Summer is in full swing! After a long year of hibernation, now more than ever before, we are climbing out from our protective chrysalis and celebrating a life that is beginning to bloom again. With the warm weather here, we have the opportunity to loosen schedules, get out to enjoy nature, spend time with friends and family, and see folks we have been separated from for many months, due to the pandemic. You might also be looking for ways to keep yourself or your children busy when you need to stay inside. Creative outlets for expression are vital for balanced mental health and self-care. This art therapy suggestion is a wonderful way to learn a positive coping strategy while staying cool on a hot summer day.
This month we present “Exploring and Expressing Freedom Using Art!”
To begin, ask yourself these questions: What does freedom look like to me? What am I ready to be free from? What am I ready to release emotionally, physically, and mentally? Everyone will have a different perspective on this. Maybe you have been wanting to try something new, but haven’t found the time. Maybe you and your family have been in lock-down (literally!), and you all need some breathing room. Maybe both you and your kiddos have been doing your best managing and holding it all together through a pandemic year. Maybe it is time to breathe out a sigh of relief as restrictions are lifted. Let’s liberate ourselves with the power to play, to be authentic, and to simply enjoy being, just for the fun and wonder of it.
Can you find a way to embrace your freedom? Perhaps you can do this through art, music, nature, or physical activity. Perhaps you have another way of expressing yourself. Here is one activity you might try.
Activity: Blown Watercolor Paintings.
What you will need:
-8”x10” watercolor paper or poster board cut to size
-Liquid Watercolor Paint, watered-down paint, or food coloring
-Straws (cut in half, poke a pinhole halfway to prevent paint from going into the mouth by accident)
-Small cups to hold paint
Step 1- Use the dropper to drop liquid paint onto the paper
Step 2- Blow through your straw and direct the paint away from the droplets, in any direction, and in any way you like. You may turn the paper around and blow to your liking. Add more colors until you are delighted with your design!
*Note- This technique may get messy (Yay!) so you may want to cover clothes in a smock, protect work surfaces with a plastic tablecloth, and use a tray to hold your paper and paint (this is helpful for younger kiddos).
Take your art outside and get creative!
Now for the Therapy Part: As you move the paint around with your breath, focus on breathing out tension and worries. Choose a color to represent your worries. Put it on the paper and blow it out. Then, if you’d like, add your favorite color and blow through the worries. See how the colors change and interact. Try not to over-think or to control the paint. Instead, play with it, and let the design, pattern, and pictures emerge naturally. You are making Abstract Art! Free yourself from trying to make “something,” and let the colors flow with the direction of your breath. Allow the freedom of not knowing how it will turn out to be wonderful and exciting! Now, share your creations with your family and friends, or display the art on a wall for yourself. Most importantly, try always to honor your art; it is your unique expression and Declaration of Freedom.
If you’d like to share your creations, we’d love to see them. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Expressive Art Group Therapies is a group for individuals to create within the provided theme or to follow their own path for artistic expression. Participants will benefit from a supportive group environment that increases social connections and a sense of community through a shared experience.
For more information on our Expressive Art Group Therapy and other supportive services visit wbma.cc or call us at (301)576-6044