End of month Art Post

Slow down and breathe: evolution of a Coloring Page:

I am very happy to announce that I made two coloring pages that will be published in a book of Adult Coloring Pages, all made by art therapists. I have been interested in coloring pages as a tool for art therapy for a long time, and the more I work with people making them, coloring in with my patients, the more  I am convinced of how magical it is.

I am of course not talking about the big phenomenon of adult coloring pages you can find everywhere from Whole Foods to book stores to airports. They are marketed as “therapeutic”. Some even use the words “Art Therapy”; those ones are really a law suit in the making. Art therapy has nothing to do with buying a coloring book and sitting at home coloring to calm yourself down. It would be like saying that filling out a self help workbook is the same as going to see a therapist specializing in Cognitive or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. IT’s nonsense.

Luckily the people at New York Creative Arts Therapists are putting together this special coloring book to educate the public and bring awareness to the field of art therapy.

About a year and a half ago, I actually had a fantasy about finding an investor to open a “Coloring Bar” in Manhattan, NYC. I envisioned a cool lounge like space where people could go and sit and color pages provided that they could choose. Like going in a bar but instead of ordering beverages and snacks, you pick out coloring pages and art materials to use and sit alone, at a table or at the bar to color…

I shared this idea with the people making this book when I found out about it, and they are planning to have a launch event that will be like the Coloring Bar, and perhaps, a few other events of a similar nature. Kind of using the “Pop Up Shop” idea, and perhaps it will end up somewhere that there might be a permanent Coloring Bar. One can dream! I always say you can’t get withdrawal from dreaming high.

So, The Real Art Therapists of New York Coloring Book. Here is the link:

https://nycreativetherapists.com/buy-coloring-book

In addition, I was invited to color in my own coloring page to be sold as a piece of art and reproduced on postcards.

Here is a little of the process I went through. I started one and it went into a place where I didn’t like it, so I began an other. As with all my art, I surprised myself in the end by going to a place I’d not envisioned. I ended up with two finished pieces.

Here is the first image of the first page I colored that I almost threw out and ended up cutting up to make a collage with:

I was imagining that I would maybe start painting on it, messing it up to make a statement about coloring in the lines. Instead I got it so full of neon that I tried painting white over the background to tone it down, as you can see below in this second picture. I hated it and started a whole new one and put it aside…  

This third photo below shows who it was going before it got to that place. This is still the first one I was trying out:

HEre’s another photo of the first one when it was getting crazy with the colors…  

After I painted white over it, I took a photo from the back to show the neon that I covered, as I for some reason never took a picture of it right before the white paint…

The photo below is blurry. It’s a stage of the second page I made, trying not to use neon and just use glitter and metallic colors.

Here is another photo of the one I “messed up”. At this point it looked really cool. That’s how art is, you take things too far and that’s the way it goes, at least for me. The point of coloring in my own page was to illustrate the inventive things you can do with a coloring page: that the limits of what you have can open up creativity and be a way to experiment and have fun…    

Below is the first one with the paint covering up the background, and the start of the second one…

Below is the second page on the way to being finished, or so I thought at the time! Actually, I finished both final pieces while at the meeting for the Coloring Book Event planning at New York Creative Arts Therapists in Williamsburg this Saturday, Jan. 30!

I will post the final results in another post…

These aren’t in time order…  

Short Posts Again!

Going back to the 1-5 or 7ish sentence post (thank goodness for semi colons.):

New dilemma/challenge for therapy process, for therapists and their patients: Texting. One issue involves receiving a text meant for someone else; I’ve experienced it both ways. I accidentally texted a patient something meant for a personal person; I was relieved that it wasn’t super embarrassing. You can imagine how crazy it could be for either party. Also have received texts that follow a text for me, where the patient meant to send the text to a significant person in their life and by mistake sent it to me. What would Melanie Klein and all the others make of that??!!

David Bowie, Thank You

“Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful)”:

This morning I woke up to the news of David Bowie’s death. A heavy loss for his family and for the world. For me personally, it is more than sad. I feel like a brilliant light has been blown out, too soon. I can’t describe everything I am grateful for that David Bowie inspired for me. I want to write and post this today to honor him, so I will try to keep it short and organized…

David Bowie was/is one of the most important creative Public Figures in my life and my life as an artist. Before I had an idea of becoming anything, much less a visual artist, I loved Bowie. I first discovered and embraced everything I found about him while in first years of high school. It would not be crazy to say that he and Katherine Hepburn, another big love of mine, also a gender non comforming rebel, helped me enormously on an emotional level to survive a turbulent, confusing, sometimes lonely, amazing and crazy time of life. During the adolescent years when we are going through crazy transformations and trying to figure out who  the hell we are, these two icons in similar and different ways spoke to me and inspired me, not to make art, but to dare, to stay on earth, to discover and adventure, to embrace my uniqueness and weirdness.

