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.