Friday, February 29, 2008

More on art retreats and art parties.

I put forward an invitation on 14 secrets yahoo group suggesting that if folks are interested in creating mini art retreats for themselves and their friends like our first annual Lost Sisters Art Retreat and Reunion they should join us at the Lost Sisters Art Retreat and Reunion Yahoo Group. My thinking is that this is a great place to keep information and to share ideas about art retreats we have attended, have created, or would wish to create.

Some of us have experienced Teesha Moore's ArtFest and have then gone on to create a sweet little retreat in Nova Scotia. Some of us felt that Nova Scotia is really beautiful and wonder-filled but really far to come.

So I got to thinking what if Long Lost Sisters created mini retreats all over the place and they talked about it here and you could find out if there was one near you or if there were folks wanting to make art in your area. One of my ArtFest/14 Secrets buddies meets with friends in a posh hotel in Chicago (I don't think any of them are
actually from Chicago) and they art it up for a long weekend (read about it here). They share new techniques, order in, play, laugh, relax, and end up
feeling really good about themselves and each other. Now how bad can that be?

Another ArtFest/14 Secrets buddy has art parties, where after a great sounding dinner friends share art materials and ideas (which you can read about here).

So if you dreaming about making art with your long lost sisters and want to share your ideas about art parties and retreats, this group might be for you! We are just feeling our way with all this, so there's no huge expectations, just fun and joy of sisterhood and art!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More workshops for BC art therapists and those near by...

More workshops for art therapists in or near British Columbia. They sound wonderful (I wish I could be there). If you are interested in the overlap of aboriginal culture, ecology, and art therapy you might want to take a look at these.

Kutenai Art Therapy Institute
#201- 601 Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B6


Explore Jung’s symbol of wholeness. Participants in this program will experience the therapeutic application of the mandala for therapist self-care, client assessment, intervention and treatment. All materials included. (15 hrs credit) Instructor: Lucille Proulx M.A., ATR is a registered art therapist & author with 20 years experience in Canada, USA & Thailand. $200
February 22: (6 pm - 9 pm)
February 23: (9:30 am – 4:30 pm)
February 24: (9:30 am – 4:30 pm)

ART & the SACRED, Self Care Through Symbolic Healing
Symbolic healing involves sacred art making practices that allow connection to our ancestry and contribute to our sense of belonging. This “Healing the Healers” workshop explores symbolic healing and rituals including; sacred space, story telling, visualization and relaxation techniques. All materials included.
Instructor: Christine Lummis B.A., DKATI, RCAT is a registered art therapist & author of the “Use of Art in the Treatment of Addictions”. (12 hrs. credit) $200
Weekend - March 8 & 9th: (9 am – 4 pm)

Art can be used to address difficult issues facing young people today. Through visual and clinical presentation participants will explore; teen self-injury, suicide ideation & identity confusion. Violent imagery will be an aspect of the workshop. Open to: Clinicians, teachers, outreach staff and art therapy students.
Instructor: Christine Lummis B.A., DKATI, RCAT is a registered art therapist & author of the “Use of Art in the Treatment of Addictions”. (12 hrs. credit) $200
March 19 & 20th: (9 am – 4 pm)


ATTACHMENT ISSUES: ART THERAPY with Infants & Young Children
Theories of attachment, relationship and disorders of infancy & childhood. The parental-partnership role, tactile experience will be explored through art making, video presentation & role playing. All materials included. (12 hrs. credit) $200
Instructor: Lucille Proulx M.A., ATR is a registered art therapist & author with 20 years experience in Canada, USA & Thailand.
Weekend - April 12 & 13th (9:30 am – 4:30 pm)

FINDING YOUR FLOW, Art and Movement
Give your critical mind a rest. Discover how to let authentic creative expression come forward. This opening is followed by play, gestural & abstract painting. $80
Instructor: Christine Lummis B.A., DKATI, RCAT is a registered art therapist with 10 years experience.
March 30th: (10 am – 4 pm)

