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"Art Therapy"

This week I am sharing how I use art as therapy to process grief, and for celebrating special occasions.

Tulips together...

In May 2018, my daughter Madolyn graduated from Emerson College in Boston with her BFA in Production and Stage Management on Mother's Day. We took a stroll through Boston Common and came upon the most beautiful tulip garden (outside of Holland). I just had to take pictures!

For the last few months I have tried all different ways of turning this image into artwork that I would be proud of. I tried color pencil (took forever), watercolors (not patient enough to let the paint dry in between layers), and finally acrylic paint (as pictured above). I haven't used acrylic in quite awhile and all the tubes have extremely thick paint, which is quite a challenge! I played with adding water (runny), and Golden's Acrylic Thinner and that seemed to work better.

The three purple flowers in the middle and the reddish pink tulip peeking behind the largest red tulip on the right are the most recent ones I painted. I am proud of myself for not giving up. I think I am getting the handle on blending and creating somewhat matching colors. It's far from perfect, but it's progress. I want to go back and touch up the other tulips and stems and then I think it will be finished. I do dream about recreating this painting on a large scale. It's scary to take on something so big, but all I can do is try!

Using art therapy in the grieving process

It's been two weeks since my cat passed away. Gwen and I were in the car which was all packed up for our 2-week East Coast trip. Steve and Noah went into the house to make sure all four cats were accounted for and found Bandit curled up in the extra bedroom, lifeless.

Steve told me about Bandit's passing when we were halfway to the airport. I felt a lump in my throat, and sobbed most of the way there. I have only been back a couple of days when we finally got home and it hit me... hard. I decided to do something positive with my grief and so I began an oil painting on canvas, not really knowing how it would turn out.

I'm not sure what the bubble means... perhaps it's protection. Or maybe how I preserve a memory in my mind. I will forever miss his white-tipped tail and his presence.

“Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist.” Eileen Miller, The Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art


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