Thursday, November 27, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
|"Beautiful Hearts" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.|
Here's the Happiness Discovery for today! (#103, of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life.) I am getting ready for a trip to Vienna for the Edith Kramer Symposium. When traveling, I easily lose track of where I am in the moment, especially if uncomfortable travel is involved, long flights, delays in travel plans, jet lag. It is so easy to get really caught up in wishing to be "there" already. The exact opposite of being here now. And I imagine traveling to Quebec in order to catch a flight to England, and then on to Vienna will be a similar experience. So I'm imagining the worst already (definitely not a way to have a happy artist's life)!
But there are things that can counter that disorienting feeling of not wanting to be where I am. One, of course, is morning pages daily art practice. I decided to do a little prep research on the subject of daily art practice while traveling (what kind of scissors can I pack) and I discovered some really interesting spots on the internet. First of all there's Belzer Designs Hand Made Art website which has a corner devoted to art journaling every day. There is a whole archive of 4 years of inspiration, tutorials, and links. Of great interest is her blog post on 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy: Art Version. And an article about a magazine I had never heard of called Featuring which is all about art journaling and mixed media. Who knew? Their website is here.
From the magazine website I decided to explore one of the featured artists, Sandra van Doorn. She had an intriguing little description of a character, Mademoiselle, walking into her studio, and how they be inseparable, from that day on. And together they make the world more beautiful. How cool. She also has an invisible pet elephant and a lovely video about living in a fairy tale, minus the witches.
So the #103 of a thousand happiness is in the search and in allowing the adventure to unfold, and maybe exploring a fairy tale or two and an invisible pet elephant while the adventure unfolds!!!
Thursday, September 18, 2014
|Photo from Herschel Stroyman|
EXPRESSIVE THERAPIES SUMMIT 2014
November 6 & 7
Art As—and Is—Therapy: Hands-On Teachings of Edith Kramer (2 Days)
School of Visual Arts — Thursday
132 West 21st Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues)
Art Therapy Department, Co-sponsor
A 2-Day Training Intensive
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Lani Gerity, DA, ATR
Martha Haeseler, MA, ATR-BC
Susan Ainlay Anand, MA, ATR-BC, ATCS, LPAT
This team of art therapists, students of the late art therapy pioneer, Edith Kramer, have spent their working lives using art to build strengths and resilience, much in the way that they were taught by Edith Kramer. The presenters, weaving experiential evidence throughout the didactic segments, will carefully examine the lessons of the mindful, collaborative, strength-based and culturally adaptable form of art therapy practiced by Kramer in her lifetime. With a focus on Kramer's teachings, participants will learn a broad range of interventions that can foster intrinsic rewards and optimize daily function for clients, patients, and therapists alike.
Registration is available separately for each day. Attend either or both.
|Edith Kramer Self Portrait|
Sunday, September 07, 2014
|"Discover your gift" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.|
The fall workshops include an online Morning Pages Daily Art Practice eCourse, with instruction in collage and photo manipulation as well as encouragement in keeping a daily art practice to support a happy artist's life. (You can read more about it here.)
Next scheduled "live" workshops are in Vienna and NYC.
The Edith Kramer Symposium
Saturday, September 06, 2014
|"Always Play" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.|
#102 (out of thousand) - Taking a sacred pause. While I was working on my morning pages, my daily art practice, I could hear a Tara Brach talk on meditation in the background. She was describing how busy life is today, how we are so drained by the end of the day we can hardly think. She described the Chinese word for busy (mang) as being a combination of heart and killing. Sure enough, 忙 (busy) is created with "a variant of heart" and 亡 which means to die or disappear. When we are busy our hearts disappear into who knows what. In this state we no time to reflect, to consider what might be best for ourselves or others. Our hearts disappear.
But in a sacred pause, in a true refuge, we can recover our hearts, we can come back to ourselves. We can remember what really matters. As I worked quietly on my morning pages, I realized that was exactly what I was doing. I was giving myself the time and space to actually hear my heart's sorrows, longings, and joys. And because my morning pages are a daily art practice there is often a possibility for a deeper understanding, art actually providing many layers of expression of the heart's sorrows, longings, and joys.
