Sep 142011
 

I love collage because it’s fun and easy even when you don’t have experience with art. It’s like being in kindergarten again, when cutting and pasting was the most natural thing in the world.

This collage is about taking time to feel and express who you are in this transitional period of autumn. An opportunity for reflection and self-expression,  it’s a healthy feel-good activity. Allow your challenges to be expressed in your collage as well as your gifts, as it can ease your stress and help to bring clarity.

Fall Transition

In the fall we turn from the expansiveness of summer toward the introspection and coziness of winter. You may feel excitement of new beginnings as the school year begins, sadness of leaving summer behind, pure enjoyment of the colors and warm-coolness of fall. Whatever is going on in your personal life will generate emotions as well.

In your Fall Colors Collage you can create a visual expression of  the energy and meaning of where you are in your life right now. Putting feelings into form feels good, and gives them a pathway into the outer world that releases immune stress.

What you need

  • Poster board, cut to any size you like
  • Thing collected in nature
  • Magazines, scissors, glue, tape
  • Coloring or painting materials (optional)

(If you’re interested in future projects, you might like to assemble some other basic supplies.)

How to do it

Begin by collecting things of nature that appeal to you, things like leaves, a pine cone, branch, a handful of sand, anything you like.  Being in nature may be as easy as walking out your door, or it might mean an excursion to a park or a beach. Collect things that speak to you, even if you don’t know why. Collect a lot or a little.

When you get back home, lay everything out so you can see it. Now look through magazines to find pictures and/or words you want to add to your collection. Cut out anything you feel drawn to; you can decide later if you will actually use it.

When you’re ready, begin arranging things on your poster board. Play with them until it starts to look “right” to you and you’re ready to stick things down with glue or tape.  As you continue to work with your collage, add anything else that inspires you. Color, paint, or write on the board … anything goes.

Your collage may tell a story or not, it might be all about color, all about shape, or apparently random. Make what looks and feels right to you, there are no rules, no right way, only your way. Doing the exercise with a friend can be a lot of fun, and it will help you relax and let your creative spirit out to play.

When you’re done, put your collage someplace you will see it often and enjoy the results of your creative autumn energy.

 

Sep 072011
 
Play

Anyone who knows me could tell you I like playing with art supplies. I’m no artist, but I love bright colored pens and crayons, crinkly paper and glue, all the things that kindergarten children know exactly what to do with!

When we play, we let go of the outside world for awhile. Sometimes we forget ourselves completely and just have fun. Other times we tune in with ourselves and find expression for thoughts and feelings that are difficult to express in other ways, things we don’t have words for, even thoughts and feelings we weren’t aware of.

This kind of play supports the spirit. We exercise our basic need for healthy self-expression, and create things that please our aesthetic sense. Tune in with ourselves and find expression for thoughts and feelings that are difficult to express in other ways, things we don’t have words for, even thoughts and feelings we weren’t aware of.

I enjoy art exercises that offer self-reflection and creative self-expression. I’ll be posting them here from time to time, the first one next week. If you would like to join me, below are some basic supplies you can have on hand.  

What you need

You can find these things at an art or craft store, some items are probably in your local drugstore or supermarket, some you will have around your house. The list is a starting place, add anything that strikes your fancy.

  • Felt pens and/or oil pastels (for their vibrant colors)
  • Pencils (colored or regular for fine lines)
  • Tempera paints (as in children’s paint sets)
  • Face paints  
  • Plain paper
  • Coloured paper
  • Poster board
  • White glue
  • If you like shiny, sparkly things get glitter (often in shake-able containers) 
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Old magazines

Stop by the office of your local newspaper and ask about “end rolls”. These are the rolls of blank paper that get pulled off at the end of a print run. Most newspapers sell them, and what you’ll receive is a large roll of blank newspaper for just a dollar or two. An inexpensive way to get lots of paper that can be cut to whatever size you need. 

Getting Started

When you’ve gathered your box of goodies, spend some time getting to know your supplies. Experiment with color, texture, sparkle, to get the feel of playing in this new way. Remember this is about self-expression, not being an artist, and don’t worry about how it is supposed to look. There is no right way, only your way. Relax and have fun with it.

Albert Einstein said, “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play.” If you’re not sure how to get started, then share your box of goodies with a child and follow along. Children have no trouble with play!