Setup and Materials
• Tea light candles
• Essential Oils (Lavendar is a great one for relaxation)
• Speaker for guided meditation and relaxing music
• Device (phone, mp3 player, or computer) with access to YouTube and/or Spotify
ART MATERIALS & WHERE YOU CAN GET THEM:
• Watercolour Paint Tubes Set http://riotstores.com.au/item/143751-the-art-studio-16-piece-collectors-series-watercolour-painting-set.html
• Watercolour Compact Dried Paint Set (alternative)
• Watercolour Pencils (alternative)
• Watercolour Pad
• Paper Towel
• Glass or Plastic jar to hold water in to dip brushes
Other places you can buy from are Amazon, Officeworks, Eckersleys Art and Craft, Dollar Stores, Supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths - most of these materials are widely available
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE MOST GRATEFUL FOR TODAY
Choose three things that you are most grateful for today and write this down, onto the paper. You may not want to use the template and that's totally cool! If you have your own personal journal this is a wonderful place to write them, or any notepad that you have available.
Some things to be grateful for are the sunlight that rises every day to provide us with light to see and absorb the things around us, the water we have to drink, our friends and family, adorable animals and stunning nature that makes up our Earth!
There are no right or wrong things to be grateful for - we all have different things we love and cherish!
IN A WORLD FULL OF MEDITATION VIDEOS
This is one of my favourite meditation videos because of how simple and totally relaxing it is. However, we all vary and are not all the same (that would be boring!) so feel free to search around YouTube and Spotify for guided mindfulness meditations that realy speak to you! You may even have an app on your mobile device that contains guided meditations!
During your meditation think about the three things that you wrote down on your gratitude journal and how wonderful that makes you feel.
After your meditation you may like to play some soothing music! This really helps keep the vibe going as you move on to the next part - creating your art!
DRAW YOUR BASIC OUTLINE SHAPES OF THE PICTURES ON YOUR WATERCOLOUR PAPER
With a pencil, lightly sketch these images how they come to mind. You may want to draw the sun, for example, or the ocean. Think freely about what they look like, and you may find it useful to look them up in Google images to gain some inspiration on their details and characteristics.
NO JUDEGEMENT, NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO PAINT, BE BRAVE AND BOLD!
Experimentation and focussing on 'less is more' helps when it comes to watercolour. Often the simplest designs turn out the most beautiful and relaxing when you look at them. It's not about being perfect, it's about the flow and relaxation of watching the paint glide on the paper as you apply it with the brush.
CHOOSE ONE, TWO OR ALL THREE OF THE THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR TODAY
You may want to paint one or more of the things that are on your list. They might even look gorgeous all together into the one picture to create a whole scene! Or they may appear beautiful nicely side by side but remaining separate. Think about these three things and how you would like them to appear on the page.
PAINT THEM WITH THE WATERCOLOUR PAINTS
Peacefully dip your brush into the water, then you may want to wet your paper before applying the watercolour paints.
Watercolour Paint Tubes - they are wet paint inside the tube, it helps to wet your brush and paper prior to using them, however they can be squeezed onto a pallet and used prior to wetting the brush or paper for a more crisp line.
Watercolour Compact Dried Paint Set - You will need to dip your brush into the water first, then apply a generous amount of water to the dried paint (colour/s of choice). Once wet you can swirl the brush around on the dried paint cake and it will slowly put the pigment from the dried paint onto your brush ready to apply onto the paper. It helps to wet your paper prior to use to fill in a large area however this is not essential.
Watercolour Pencils - These are fantastic if you are a great drawer and want to draw the picture down and then blend using the water on your brush!
My Big Head
Self-portraiture can be a means of self-reflection and accepting the self, it can be healing, and a tool for introspection.
I look at other artists' self-portraits as a record of their life of being human, being themselves, living in the here and now. That's what I love about it the most.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom - Aristotle
The Arts in Psychotherapy
"Art therapy improves brain (cognitive) performance, improves memory, visuospatial abilities, attention, working memory and executive functions"
(Lee, Wong, Shoon, Gandhi, Lei, Eh, Rawtaer & Mehendran, 2019)
Art therapy can be used for loads of situations from dealing with anxiety and depression, to eating disorders, PTSD from traumatic experiences, for children facing hardship, autism, facing old age and changes later in life, anger and aggression, to increase happiness, to explore any and all emotions inside you, to dissolve thoughts, explore relationships, reduce pain, and even as simple as exploring gratitude for the many wonderful things we have here in life. There are so many things that art can be helpful with and I like to use it as a healing tool for all things in my life.
"Research has linked creativity to such personality traits as high energy, intuitiveness, independence, self-acceptance, a willingness to take risks and an intensely passionate way of engaging in certain tasks for the sheer pleasure of it"
(Amabile 1996; Barron & Harrington, 1981)
Lee, R., Wong, J., Lit Shoon, W., Gandhi, M., Lei, F., EH, K., … Mahendran, R. medrm@nus. edu. s. (2019). Art therapy for the prevention of cognitive decline. Arts in Psychotherapy, 64, 20–25.
Muri, S. A. (2007). Beyond the face: Art therapy and self-portraiture. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 34(4), 331–339.
Shore, A., & Rush, S. (2019). Finding clarity in chaos: Art therapy lessons from a psychiatric Hospital. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 66.
Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.). (1999). Handbook of creativity. Cambridge University Press.