Call and the Birds Will Come
A friend, Heidi, recently returned to school to study art therapy. I was delighted for her as this seems like a very good fit. I have no doubt she will be terrific. Thinking about art therapy led me to also think how for the last 19 months I painted most every day and in doing so I began to heal.
As some of you have remarked, the last few months black birds seem to have flown in and out of most of my paintings. Another art friend, Jim, asked today why there were birds in so much of my work. I told him I was not completely sure why the birds are flying in and out, but I feel better knowing they are there. I also realized that the last section of the memoir I am writing has the subtitle, Wild Birds Rising. I suspect there is a connection. Perhaps the birds are spirits.
A few weeks ago, my friend Jane's sister, Susan, died. The birds showed up again in force right after her death. I didn't realize until this evening that her death affected me. For the last two weeks I have been feeling down, revisiting the sadness I felt months after Rob died. Susan was three months older than Rob. Both were far too young to die. Last year, I spent a week with Susan in North Carolina at the beach and the beginning of August I had the opportunity to visit with her while I was in North Carolina taking an art class. Some people I've know forever and others have come in and out of my life briefly and yet profoundly touched it. That was the kind of person Susan was. She profoundly touched lives by simply being herself.
Some days I think the birds are those spirits that carry away pain. Some days I think the birds are the departed who find ways to wing back to this world.
For me, painting reveals new ways of naming and feeling--ways I am often not aware of in a codified manner.
I sense knowing. '
Edward Hopper explained how the language of art opens us in ways that words simply do not. He wrote, “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”
Here are a few of my new paintings.
|How I See You (acrylic, collage, pencil, Tombow markers, gesso, digital remix)|
|Prayer (acrylic, Tombow markers, pencil, digital remix)|
|Through a Window (acrylic, gesso, pencil, digital remix)|
|Tangled (acrylic, ink, pencil, digital remix)|
|Self Portrait with Black Birds (Photograph, paint, transfer, acrylic)|
A few art therapy links (Activities and books)
Here's a link to 100 Art Therapy exercises. Does anyone want to take some of these on? I am going to try to work my way through the list.
Here are 20 art therapy ideas that also looks good.
Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul
Imagination in Action: Secrets for Unleashing Creative Expression