ACTION PAINTING, Personal Growth & Creative Exploration
Taking risks in art is metaphoric to finding creative ways to be in the world. Practice letting the art inform the outcome. No art experience is necessary. $80
Instructor: Christine Lummis B.A., DKATI, RCAT is a registered art therapist with 10 years experience, currently co-authoring a creative workbook for couples.
Weekend - April 20th: (9 am – 4 pm)

BODY AWARENESS, Through Creative Expression
Use art is a healing tool in understanding your relationship to your body and it’s stories. Participants will explore; color, personal symbols, body scanning and relaxation techniques. A body tracing chart, deep inner listening, writing and discussion will assist in mapping out inner territories and personal landmarks.
All materials included. $200
Instructor: Christine Lummis B.A., DKATI, RCAT is a registered art therapist with 10 yrs. experience and the author of: “Use of Art in the Treatment of Addictions”.
Weekend – May 3 & 4: (9 am – 4 pm)

Register early to avoid disappointment 250 352 2264
Kutenai Art Therapy Institute
#201 601 Front Street, Nelson, BC, V1L 4B6

Awakening the Heart Through the Arts


MAY 13 &14, 2008
Castlegar, BC

This symposium will take the perspective of the medicine wheel to approach aboriginal issues in health with a focus on the value of arts and culture in prevention, rehabilitation and therapeutic treatment. The workshops & presentations will focus on all aspects of the medicine wheel looking at the essential needs of human beings as: a sense of spirituality, sense of mastery, sense of connection, and a sense of well-being. Aboriginal cultures have traditionally integrated arts and culture in healing practices and the contemporary use of Art Therapy has proved to be a very valuable method and traditionally appropriate in addressing many of the physical and emotional issues facing aboriginal communities today. The symposium is about establishing healing and reconnection through the arts and igniting a fire of compassion and community action and creativity.
This symposium will bring together aboriginal artists, art therapists, health professionals, front line workers, community & cultural leaders to share a vision of approaching health and healing in community through culture and the arts. It is hope that this symposium will provide an opportunity for participants to articulate a vision for a new approach to health and healing in community through culture and the arts.

For more information please see the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute website or contact them directly: 1-800-580-6388 / 250-352-2264

Working with the Wheel
Presenter: Richard Campbell
This experiential workshop will introduce participants to the concept of integrating the Medicine Wheel as an empowering self-reflective tool in the art therapy process.

Building a Bridge
Presenters: Marie Anderson and Faith Louis-Adams
The workshop will provide individuals with the opportunity for self discovery through creativity in a group setting. Participants will be asked to create a self symbol with clay that will be incorporated into the group collaboration. Bridge building can provide connections between people through the sharing of ideas, decision making and problem solving.

ArtsCan Circle - Cooperative exploration of the Arts with Native Youth at Risk
Presenters: Mike Stevens and Tracie Harrison
Mike and Tracie would like to share with you their experiences making artful connections with Native Youth. Through a multi-media presentation you will learn how Mike first became inspired to link creative artists with youth in isolated Canadian Native Communities and how he and several artist teams now make journeys up North each year to collaborate in artistic endeavors with youth.

Blow on that Thang! Heartfelt Harmonica Expressions
Mike Stevens has played in the Grand Ole Opry 300 times with Jim and Jesse. He has won numerous awards for his recordings and was made a “Kentucky Colonel” for his accomplishments in Bluegrass music. In addition to his music career Mike conducts Harmonica workshops with schools, corporations, and professionals of all sorts to loosen them up and get them expressing themselves creatively. In this workshop he will share his love of the harmonica and have you blowing a tune and expressing your emotions in no time flat!
Video presentation
Presenter: Tracie Harrison
Videos produced for Native youth in Pikangikum, a fly in only Northern Ontario Native community, will be presented and discussed. The videos address issues of suicide, solvent abuse and grief.

