Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today's Finds

Today my friend (CankeyB) and I went walking around the neighborhood (CankeyB was in town visiting yay!). We stumbled upon a street festival and also a farmer's market/craft/antique fair, so we walked away with some great stuff!

Here's my favorite thing I bought today:

These earrings are by Alicia Piller ( She has some amazing work, especially her suede and bead jewelry and wall hangings. I love these earrings - they look like cells! (Although JewishGuy says they look like steaks haha)

I also got this basket, CankeyB haggled it down in price for me:

After I bought it the seller gave me a flyer for so I figured I should mention it, too. It says "AFACE works directly with various African organizations in assisting underprivileged children obtain basic school supplies & repair classrooms." I imagine this basket as holding chunks of challah to pass around the table when we have guests (like for Rosh Hashanah).

And finally, this awesome vintage shirt:

It looks better with a belt. I got it from Honeysuckle & Hearts ( CankeyB also got an awesome white dress from them that will be the perfect canvas for some of her amazing jewelry she has collected along the way :)

It has been a really fun weekend! Although I have to say I'm pretty exhausted from spending so much time out in the sun. (haha)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Variation of Ripped Paper

I was pretty inspired by the ripped paper directive I came up with this week so I made a variation to do at home. I am usually intimidated by a blank canvas (I think this is the same with most people) and my painting teachers always told me to just cover it with another color. That somehow doesn't usually work, either, because then I just have a blank brown/yellow/blue/orange canvas instead of a blank white one.

This time I made an unplanned shape on the canvas:

Then I stared at it for a little while. I left, did some grocery shopping, cleaned a little, came back, and it still kind of looked like a troll doll waving hello. Hello troll!

I turned it around and looked at it from a few different directions and finally left it on its side and began to fill it in. It was kind of random at first, but the shape jutting out to the side now looked more like a leaf than a troll doll's head.

This is how I left it yesterday:

Today I attacked it with glazes. I like glazing because it makes the colors glow and add a lot of depth since you aren't just layering opaque paint on top of opaque paint. Also there's a lot of surprises since you don't pre-mix the colors on the palette; they mix on the canvas when you put down the transparent glaze layer.

And the final product:

I like this technique, I had a good time painting this piece with pretty low-pressure in terms of having a desired outcome. When I started feeling like it was being overworked I just stopped.

I have at least one more canvas board sitting around and a few canvases that have paintings on them I sorta hate, so maybe I'll keep going with this idea :)

11x14" acrylic paint on canvas board

An outdoor overhang

Sometimes it's fun just to look up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I made this during the open art studio time at work yesterday. I'm not sure what it is. Someone suggested it's a water lily or lotus, someone suggested it's holding fire.

Directive: Ripped Paper

(Artwork by the group facilitator - me! - and shown with permission)

Ripped Paper (Coping with new situations)
Date(s) completed: 8/23/10

Single or Multi Session?

Age of Group Members?
Adults (Could be adapted for all age groups)

Gender of group:
Men and women

Number of members?
10 (any size would work though)

Type of site?

Other relevant information about population or site?
Clients diagnosed with severe mental illness. The topic of the group is "Coping Skills Through Art"

Materials Used?

Describe materials needed for directive
Large pieces of pre-ripped paper
Miscellaneous art supplies (markers, crayons, paint, tape, staples, glue, etc)

Directive Description:
Choose a piece of ripped paper and incorporate it into an art piece: be inspired by the shape, fold it up into something else, make a sculpture, whatever you'd like. But! Do not cut the ripped paper.

The topic of this group is "coping skills through art." This directive asks clients to cope with new situations. Often, clients will make art using the same technique given content-related directives. This is a technique-related directive, where the content is up to the clients. This project can be frustrating so it is important to leave time for discussion of the experience at the end of the group and debrief any frustrations.

Prior directives or prep work with group?
Haven't posted them yet

Comments/questions/suggestions for improvement:
I think this could be a part of a large series of coping art projects.

This was also posted on the Directives Blog (which is a private blog for our class to share art therapy directives we come up with)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monochromatic Dinner

Tonight's dinner:

Guacamole sandwich (avocado, lime, garlic, green onions, cilantro, salt)
Salad (green tomatoes, romaine lettuce, green onions, lime juice)
Corn on the cob

I was excited about the green tomato from the farmer's market :)

Urban Textures

My friend Paula just asked me to be a contributor to her design blog PaulaHoffmanDesign. It seemed like a fun opportunity for me, plus you know I love to blog!

The first project I came up with for that blog was to collect some "urban textures." I am somewhat obsessed with the macro setting on my camera, but also sometimes when you isolate sections of photographs you will get some interesting textures.

Over the next few weeks I'll feature some of these photos I took for this project, since I think they are nice in their own right (and not just as a documentation of a texture)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nice Friday

Today was a nice day. I thought I'd talk about it.

