Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Playful Side

"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.)

Let’s all make room for more playfulness in our lives!