A Window to the Soul
Presenter: Monica Carpendale
This presentation will show the art therapy process of aboriginal clients: issues of grief, trauma, abuse and the impact of residential school will be covered. The case studies will illustrate the awakening of the spirit and recovery of a sense of well- being through the art therapy process.

Spirituality in the Workplace
Presenter: Dr. Duncan Grady and Rosalyn Grady.
Spiritual practice is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. Work, as distinguished form activity, can also be an end in itself. It is tempting to be more focused on future results than what is happening in the moment. By being present in the moment of work you can be more at ease and therefore more creative. Are you curious how? Come to this workshop and find out!

Panel on Ethics Issues working in a Therapeutic Capacity in Aboriginal Communities
Panelists: Carrie Reid, Donna Wright, Audrey Ward, Michelle Reid, Marina Richards
Experiential Workshop on Ethical Decision Making
Presenter: Monica Carpendale & Panel members
A 7-step model for ethical decision-making will be presented and participants will workshop a variety of ethical dilemmas in small groups.
Searching for Joy in the Chaos: Vicarious Trauma
Presenter: Carrie Reid, RCAT, PHd candidate
For community-based helpers who live and work with Trauma Survivors, an overview of western theory about Vicarious Trauma as well as the Indigenous experience where many helpers are trauma survivors themselves. We will provide information, skills, and tools for helpers: not just for when the overwhelm happens; but strategies for prevention.
Understanding Oppression and the Value of Art Therapy
Presenter: Audrey Ward, BSW, DKATI, RCAT
This workshop will explore the use and misuse of power in understanding oppression and the value of Art Therapy as a culturally appropriate approach to healing.

Walking between Worlds
Presenters: Marina Richards & Jan Souza
This experiential workshop will explore the Western and Indigenous paradigms to demonstrate the commonality of goals and the similarities and differences in the way healing is approached. The presentation will discuss the Aboriginal Child & Youth Mental Health Plan and the importance of working with a wholistic approach.
Alternative Arts Therapies with Hard to Reach Youth
Presenter: Carrie Reid, RCAT, PHd candidate
Participants explore a variety of strategies for working with youth who have huge trust issues. She shares strategies that help and strategies that don’t. Carrie will talk specifically to some of the recent brain science AND how trauma and attachment are best served using non-verbal (art) strategies.
Practical Magic: Storytelling for people who live and work in their own communities
Presenter: Carrie Reid, RCAT, PHd candidate
This workshop is close to my heart. It is the opportunity for community-based helpers to tell their story. It is not a talking circle. It is not therapy. It is a poetry writing workshop… where we will share glimpses of our stories with people who perform magic.

Creation & the Artist: Rooted in a Contemplative Heart
Presenter: Jacqueline Fehlner Registered Art Therapist (R.C.A.T., O.A.T.R.) and Spiritual Director/Pastoral Care Worker
In this workshop, we will look at our roots that ground and connect us to a creative Spirit and to each other. We will take time to reflect upon the languages of love that have the potential to connect or distance us from each other. We will have the opportunity to create artwork from a contemplative stance.

Incarceration: Stigma or Refuge?
Presenter: Jean Tait
Utilizing art therapy within a Canadian correctional institution requires knowledge about security protocols, what to expect in a session, obstacles and surprises in a correctional environment, what isn’t advisable and other guidance about working in a women’s prison in western Canada.

Attachment Issues and Art Therapy Interventions
Presenter: Lucille Proulx
The presentation will introduce an effective method of working with the parent and infant or preschool child in an effort to resolve relationship problems. The information in this presentation will be invaluable to mental health professionals in prevention and early childhood fields. The participants will receive concrete suggestions about what materials and activities to use and then discuss the goals and meaning of the ensuing behaviors between the parent and child.

The Hoop of Life
Presenter: Kevin Locke
The workshop will explore contemporary challenges within a framework of traditional American Indian culture, history and values. Kevin will bring to the workshop his story telling, music, dance and humour to bring insight to the way traditional teaching address the four stages of life. Kevin’s Hoop Dance is a physical metaphor for the process of regeneration, which we are presently undergoing as one species within a planetary field of Life. Kevin's goal is "to raise awareness of the Oneness we share as human beings." His belief in the Unity of human kind is expressed dramatically in the traditional Hoop Dance, which illustrates "the roles and responsibilities that all human beings have within the hoops (or circles) of life."