On her blog Tara describes some possibilities. "We may take a pause from our ongoing responsibilities by sitting down to meditate. We may pause in the midst of meditation to let go of thoughts and reawaken our attention to the breath. We may pause by stepping out of daily life to go on a retreat or to spend time in nature or to take a sabbatical."
To this I would add that we may take a pause from our ongoing responsibilities to do our morning pages, our daily art practice. The world will carry on quite easily without our input, without our losing our hearts into who knows what for a little while. Do you want to be a happier artist? Do you want to find your heart again? Then perhaps a morning pages daily art practice, a sacred pause, this quite time with our hearts and art, would be just the thing.
Here's a clip of Tara and the sacred pause.
Monday, August 25, 2014
|"Be treasured" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.|
So here we go, #99. This one is huge and it's from Dan Dennet (in discussing the secret of happiness). It should really be #1. “Find something more important than you... and dedicate your life to it.” This will make you happy, for sure. You will end up being more in the world and not stuck in your own head.
#100 is "Do what you love" from Paul Graham’s 2006 article, How to Do What You Love. He talks about getting stuck doing things you don't really love for the sake of “prestige”. He says don’t worry about prestige, it's like a nasty magnet that keeps you attracted to it, and distracted from working on what brings you joy, on things you actually love. Prestige is especially dangerous for ambitious people. He says if you want to make ambitious people waste their time, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. A hook baited with prestige is the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. If you want time to do what you really love and to be happy, it might be a good rule to avoid any prestigious task.
And #101, "Find out what you really want" is from philosopher Alain de Botton. It's related to #100. We need to know what success really means to us. Often our ideas about what it would mean to live a successful life are not our own ideas at all. We get these ideas from our peers, and of course from television, advertising, and marketing (which is probably where our peers get their ideas about living a successful life). These ideas of success define what we want and how we view ourselves. Alain argues that we should make sure that our ideas are our own. Make sure we are the authors of our own ambitions. He says that it’s bad enough at the end of our journeys to realize we didn't get what we wanted, but it’s much worse to find out after spending our whole life on something we thought we wanted, that it isn’t, in fact, even remotely close to what we really wanted at all.
Do find out what you really want in life, what you love, and then do a lot of it! At the end of the journey you will be satisfied, and pretty much all along the way as well!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
|"Animate our dreams" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.|
The doors for the Morning Pages Daily Art Practice eCourse with an attached FaceBook Group classroom are almost ready for members. (The FaceBook Group would be a place for community; for sharing images, ideas and questions but is totally optional.)
Over the past couple of years, I've been creating and posting morning pages every day on FaceBook. Here's what I have learned so far. If you practice something every day, you get better at it. If you practice something which encourages thought and reflection every day, you become more thoughtful. If you practice something which makes you happy every day, you get happier every day.
As a student, I used to wonder about why Edith Kramer, art therapy pioneer, told us to create art every day. She also encouraged us to keep a journal for things we were learning, for the ideas and questions that come to us. She suggested that these activities, if engaged in fully, would help us grow into our best selves, that we would be able to see our strengths and resilience unfold. There are a lot of intrinsic rewards built into utilizing our inner strengths and nothing that promotes freedom, independence, and a sense of self worth better than the realization that we have the power to create our own inner satisfaction and intrinsic rewards. Over this past two year Morning Pages exploration, I have to admit Edith Kramer had a point about all of this.
This eCourse will be about growing into our best selves, engaging in a daily art practice, the benefits and joys of such a practice, the challenges and even the specifics of collage work and some photoshop tutorials and guidance (because you have asked my how I do what I do, so why not share it). In the past I have created eCourses with blogs, posting bi-weekly (sometimes more) and that the blog would remain up for a few months after I stop posting. That makes it self paced and with a FaceBook group we can continue to play. Hope that sounds of interest!
If so, just $15 will get you the course, the group, and a bonus eZine "Art Dreams (Lani's Morning Pages).
If you just want the zine without the course, it's yours for $10.