Sunday, August 28, 2005

Links and information:

If you are in NYC October 27-30, 2005 you might want to check out the Great American Art Event
Sponsored by Pearl Paint. It will be at Skylight 275 Hudson Street New York, NY 10013.
Here's the link:

I came across this website:
which is all about playing a game of random acts of kindness but with serious community building intent.
What I really enjoyed was the page of ideas. Some free pdf files here with wonderful stories about random acts of kindness in schools, hospitals, care facilities, and communities.
Reading these stories is guaranteed to bring a smile to your heart!

I know I just sent an email but my friend Savneet Talwar of Washington, DC just sent this to share.
A gorgeous website full of very inspiring travel-art-journaling.
Do take a look:
Look at "Travel Here and There" and "Around the World".

This body image idea comes from Emily W Foster of Halifax. She has a basket of blank muslin dolls in her art studio for painting, embellishing, decorating, and learning to care for. The adolescents she works with use tempera paint and do and undo with layers of paint. All kinds of issues can be seen in the paint, and things can be expressed symbolically rather than acted out, but the thing that strikes me is the care which is taken for these little figures.

Here's a web site that caries very reasonable blank muslin dolls.

I also read the following interesting proposal in Eric Maisel's Creativity Newsletter (

Every day I get several emails of the following sort. Someone will
write, "I was feeling desperate and then I read [sometimes it will be The
Van Gogh Blues, sometimes Fearless Creating, sometimes The Creativity Book,
sometimes Coaching the Artist Within] and I’m feeling better. Thank you."
As you can imagine, this is a bittersweet email to receive, sweet because I
feel good to have been of some help, bitter because it reminds me of the
tremendous pain that so many creative people feel so much of the time.
Equally difficult is the following sort of email: "I can’t take it
anymore. Can you help me?" In response, I mention the free creativity
coaching I make available, my books, my services, referral possibilities,
and so on. What I would love to say is, "Check in with me every day about
your creative life and the progress you’re making on your creative projects
(or, yes, the lack of progress) and you’ll start to feel better." I’ve
discovered in my work with clients just how powerful a tool the daily
check-in is and I wish that everyone could check in with me.
Unfortunately, I can’t invite thousands of people to check in with me
on a daily basis. That’s why I would like to suggest that each of you take
on the personal responsibility of forming a small group of five to seven
people and using that group in a particular way, as a vehicle for sponsoring
and supporting daily check-ins. The intention behind such a group is that
each group member post a single check-in every day, no more and no fewer,
whether she is happy with what she’s accomplished creatively that day,
unhappy, indifferent to her creative life, or in any state whatsoever.
The check-in can be as simple as "Worked on my novel today" or "Wanted
to work on my novel today but didn’t." It can be as elaborate as a full
paragraph (but no more) about what it felt like to work, what it felt like
not to work, what characteristic obstacles or special challenges arose that
day, and so on. I am having participants in my current Coaching the Artist
Within class check in on a daily basis and within days of starting they are
already finding that they are paying far more attention to their creative
life than they were without such a practice in place. It is a good thing to
The goal of this practice is to attend mindfully to your creative life,
which you must do on blue days as well as on beautiful days. If you don’t,
months and years of non-mindful time pass, much to your disappointment and
mortification. Committing to the daily practice of a check-in does wonders
to put you in touch with what you need to know about your creative life and
with the rest of your life as well.
This isn’t a group for lots of cross-talk and noise. Rather it is a
quiet, calm, and disciplined group pursuing a real practice. It is a place
where each person takes pride in naming her intentions, announcing that her
creative work matters to her, and checking in each day with the happy news
that the work progressed or the sad news that the day was lost. A lost day
is less lost and less sad if you are paying mindful attention this way,
because, by being mindful, the odds are great that you will not lose
Form a check-in group and try it out. I think you’ll love it. One way
to begin is by sending this newsletter to some of your friends and see what
they think about the idea. How simple is that?