Marie Anderson McCarthy, BFA, completed her course work and an honours practica in 2006 from the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute. Marie is a band member of the Kehewin and for the past year and a half she has been the Counselor and Art Therapist at the Kehewin Community Education Center, in the elementary school working with students in grade K- grade 6.

Richard Campbell, BFA, DKATI (thesis pending), is an artist and practicing Art Therapist in Boston Bar. He is a member of the N’Lakapamux Nation and is currently working for his band in the schools. His connection to nature gives him a deep appreciation of life and an in depth understanding of the Medicine Wheel, which he has integrated into his practice of Art Therapy.

Monica Carpendale, BFA, DVATI, RCAT, BCATR. Monica is the founder and executive director of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute and she has over 20 years of clinical practice in Art Therapy. She is the inventor of the Blue Heron series of nine therapeutic games to help children develop communication skills. She is currently excited about the development of eco art therapy and the relationship between art and poetry in self-exploration.

Jacqueline Fehlner, BA, D.T.A.T.I., R.C.A.T., O.A.T.R. a Registered Art Therapist and a Spiritual Director, has had a private practice in spiritual care since 1984 and in art therapy since 1993. She works mainly with those living with serious illness and with therapists and pastoral care professionals who support them. She works as an Art Therapist and Lay Chaplain at Highbourne Life Care Centre in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Duncan Grady was raised in the Siksika/Sauk Blackfeet tradition. Dr. Grady has studied and experienced native ceremony for years. He is a Buddhist practitioner, psychotherapist, hospice trainer and college professor.

Rosalyn Grady has a doctoral degree in Spiritual studies and is an educator, funeral celebrant and counselor. Rosalyn is a student of the International council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.

Tracy Harrison, Visual Artist, Art Therapist, Child and Youth Mental Health Therapist, ArtsCan Circle Team Member and past Board member. Tracy has extensive experience working with At Risk Youth and has brought a variety of visual art experiences to the Northern Communities, which teachers continue to use today.

Marilyn James is the spokesperson for the Sinixt people. She is noted for her advocacy and her storytelling.

Kevin Locke (Tokeya Inajin is his Lakota name, meaning "The First to Arise") is Lakota (Hunkpapa Band of Lakota Sioux) and Anishinabe. He is known throughout the world as a visionary Hoop Dancer, the preeminent player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, a traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator.

Faith Louis-Adams is of the Samson Cree nation and was born in Hobbema, Alberta. She is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art & Design and recently graduated from Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in Nelson, B.C. She is currently working as a Youth Drug and Alcohol Addictions Counselor/Art Therapist and as an STV Outreach Worker in the community of Nakusp, B.C.

Lucille Proulx, M. A. ATR is a registered art therapist with many years of clinical and private practice experience. She has recently returned from a 2 -year assignment in Thailand, training mental health professions to work with abused children using art. She is an instructor at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute, and the author of Strengthening Emotional Ties through Parent-child-dyad art therapy. Interventions for Infants and Preschoolers.

Carrie Reid, DVATI, RCAT is a Coast Salish woman who lives and works as a registered Art Therapist in her own community. She is currently completing her PHD research in Expressive Arts Therapies and loves to play Nintendo. She believes strongly in good friends, healthy elders and monthly doses of chocolate.