I went to the pottery studio down the street and officially set myself up for their work-study program, which means I get my own shelf, free clay, one free class each week, free glazes, and access to the studio during open studio hours in exchange for 3 hours of work a week. Not bad! I just have to pay for firing (I think it was 50c per cubic inch). I put my name on a shelf now, so it's mine! It's not even that small, but I'm happy having a small shelf because it will help me edit my work down.

Then I went on a job interview, and while I was walking around I saw this free concert so I went in.

The band is called Dumm Spiro Spero and they were playing in a community garden. It was a nice way to wind down after the interview, and also a good place to cool off (it's hot walking around in business-y clothes!).

I also took a lot of pictures of textures and patterns I saw while I was walking around today, which will come in a future post.

Shabbat shalom!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Job fair

I went to my first job fair ever on Monday. It was quite an experience and honestly I was a little overwhelmed. BUT. I think it went well. Afterward, I was still sort of shaken (it's hard putting yourself out there face to face for 2 hours!) but feeling good, so I did a journal entry, of course.

It started off as a repetition of circles, then blossomed out more and more into what feels to me like a sunflower.

So I looked up sunflowers to find out more about them. One thing that's really interesting I learned was that sunflowers are "heliotropic," which means they follow the sun throughout the day. Some plants grow in the direction of the sun, but a sunflower actually moves during the day depending on where the sun is in the sky. What an interesting characteristic!

The job fair I went to was for art teachers, not for art therapists specifically. But the jobs I applied to were for teaching art to kids who may not have many opportunities for them, especially in art making. So I wonder if this is me turning my little head towards the sun, because I am feeling kind of in the dark about art therapy and where I fit into the field. I can bring my art therapy training to after school art programs in my intention to my projects: to empower kids to recognize their strengths and the resources they have, to work on team building and cooperation skills, to build self-esteem through learning new skills and creating projects, and so on. Maybe this is a good direction for me? And if not, I believe I can be flexible enough to shift positions again if I need to.

Where I Live

To me, it doesn't quite make sense where I am right now. I get really disoriented. In my apartment, or in my neighborhood, I could basically be in any other city (except the availability of kosher food either puts me here or in Israel). I walk around, lalala, grocery shopping, learning where the stores are, as if I'm just in any new place. I've moved to two other major cities before this, so here I am, another major city.

Yesterday I went to midtown to meet up with JewishGuy for dinner and there was this beautiful sunset that made a perfect gradient of color in the sky. And that perfect gradient was reflected in a tall, smooth building in such a cool way, it almost didn't seem real. I wasn't the only one taking this picture.

And then after I took that picture I turned around and was like, what?

So that was a little disorienting for me.

New York is the city I have visited every year, usually many times a year, since I was a baby (and also in the womb). I come here, see stuff, and go home either by a long car ride or by plane. So it's disorienting to be somewhere and see the stuff I used to see on those visits, and then get on the subway and go home in a few minutes. Anywhere else in the city, any other neighborhood, it could be any other neighborhood in any other city in the country. But for some reason seeing the things I used to see as a tourist and a visitor on my walk to dinner after work ... it's just weird.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Leave the group :(

I hate asking people to leave the group... I kind of feel like it hurts my feelings. I know, I know, don't take it personally, it's not about me. And I know, I know, when someone breaks the rules they are essentially kicking themselves out. But it makes me sad. I always hope that we can still have a good rapport and that they will still feel welcome in the art room (as long as they follow the rules, of course).

Friday, August 13, 2010

In Recovery

Okay, I'm ready to post about my plants now. They seem to be recovering from 2 transplants, including one to a bad spot that made them look like they were dead.

The basil is coming back to life thank goodness. In a few days I will pinch off some of the top stems so that it will grow two stems from the stump, but for now I just want it to grow some more and feel healed.

I won't hide my shame... here is the damage that occurred due to the shady spot:

But it seems to be growing past that damage. Yesterday's dreary day of drizzle and clouds seems to have revitalized these plants, even though they usually like the sun. I think being in a sunny spot, combined with really hot days, and even though I water them every day I'm sure some of it's evaporating too fast, led to a lot of the damage :(

You can see the oregano was also damaged but seems to be recovering:

The thyme didn't suffer too much but it also seems to be happy in its new spot:

The macaroni pepper plant, which seemed the saddest of them all, has perked up today. There's some new growth, too!

Throughout it all, my mint has been growing like a weed (maybe because it is a weed). Some of it was damaged when it was in the sunny spot but it seems to have forgotten all about that. It feels like every day it doubles in size. Today I pinched off some of the top stems to help make the plant bushier rather than long and stemmy, and I just stuck the pinched-off stems into the ground. I wonder if they will take root?

And to think, on Tuesday I almost them all out (except the mint).

