|"The Compassionate Bird," mixed media collage|
Pipe cleaner, feather, playing cards, marker
To balance a load of weighty matters, the seriousness of life, that heavy-hearted feeling sometimes bogging us down , I’ve discovered how spinning healing art (or any art process) around to its playful side can lighten the load, temper the seriousness and uplift one’s heart.
|Group project during last week's healing art retreat|
During the morning of last week’s healing art retreat at CHOMP, we completed a group project for the hospital’s Cancer Center library – a collage of words which conveyed what’s helpful to hear when one is in the thick of their cancer journey. I appreciated the dynamics of camaraderie within our group, but found the exercise itself wasn’t bringing me the peace I intended to achieve that day because it required much thought and reflection back through my own journey. In response to a second directive in the afternoon, to illustrate a healing word handed to each of us on a strip of paper, I was able to fulfill my intention for peace by collaging two different versions of “compassion.” I assembled my second collage with a playful hand, visualizing compassion in the form of a whimsical bird. Collaging with a lighthearted approach induced a welcome sense of peace and contentment. A bit of emotional healing was accomplished…playfully!
Meanwhile, from the remnants of watercolor cut-outs I incorporated into my “Peaceful Landscape” collage shared here a few days ago along with a few liquid watercolor scraps saved from a past healing art retreat and previously collaged bits and pieces (ephemera “hoarder” that I am!), I recently created a series of playful mini collages, a few already given to a favorite little group of friends and some I’ll soon be giving to elementary students participating in my collage and papercraft class (part of an after-school enrichment program.)