Teabags are so informative. Yesterday my lemon ginger teabag tag said “Live from your heart, you will be most effective.”
This teabag fortune was right on, especially after taking a 2 weekend class with Pat Allen, a well known art therapist. Having a clear enough heart to “live from” is important. I spent much of my time in the workshop working with the intention to release things not serving me and to be clear to do my work – my work of being an artist and transformative art facilitator.
Pat’s process of intention and witness is truly powerful and transformative. Intention can be expressed in the forms of inquiry, engagement, or even celebration, and is always stated in the now for best results.
After the intention is set, art making such as drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture “serve as a technology of the sacred, available to anyone at any point in life, with any level of art experience”.
The witness process is about actualizing intention through writing about the art making experience and the learnings received from the art piece. How deep the participant wants to go with the exploration is up to them. It is optional whether one wants to share their witnessing and process with the group. An important aspect is that the workshop circle listens attentively in silence while the artist shares. The group’s presence is an acknowledgement of the work each artist is doing in the moment. Each and everyone’s process can have a message for individuals and the whole group.
I am excited about integrating this process in my transformative art workshops in April.
Here are some of the images I created during Pat’s workshop. I found it interesting that I drew some of the pieces since that is not my usual media. For these particular pieces drawing was what was called for to really get at what was coming up.