“The extremely antique art of mosaic has given me the possibility to fuse history with my expressive and aesthetic needs in a contemporary context”.

I want each mosaic to have maximum liberty to be itself

Terry Tempest Williams and Expressive ARTS

The below quotation from Terry Tempest Williams reminds me of the gift Expressive Arts give us/me. For me I learned to trust the surface as the blank canvas, open stage, where the surface is the now and the now is always ready to share and unfold its abundant connections. Something is always there I said during my first philosophy EXA class. Something is always on the surface.

Similarly my love of mosaic and poetry is the surface with depth. Grounded and inspired.

“I used to believe that truth was found only below the surface of things.  Underground. I was a discipline of depth. What was hidden was what I desired.

But something changed.

It’s the dismemberment of a territory

I am interested now in what my eyes can see, what my fingers can touch, what my hand can know by moving slowly across flesh, or fur, or feathers, or stone.

I trust what I see. The surface of things is what we see.

I trust what I touch.

The surface of things is what we touch”

photo is :

Light dance I saw on my ceiling


Power Animal and Expressive Arts

We have been facilitating an Expressive Arts group that starts with the ceremony and ritual of a  shamanic journey to find and converse with the power animal that most relates to your present life. We then create art as an aesthetic response to the shamanic journey.

Above is a picture of the journey to find one person’s eagle guide and below is an image of one person’s turtle guide. In the journey you are able to ask your power animal what they see that can help or support you and/or a loved one.  After the journey and the aesthetic art response, we write about the image and the journey. What words describe the animal and the journey? What did the opening to go into the underworld, or liminal space look like? Then we sit in council and share our sacred experience.

This Expressive Arts group helps us to foster a deeper relationship with our animal kin.  Through ceremony and ritual shamanic journey work I have learned how decentering into liminal space to relate with my power animal can provide me with a more calm pace and a bigger heart for healing.

Process and Product

I have been a dedicated process over product art therapist, until now. Now I am expanding into a process and product art therapist. It feels good. There’s some more breathing room. I love the art making, image making process. I enjoy the protection of the process being allowed to guide the image formation. I am committed to trusting the process to guide the end product. That was my main framework from where I worked and from where I guided participants in my facilitation. Then I came to be exposed to the radical notion of why not also embrace the product as well. What does that even mean?

I notice that as I place the art product on the same level as the art making process it feels right. I have not abandoned process for product, but rather created room for both to exist and compliment each other while providing opportunity for another aspect of relationship between art maker and art to happen. Is my facilitation of art therapy different with this added framework? The answer I get is actually another question. What would I want to change about the art piece that I created or the process from which it was born? This is the question that seems to lead to an art making and art product valued space.

No longer afraid of the word “product”. Now, it is process and also product.

Art and Movement in the Alps

Think your own thoughts, while embracing the beautiful thoughts of others.  My thoughts and your thoughts are what I flow between and what move me.

Every time I allow myself to trust in creativity, in the aesthetic response I find myself both uncomfortable and contented.  When I move with a rhythm or paint with my own stroke, I feel at home in my soul and sometimes quite awkward in my body. My body, that has a history of running and sitting and listening and maintaining and hanging in there, is given room to express, feel, be awkward, be silly, be loose. Movable as a posture.

Use art for dialogue.

My core principle is knowing something is always there, artistically and spiritually speaking. I have experienced thousands of therapy sessions with people of all ages and never has anyone tried to create art or music or movement and not been met with an artistic response.  When I facilitate the installation of public mosaic murals, each wall or space we meet beckons an image, a color and a shape full of intention and attention.  Myself and the people I work with are both professional and amateur.

I learned so much during my first summer session at The European Graduate School working on my PhD in Expressive Arts Therapy – most importantly “low skill, high sensitivity.” Let me tell you, how embarrassing this was at first for me to play a musical instrument with no skill whatsoever in front of a group of people.  I was mortified, while at the same time I love music. I love that music exists, music moves me and I would perform unskilled in honor of music and in service of learning how to help others overcome their embarrassment of skill which could allow them to express love. Low skill, high sensitivity allows for true form and therefore makes an authentic performance and art product.

We Are Mosaics

Putting the pieces back together

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