Thursday, November 29, 2012

Painting Circles For Relaxation (an art therapy exercise for my art journal)

Even though it is has been nearly three weeks since the hyperemesis began to fade away and I am  functional again, I find I still get exhausted so easily. I am bone tired right now and all I've really done today is take care of my kids. I'm trying to be patient. I guess it takes a little while to gain one's strength back. Little Guy (my seven month old) has been sleeping poorly the last few nights and that may also be part of it.

But enough of my moaning. I will write about my art journaling adventures, which is what this online meta journal of mine is at least loosely about in any case. Yesterday both babies (I still think of the two year old as a baby) took blessedly long naps, and I spent a happy couple of hours resting, curled up on the sofa with my laptop and a mug of chamomile tea. During this cozy and silent interval, I did a lot of blog surfing, reading, and sprinkling of comments of good cheer across the blogosphere. It's incredible-- all of the amazingly talented and sensitive bloggers you can find just by following links for part of an afternoon. :) One blog that I paused at for awhile was Art Therapy Reflections by Karen Wallace. I felt very pulled into the idea of an art therapy exercise for de-stressing she suggested to someone in a comment on this post.

 "Take a large piece of paper. Have lots of paint. Start by doing some deep breathing and centering. Standing and moving the whole body, make large arm movements and paint large circles. Work big until your body feels relaxed and stretched, then start coming in smaller by making smaller shapes while saying out loud or to yourself things you want to release about the day. Keep working smaller until you reach the size you want to continue working at. Then paint one thing that you enjoyed about the day. This painting usually is abstract with lots of colors and feelings. It is a good stress releaser, try it. Whenever you need to release and de-stress."

That sounded so good, I thought, so relaxing, the idea of just painting/coloring/drawing circles to relax and unwind. I filed it away in my mind as something to try someday, and today (again during nap time, oddly enough) I actually did so.  I tweaked the idea a little bit, as I didn't have a very large piece of paper on hand, and I never got around to the "something I enjoyed about the day" part because I became so engrossed in my circles. But anyway.

Using water soluble pastels, I started with drawing turquoise circles, then filled them in with concentric circles in reds, blues, and yellow. I painted over these to bring out the color. Then in the background I drew soft wavy lines in dark blue, lightly colored over the background with yellow, and added water to make it blurry and greenish. I loved the way the background looked. My circles seemed a little boring, though, so I kept adding layers of paint and water to make them brighter. Then I painted their outer rims in red to give them a little more oomph, but something still felt lacking. Impulsively, I started to circle one with a black sharpie marker, and, wow, it popped. "Where have you been all this art journal pages life, oh black sharpie?" I thought, and it kind of took off from there-- outlining, circling, dotting. Below are pics of the end result, this time taken by H, who is better with a camera than I am. I will say this was a great de-stressor, and I was quite happy feeling by the time it was done. It's a happy page.








21 comments:

  1. I'm finding those circles so soothing. Hope things pick up for you soon. Hang in there!

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    1. Aw, thank you so much. I'll try! :)

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  2. This really is a happy page! So glad you found some quiet moments to relax and breathe.

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    1. Thank you! It made me happy. :) Thanks also for visiting and commenting. :)

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  3. I can actually perfectly imagine the peace and flow in making this page. Lovely design, even lovelier exercise. Happy PPF!

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    1. It was a peaceful and flow-y experience; so glad to hear that comes across. Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by.

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  4. Terrific results. Happy PPF, Annette x

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    1. Thanks, Annette! I'm glad you like it. :)

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  5. Love the wonderful repetition and harmony of this!
    And the fun triad palette of primary colors!
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah, I love how fun those colors are too. They tend to show up in my house a lot. People sometimes blink, lol.

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  6. Oh yes, this is a happy page indeed! What a freeing and calming way to art with wonderful results.
    Thank you for visiting my blog too :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! It's great to see you here. :)

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  7. Always loved circles - so soothing :)

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    1. Me too. :) Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  8. What a great exercise! Thanks for sharing. It's so wonderful that you are finding time for yourself during your busy days with your little ones.

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah, I've found it's pretty much essential if I'm to stay sane and functional. ;) Hopefully I'll still be able to find little spots of time for creativity once the third little one is here. I'm thinking it's just a matter of making it a priority. The dishes can always wait. ;)

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  9. trying to post again. this page and your blog description are both so happy and peaceful. even the little icon on julie balzer's page was SO inviting. thanks for sharing your journey!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and for the kind words! Did you have trouble posting? I thought I had disabled word verification. Those things are so fuzzy and tricky I get them wrong half the time myself, lol. Will check again and make sure it's off.

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  10. Those circles relaxed me just looking at them and I didn't even make them! Who couldn't use more peace in their life? Art is just such an amazing way to get that peace. Hope your strength returns for you- a 7 month certainly takes plenty of energy!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words and good wishes for returning strength. Yep, Little Guy can be a handful. :) Fortunately he's at an age where he still usually takes a decently long nap. :)

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