Michelle Reid, MSW, is an instructor at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. She is completing her training as an art therapist at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute.
Marina Richards is a Metis woman, raised by her Cree Grandmother, who delights in helping people connect to their gifts, potential, and personal power. She is a facilitator with both contemporary and traditional skills, who uses the Medicine Wheel as a contextual framework in order to support people on their journey to joy and wellness. Marina is the Aboriginal Wellness Coordinator for the Aboriginal Peoples Family Accord: Kootenay Zone and has worked with Native people both on and off Reserve for over 15 years. She lives in Nelson, British Columbia.
Jan Souza, MA, DKATI, RCAT, is a Registered Canadian Art Therapist and the Team leader for Child & Youth Mental Health (MCFD) in the West Kootenays. She has over 30 years of experience as a child and youth clinician. Jan is a clinical supervisor, and instructor at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute.
Mike Stevens, World Class Musician and Harmonica Player Extraordinaire and Founder of ArtsCan Circle. Mike has created unique ways to work with Youth At Risk. He has successfully developed musical instrument lending libraries in many communities and recently he accomplished another Northern dream – installing recording studios in Northern communities to facilitate the musical expression of Native Youth.

Jean Elizabeth Tait, DKATI (thesis pending) is a First Nations Artist/Art Therapist who has exhibited her “medicine” paintings and prints since 1992. Jean runs an open art studio, which has a high inner city client population in downtown Edmonton. Jean has run workshops and a women’s healing circle for several years. Jean pioneered an art therapy practica for 2 ½ years at the Edmonton Women’s Institute, a medium security prison.

Rene Therrien is the Minister of Culture for the Metis Nation of BC. He is an exceptional fiddler and will be bringing his music and energy to the symposium.
Audrey Ward, BSW, DKATI, RCAT, is from the Okanagan Nation. Audrey Ward is a registered art therapist with 10 years of clinical art therapy experience. Audrey has been an instructor at NVIT and she is noted for her workshops on oppression and the intergenerational impact of residential schools. She is currently working for the Aboriginal Peoples Family Accord as a Wellness coordinator.

Donna Wright is a family support worker at Nelson Community Services. She is aboriginal liason person for the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute. She is a Metis grandmother that has been working and advocating for her community for many years.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The 14th Secret

Over at 14 Secrets we did an altered book round robin. Lore had found a great old board book on dinosaurs which she very kindly donated to my art room. Thank you Lore. Since the first book had gone missing somewhere in Michigan, I thought this one should have a little Art Therapy MOJO, so I found this old photo of Edith Kramer as a child and started the book. The 14th secret of the 14 Secrets for a Happy Artists Life has to do with creating your own list of secrets for a happy life. So participants were asked to do a page on their favorite secret or secrets. And now it's home, making me very happy! Thank you Carol, Lore, Christine, Gioia, Jan, Joyce, Maria, Dee and Adela for contributing a surprise concluding page.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Learning to Love Us More Every Day! (Happy St. Valentine's Day)

Altered Golden Book by Lani

A friend asked me about being disappointed in art mail swaps. She'd said she had put so much effort into a piece she did for a swap and she really felt as though the receiver didn't understand or appreciate what went into her art/gift. She also admitted that the art she received looked as though it didn't have the same care put into it that she had anticipated. So her question was what to do with these somewhat yucky feelings.

As I gave this some thought I remembered an email from a artist. I had admired her work and asked her how in the world she could part with such beauty. She said for every swap she would make two objects. One to send and one to keep.

This struck me as perfect because whose art is going to be the most meaningful to you? Your own, right? Who will understand all the layers of meaning in your art work? You will. Who will chuckle at the in-jokes, cry from a touching memory, and just be so glad that you can create art? You will.

A woman I worked with in New York said that art making was for her a way to learn who she actually was, and learn to love herself more every day. As time goes by and I participate in more artist's swaps, I'm finding this to be truer and truer. I love art swaps because I'm always surprised by what emerges, and I do enjoy the process, and now I make two of everything, one to swap and one to keep. Then I never have to worry about who may or may not appreciate my work, and who may or may not put as much effort into their own work, since I can always enjoy what I do myself.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Accessibility vs. Georges de la Tour taste