As there was no internet in the 80’s, I had these two shining examples of people who said yes to T. S. Eliot’s question: “DO I dare disturb the universe?” On my senior high school yearbook page, I had that quote and Bowie’s: “We can be heroes, just for one day.”

I could continue about how David Bowie got me through some rocky times of confusion and contortion, but I wanted to say more just through his words, as I loved his way with words, whether lyrics or just things he said that came from him, in interviews, casually. I’m assembling a few from today, in memories, and including some things I just found today that speak to me and my history:

“He took it all too far, but boy could he play guitar.” -from Ziggy Stardust

 “I GLIT from one thing to another a lot…It’s like “flit”, the 70’s version.” I found this gem from his  Dick Cavett interview that speaks to the parts of me that are interested in any random thing and quickly bored and moving to something else shiny and new.

“Being an artist of any kind …a social dysfunction… An extraordinary thing to want to do… “-said to Charlie Rose in answer to some kind of question about creativity and craziness

:He’ll think about paint and he’ll think about glue,
What a jolly boring thing to do.” (and the whole song, Andy Warhol) One of my favorite of his songs. This goes through my head all the time, and sums up a lot of my days spent enjoying things like new scissors, glue, a new kind of paint, brush pens, any discovery of a magic art supply.

This is just a taste of the biggest part of his message for me, about being true to who you are, and accepting yourself and really celebrating your uniqueness.

My favorite Bowie song in high school was “Rock and Roll Suicide”, the last of the Ziggy Stardust album/concert footage. It’s not about suicide really; what spoke to me was the verses about not being alone. Growing up is often a lonely scary process for many of us…

Oh no love! you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if i could only
Make you care
Oh no love! you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone

The last verse of that song is what I will end with. I have in my mind the image of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust leaning down and holding the hands of the outstretched audience. A beautiful image of connection. Ziggy Stardust at least for me was a complex person/persona and felt like a friend, not an aloof outer space creature actually:

Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on with me and you’re not alone (wonderful)
Let’s turn on and be not alone (wonderful)
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful)
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful)
Oh gimme your hands.

Thank you, David Bowie, for all your gifts to us, from the bottom of my heart…

3.) Part 3, New Year…, New Me…

My History with New YEar’s Resolutions:

I’ve always loved new year’s resolutions. Turning over a new leaf is something I still get super excited by. I’m very into making myself a better person and then being super excited about it.

There is something about the gluttony and not doing things as normal that happens between Thanksgiving and New YEar’s really beautifully sets up the Fruitless Ambitions Making of New years Resolutions. You go to any holiday party and random people there are eating things that are on the Bad list, and doing things they will not do as soon as the holidays have been enjoyed or survived.

Coming out of that overspending, overeating, Overeating Bad Foods,over gifting, and overdriniking, binge tv watching, makes most people set up to clean up their act as soon as New YEar’s Eve is over. Just pick up any fashion or lifestyle magazine, look at their November and December issues. There are lots of articles about how to manage your binging in the holiday season and how to set yourself up to really adopt a good habit and stop doing the bad one. So I like having company making all these grand resolutions and failing for once not being alone at failing at it.

As with most things, I used to be super extra enthusiastic about New Year’s resolutions. I’d write them down, definitely have a huge impossible list of resolutions and get super pumped about all the BIG Changes I was going to do to make myself a Super Better version of myself. In true form I’d quickly forget where I put the paper I wrote them on and by the end of the year vaguely remember a few and get into it all over again. I’ve mellowed over the years and had to admit the reality that most people make resolutions and keep them for a few weeks in January. Never wanting to be “Most People”, I was quite disappointed in myself. Over the last bunch of years I’ve tried other kinds of versions of new years resolutions that feel a bit different. I’ve also noticed that some people now think New year’s resolutions are arbitrary and there seems to be a growing number of people who don’t do them for these reasons, which makes me a bit sad. At the small gathering I went to last night I was the only one who had a written down list of resolutions and the only person who was interested in talking about them. I quickly put away my notebook and decided to have my own private Yay I Have a Great List of Resolutions This Year. I guess I’m having that party on this blog!

One way to approach new years resolutions is to resolve to do something sort of new that isn’t very hard and nobody tends to make as a resolutions. With this one you accomplish being original and different and being more able to keep up the behavior. I’ve known people who have resolved to drink more alcohol, as they never liked drinking but have started to like it a little. A few years ago, I resolved to wear more makeup, really meaning wear makeup at all. Surprisingly, while I didn’t remember to do it much then, about a year ago, I started doing it and getting into it, and now I wear eye makeup and lipstick more often. I get the added pleasure that every time I bother to put on makeup I’m celebrating that I’m still doing something I resolved to do!

