Monday, January 7, 2013

Art Therapy Monster

Lately I've been enjoying learning a little about art therapy and practicing some interventions on myself. Toward those ends, I read all the blogs by art therapists I can find (and I wish more of them blogged as I haven't found all that many). However, the few I do read are pretty awesome and today one of them, Carolyn Mehlomakulu, did a post on metaphorizing problems into monsters via art media of some kind. Rather than elaborate on the dynamics here by quoting too extensively, I'll link to the post in question and encourage people to go have a read. It's interesting stuff.

At any rate, thus was I inspired to create Fran The Tired Monster.

Let me tell you about my monster. I have three children under three. (Well, one of them won't be born for another few months yet, but she still has all kinds of ways of making her presence very much known. So practically speaking, I feel I have three under three already.) I've always wanted at least a few kids and I think there are advantages to having them close in age. Realistically, though, I expect that most of those advantages are things we will be experiencing more in the years to come. Right now, I love my babies bunches but I'm tired a lot.

It so happened that I was particularly tired by the time I got some time to myself today, as I'm fighting off a cold and so is Little Guy, and neither kid was good about taking a nap this afternoon (erm, is this all starting to sound too Dickensian)? I ended up hiring the teeenager across the street for an hour of babysitting so I could rest. Whilst relaxing and skimming the feeds on my google reader, I came across the post mentioned above and thought, "Ah, yes, this is what I will do right now. Make a portrait of my monster of woe."

And so, here is Fran, poor girl:

I didn't actually finish her by the time the kids came home, but that was okay because I set Bear up with some art supplies and we worked together companionably for a bit while Little Guy played on the floor. It was kind of fun-- blending feelings of self pity and humor into an understanding monster that I now have some affection for.

 I think, after the kids are settled for bed, Fran and I will satisfy a pregnancy craving and treat ourselves to a bowl of mint chocolate chip icecream. With vanilla wafers and whipped cream and bananas. Now that is the way to make friends with a monster. :)



  1. Love the monster and very creative way to deal with all you have to cope with ~ 3 under 3 is quite a challenge and society doesn't give us Mommies much credit ~ lots of hugs to you all ~

    (A Creative Harbor) aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^

  2. This is a great idea and way to express your feelings. Three under three sounds wonderful but we both know can be lots and lots of work. You are smart to find ways to be creative and express yourself. I enjoyed visiting you today. (Creative Every Day)

  3. Love seeing your monster! Thanks so much for sharing the art that you do. Seems like to was a great way to express how you were feeling as well as have some compassion for yourself. It can be so healing to take some time to embrace our feelings and monsters instead of always trying to run away from or get over them.