Painting by George de la Tour
What can I tell you, I like candle light, rooms dimly lit, mysterious paintings with faces lit by candles and awe. I loved the big old temples of my childhood, also dimly lit, incense burning, the Buddha or Kwan Yin gazing downward with suggestions of smiles on their lips. The thing about these early childhood experiences in art and culture was you could make up your own story about what you were seeing. I loved doing that, trying to figure it all out, knowing that I'd never really know. So naturally when it comes to blogging and website design I've been remiss and not very thoughtful for people who might not feel the same way that I do about places dimly lit. So now I'm feeding this blog and the 14 Secrets Blog into a SuperGlu website where the lighting is bright, the words stand out in black from a light background with at least 70% contrast. If you are reading this from the dimness of Lani Puppetmaker's Blog Spot you can always click on the link at the top right hand corner to find the more accessible SuperGlu site.
You can read more about visual accessibility here.

Old postcards fiddled with in PhotoShop by Lani

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Irish Blessing

Lore sent me this short video as an e-card. She said it reminded her of Nova Scotia. Well, Prospect really but a lot of Nova Scotia looks like this. No wonder the Irish ancestors loved this place!

Our hills are a little lower and we have quite a bit of snow right now but otherwise this could be home.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Art Retreats

Patti of 14 Secrets asked me about an art retreat that I'd not heard of yet, so I thought why not create a list of links for a variety of art retreats with a little bit about them, quoting from their websites. If you all send me links I will add to this list.

Art & Soul is a paper, fabric, jewelry and fiber arts retreat taught by internationally recognized instructors. We are thrilled to bring such a wide variety of skills and artistic talent together for a 6th year!

Choose from dozens of mixed media workshops taught by internationally recognized instructors—designed to energize your creative spirit and reveal the secrets of your soul. (various places, check website)

Donna Downey presents
Inspired. Artist Workshop: a creatively inspired experience
April 10-12, 2008
Embassy suites 5400 John Q. Hammons Drive NW Concord NC, North Carolina 28027
This will be our 8th anniversary of doing Artfest at Fort Worden and attendees continue to say that it just gets better and better every year! We are excited to welcome back 23 previous teachers who we love & adore as well as 13 new teachers who promise even more unique projects & techniques. While our workshops are incredible, it is our extracurricular events, the location and the attendees who come that sets Artfest apart from other events. People leave with brand new friendships that last for years, new groups that they stay involved with long after the event is over, a renewed sense of their artistic selves and a full battery to take back with them to their normal lives. It is a very nourishing event for your creative selves. There is magic that happens in Port Townsend during the event that no one can explain, but everyone feels.

The workshops are full day, 6 hour sessions designed to provide not only several techniques learned throughout the day but time enough to actually work on what has been learned so that it can sink in. The teachers come from all over the United States & Australia and represent some of the best in their fields. (Near Seattle)
With a primary emphasis on Book Arts, Valley Ridge Art Studio also provides workshops, retreats and creative resources for mixed media, mixed media, metals, fiber and other art forms.

Big changes are in the works for our 2008 season. In addition to our winter Open Studio series, weekend retreat art programs, which give students time to fully explore an art form in the relaxed and beautiful setting of our studio, we'll begin offering Master Classes, intensive, five-day programs featuring world-class instructors. Valley Ridge will also being offering limited on-site accommodations for our participants, classroom rentals for your special events and online art supply sales. (South Central Wisconsin)
European Papers of Columbus Ohio sponsors an art retreat (see below) and ongoing workshops in Columbus, Ohio.
Artiscape - An Artist's Retreat
Join us April 11-13 for a fun weekend of paper arts, bookbinding, collage, art stamping, calligraphy, jewelry, metal working, altered books, polymer clay and more... We’re excited about our new venue at Kalahari Resort, with its Nia Conference Center and award-winning service and design. Be inspired by the beautiful surroundings of this unique, African-style resort and the wide variety of workshops with some of the country’s top instructors!