Another approach its to take something you recently enjoyed doing  and thought, “wow this is fun. It would be great to do this once a week.” Last year it was ice-skating, which I had started doing the year before and loved it. So last year I wrote that I would ice skate more. I probably ice skated less than the year before but I did ice skate a few times. This kind of resolution is best phrased as ” I will do _____ more.” That way you are set up to probably succeed. This year, I decided to do this with bowling. I never bowled or even went to bowling places until just a few years ago. Every time I go, I like it more. I went once over vacation last week and had a great time. I’m terrible at it, but for some reason it seems really compelling. My bowling fantasy is to have tons of extra money and get my own bowling alley, and get to bowl almost every day and at any time of day. Since I still have to go to a bowling place and pay a significant amount, I won’t be bowling super often but I can still resolve to do it “more” and succeeded.

In recent years, I’ve also got into the “Spiritual” category of Resolutions because they seem fun and you can’t fail at them, which is almost impossible to believe. I’m talking about things that you would’d want to read out loud to someone but you want to do, like “Deepen My Yoga Practice”. You can’t fail at depending something if you are doing it regularly already and have gotten over that challenge. Since I manage to do yoga on an almost daily basis (about 20 minutes most of the time), and can do it late at night, I can say that in 2015 I accomplished that Intention! You can come up with a few resolutions like that, such as, “I want to be a kinder person.”, “I want to be more mindful.”, “I want to be less negative.” (Being less negative than you are does not mean you have to be more positive, which makes it more compelling.) “I want to stop yelling.”

The last category are the “Abundance” Resolutions that are a bit like the Doing Some Fun thing more but about other kinds of abundance. “I want to read more books.” is on my list for this year and is more about doing something that is guaranteed to generate something else, in my case, writing. When I read more books, I write more. It’s happening today. This blog post exists because today, I’m resolutely reading my library book from a month ago. The cool thing about an abundance type of resolution is that it adds abundance to other areas of your life, like the above with reading and writing.

SO that’s it about New yEars resolutions. Don’t make them if you have decided they are usedess and ridiculous and you don’t want to make them. I think they are ridiculous in quite a lovely way, so I am going to keep doing them every year and changing it up each year.

 

 

1.) New Year, New Me…

 

Making New Year’s Resolutions, Part 1, choosing not to.

This year I made no resolutions or Intentions or Goals about this blog and blogging. (I made other kinds of resolutions.) The blog format as far as I know is maybe the only format that, besides allowing for organized people and writers who publish to flourish, actually allows that for people who:

-Don’t have much regular organization motivations or abilities

-Can’t write a book that they want to write, so they blog

-Can’t write a book because of the middle and end follow through and making sense aspects required of even writing a chapter

-Get very enthusiastic at beginnings and have tons of ideas they don’t fully implement, so they start something and intend to post in a series and never make the effort to continue the series, so it’s not really a series of posts, (latest example: my post on Kwanza that seemed to intend to post each day on one of the principles…)

-write sentences that are too long and don’t edit them

-Don’t even blog in an organized way and finish posts abruptly

-Get bored quickly and move around from topic to topic with no apparent logic

That’s my interpretation of why I’m still blogging in 2016. The low expectations and acceptance of whatever you want to express in whatever way you want to express it makes blogging so great for us people who do the above-mentioned things.

Therefore, I won’t come up with some new idea about this blog and then give it up after an excited start.

 

 

 

2.) Part 2: New Year, New Me…

New Year’s Resolutions and the Excitement of Collective Failure

New Years Resolutions are great for people who go about things in the way I described in the first post, we “Unfinishers”, who have tons of irrelevant ideas and don’t communicate in a logical way. We get to watch the people who seem impossibly gifted at and able to do everything we can’t,  fail miserably especially at  following through on a goal and keep it going. It’s twistedly fun to watch such people make new years resolutions and drop them. Probably a huge percentage of organized people who make such resolutions fail at keeping them, and these people are not used to not following through on things the rest of the year.

Sorry it sounds mean, but imagine you are someone who has unwritten books and unfinished life things all over. It’s fun watching the people who do these things so effortlessly not follow their usual path. Sort of like when a child told me she loves being inside looking out the window when it’s raining or any extreme weather. ” “It’s fun to watch those people and know they are wet and cold and tired and be dry and indoors looking out the window at them.” Yay for twisted Sadism.

Great acceptable ways to have fun watching others having challenges and being miserable. It’s human nature.