

Teri C. Thanks for your reflections. It was interesting too to see the others drawings and hear what they had to say about them.

sukipoet said...

Patti, I do want to keep that word in mind, "march." I need to walk with a firmer step than I am used to walking with.

BSD, I love doing guided visualizations. And then to express in paint/chalk whatever afterwords was perfect, you are right. The small class size meant everyone got a turn who wanted one, but also being ten rather than say five meant there were a lot of images and words floating around all of which were fascinating.

Dianne said...

Dear Suki, what a wonderful workshop, I would have loved to be there. Did you feel renewed by expressing all these emotions visually? These pictures tell your story with so much feeling. I love the little house in inspirational colours, your new house will be so filled with beautiful energy! It is out there somewhere, just waiting for you.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Dianne for your vote of confidence. I felt very uplifted after the workshop. Both from my own drawings and from hearing/seeing other's stories and drawings.

Kikipotamus said...

Wow, I want to echo what Annie said. You are indeed on your way. What a helpful process. Hugs, K

marianne said...

Seems you had a wonderful workshop.
A lot of thought are coming up here.
I have the feeling I dream a lot lately, I can´t remember them all, but they sure are trying to tell me something or helping me to deal with things.........