© Eric Maisel, 2005. All rights reserved.

I'm going to be moderating a yahoo group for an amazing e-course on goal setting. I have taken this e-course myself and just loved it. It really does help folks who get lots of great ideas, so many that you don't know where start and end up going shopping or watching a video. This course (Goaler-Energy) helped me look at all of these ideas with the landscape artist's eye, looking at the bigger picture, seeing how there can be a lot of diversity in that one landscape. Of course. This was exactly what I needed and I would recommend this course to everyone especially since I'll be moderating the group. Familiar "faces" would be great.
You can take a look here under "Stretch your Soul Workshops and E-courses."

Here's a great site with various kinds of art workshops. The drawing workshop seems to be the most practical:

Also Bill O'Hanlon has some interesting free download on various brief therapy techniques:

And finally, big puppet sales and free stuff here:

I couldn't ignore this one. WNBC has two downloadable e-books for kids on the story of Owen, a baby hippo who becomes lost and orphaned in the Tsunami last December, and Mzee a very old male tortoise that befriends it. The e-books tells their story of resilience, strength and survival. There is also a parent teacher guide that you can download that speaks to tolerance and diversity.

This page gives you the news story and the above photo on the left (click on it and they give the sweetest slide show you have ever seen. I want to adopt these two!) and there's also a blue box on the right of the page with these items in it which you can click on to down load:

Download The E-Book

Owen & Mzee E-Book (large, 44 pages)
Owen & Mzee E-Book (small, 22 pages)
Owen & Mzee Parent and Teachers Guide
Tribeca Film Festival
Lafarge Ecosystems
About Our Kids

Here are some interesting ideas and links:
Art With Heart
Art with Heart connects volunteers from the arts with children in crisis. Through workshops, books and art children are empowered and encouraged to find their own creative expression. In this website you will find interesting books and workshop ideas.
Oodles of Doodles
The idea was a simple one: give the gift of creativity and self confidence to children who are hospitalized due to life-threatening illness. Through art and humor, the book transforms a difficult time into what it should be: a childhood. The project is a testament to the power of collaboration. Art with Heart invited 97 illustrators and designers from around the world, including Mary Grand Pré (Harry Potter books) and Gary Baseman ("Cranium" games). Then 6 printers, 3 pre-press houses, 6 paper mills and one bindery house made the 100+ page book possible.

Since 2002, over 10,000 Oodles books have been given away to hospitals and other non-profits who serve hospitalized children. You may order Oodles books for the children you serve and pay shipping and handling only.
One on One
Art with Heart hosts a Self Portrait Workshop to inspire kids affected by cancer. Through self portraits, kids learn about artistic expression and storytelling through paint, texture and collage. Great idea. Have a look.
Healing through Creativity
This innovative art therapy journal in the making is designed to help teens and 'tweens dealing with heavy emotional burdens caused by PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The journal features artwork from 20 contemporary illustrators and has many blank pages for the kids to explore their feelings on. The book will be available Summer or Fall 2005 at our online shop.

If you work with foster kids or kids who have been adopted from other cultures, there's an interesting website:
Sharing Attachment Practices Across Cultures: Learning from Immigrants
and Refugees
Here you will find ideas about serving immigrant and refugee families, whose attachment relationships may be based on differing beliefs and values related to parenting, as well as different goals for each stage of a child's development. They have a pretty comprehensive "tool kit" for you, please see the web site.

On a related note, David Henley has a good article in the current Arts in Psychotherapy on "Attachment disorders in post-institutionalized adopted children: art therapy approaches to reactivity and detachment"
You can read it here:!&_cdi=5900&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=d41f552a6c4a85ac56dd818fd90709f8

I know, I know, you might think I would be the last person to recommend a video game, but this is really interesting. McGill University Psych department has come up with some video game that they believe will improve self-esteem.
There's quite a bit of information here, plus the games themselves which can be down loaded.
Have fun.

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