There were some casualties, however. The chamomile never recovered and the lavender looks kind of sad. No pictures of their corpses, though.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This is the sound of an art therapy directive dying.

That was how I felt after one of my groups I ran a little bit ago. The directive just fell completely flat. I changed my idea multiple times during the group to see if I could go with what the group would be open to doing, but I just couldn't make it work.

After the group I was kind of sad and I drew this picture in my journal. But I realized that there were some small things that happened in the group that were great. Even though they may have seemed small to me at the time, I have to contextualize the work I'm doing, who I'm doing it with, and where they are right now. In other words, I had to "meet them where they were at." (A phrase that doesn't make sense to me - ending a sentence with "at"? Why does everyone say it that way?)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Exploration of Watercolors

I made this in one of my art therapy groups that I ran a few weeks ago. It was a day when the directive was mostly to explore a medium, which was watercolors (one of my favorites). I don't usually do watercolor paintings without using my favorite pens but here is what I made.

Sometimes it's good just to stop using the markers and crayons. Markers and crayons are good, but it's easy to get in a rut and make the same things over and over. By just changing the medium, the subject matter will change and hopefully it will inform other (marker and crayon) work. Even if it doesn't, it's nice to break out of the repetition - or, at least, it is for me!

Another time (in a different group), we explored clay and sculpey. I wasn't quite sure where I was going with it but I really felt like it was a clay day that day. This particular kind of sculpey is interesting because it doesn't make your hands messy, but at the same time it is very hard and takes a lot of strength and endurance to make anything out of it. It turns out dealing with frustrating clay is kind of like dealing with other frustrating things... you just kind of have to keep at it, and know when to change your strategy. So much potential for conversation and metaphor!

Art therapy is so neat.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Character Today

This isn't really an original idea but I did it today in one of my art therapy groups. The directive was to choose a character that you identify with today and then make a piece about it.

I said that my character is Dorothy from Wizard of Oz because I'm on a long, maybe scary journey and I have friends to support me on the way :)

So here is my piece:

I have never been good at drawing four-legged animals, so... that is a pretty sad lion.

My favorite part of the drawing is Dorothy. I had printed out some pictures of characters from movies, comic books, cartoons, etc, as inspiration or to incorporate into a picture.

Nice legs! (haha)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm turning into a cat

There was one day a couple of weeks ago where Lilly and I napped on the couch almost all day while watching weird shows on the History Channel about aliens aka "ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


In my last post I mentioned that all I had left of my beautiful plants were a few cuttings. Today I bought some pots and planted them :) I'm not sure about the placement because Lilly likes to eat my Wandering Jew (the purple stripey one), but only when she's mad at me, so maybe being in the art room it will be sort of safe.

That feels good, it was sad seeing them in the little red cup for so long. Once they feel at home in their new pots and start growing, I will make cuttings and help fill out their pots some more.

Updates on my other plants...


I think I planted them in a bad spot. I thought that the whole patio got sun, but it seems just one weird corner gets most of the sun - this is the corner none of my plants were hanging out in. Plus, there is a chance the soil quality is not so good. I did some re-potting.

First, I planted the mint and hung it in a semi-shady area that it wanted to be in (I put it in the sunny spot, thinking it was the shady spot, so some of the leaves kind of went south).

I used this awesome plant hanger I got from my parents' basement.

Then I transplanted the herbs from the ground into pots, which wasn't so difficult because they hadn't really gotten settled in the ground yet. They aren't doing so amazingly so I'm not going to post pictures of them just yet, but I hope that soon they will perk up when they start getting the sun they want. Also it hasn't been raining like it's said it would and I keep not watering them, thinking it would rain.

After transplanting the herbs, I saw this guy had accidentally made it into one of the pots...

Probably the biggest potato bug I've ever seen in my life! I helped him get back to the ground because I don't think he'd survive in that little flower pot. That's the chamomile, which was the wiltiest of all of the herbs - I put it in its own pot because I'm not sure it will survive and I don't want a dead plant in with the other plants (it might make them sad).

I wanted to get some flowers but it's really too late for planting - even probably way too late for the herbs I've planted. So most of the flowerbed will be unused until next Spring, when I can plant some seeds and see what grows!

Other plans for plants:

I am going to raise one of my supervisor's spider plant babies that's growing in her art room at work. Also, I may take some cuttings from my mom's plants and raise some of them, too. The problem with my mom's plants is that they are poisonous for kitties, and my kitty happens to be attracted to all things poisonous, so they will have to be outside or hanging waaaay up above the kitty's head. I mean, her name is Lilly, which is also the name of a plant that is poisonous to cats, so maybe that's part of it (Lily, Lily of the Valley, etc).

Also, there are plants at the farmer's market (where I got Snakey), so I'll get some more low-light plants to keep in the house in other, non-windowed areas.

Plants plants plants, planty planty plants.
. . .
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...