At our unconventional “convention”- there’s something for everyone: more than 60 workshops of all levels, a Welcoming Gala, the wonderful Marketplace at Artiscape, a fun Night in Casablanca party, the beautiful amenities of Kalahari and much more! Take a full schedule of workshops or just a few and relax with a book and a fire. Come for the weekend or just the afternoon. The goal is a fun, educational weekend among friends- old and new! I’m very pleased to welcome you to Artiscape...
Located near the shores of Lake Erie, Kalahari Resort & Conference Center is the perfect setting for Artiscape-An Artist’s Retreat! This unique, African-style resort is located in Sandusky, Ohio, in the midst of Ohio vineyards and wineries.

Art Is - a new art workshop venue in the Northeast - It will take place October 10-13 at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, CT.
Art is waiting for you.

Marilyn Gattinella
Loretta Marvel
Pamela Huntington
Cheryl Strait
Lesley Venable
Susan Ferraro
Monika Shedden
JoAnnA Pierotti
Loretta Marvel
Alma Stoller
Janette Schuster
Melissa McCobb Hubbell
Susan Tuttle
Terri Ventura
Annie Hesse
Taryn Reece
Jennifer Paganelli

The Crowne Plaza Hartford/Cromwell
100 Berlin Road
Cromwell, CT
Hotel Front Desk: 1-860-6352000 / Hotel Fax: 1-860-6356970

October 16 - 19, 2008

Attend RAEvN’s Nest Art Retreat and immerse yourself in an artistic adventure.
The nesting site for this art retreat is downtown Cedarburg , Wisconsin . Conveniently located 20 miles north of Milwaukee

Bernie Berlin
Jill K.Berry
Michael deMeng
Karyn Gartel
Laurie Mika
Opie and Linda O'Brien
Judy Wise

The Art Nest Summer 2008 retreat promises to be the most incredible Art Experience ever! Come spend four days at the Washington School Inn tucked away among the wildflowers in the mountains of Park City, Utah with Stephanie, Carla, and Alma creating art, making dear friends, dining on gourmet food, and being pampered in every way.

The dates for the retreat are June 25-29, 2008. Registration will open Friday, February 8th at 12 noon mountain standard time. To sign up fill out the on-line registration form and send it in. If space is available, we will email you a confirmation and a link to pay online.

Alma Stoller
Carla Sonheim
Stephanie Lee

Welcome to ART Unraveled, the mixed media art retreat where the mysteries of art are unraveled for you by the finest, internationally known art instructors. Experience the joy of spending 7 days surrounded by like-minded spirits immersed in art, camaraderie, contests and lots of fun! Come "discover your muse". Registration opens February 15th.

Join us beginning on Sunday, August 3rd to MEET THE ARTISTS, 7-9 pm in the Salon Ballroom at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 4415 E Paradise Parkway S, Phoenix, Arizona. After our Guest Speaker kicks off the evening, enjoy talking with the artists, taking an up-close and personal look at their art as the excitement builds. Workshops will begin on the morning of Monday, August 4th and will continue through Sunday, August 10th.
Teachers (way too many to list here but here are a few)
Barbara Natoli & Bett York
Jill Berry
Rebecca Brooks
Cory Celaya
Josie Cirincione
Michael deMeng
Donna Engstrom
Anne Grgich
Cindy Kovack
Jane LaFazio
Juana Martinez-Neal
Doris Arndt
Jill Berry
Traci Bunkers
DJ Pettitt
Traci Bautista
Jane Wynn
Judy Wise
(Go take a look!)

And of course I'm working on the 2nd Annual Lost Sisters Art Retreat and Reunion some time in September here in Prospect Nova Scotia, and appearing in venues near you. Check out our yahoo group if you are interested.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

From the Happiness Project

Collage by Lani

I thought I'd start at the beginning of Gretchen Rubin's blog The Happiness Project just to see what great things she has discovered. So in March of '06 she was working with the classic bad-parenting move: denying a bad feeling. The day had started with one sibling claiming, “No one’s paying attention to me. Everyone pays more attention to the Baby...”
Gretchen started to snap back with the usual, “ can you say no one’s paying attention to you?” and started to give her lots of reasons why she shouldn't feel the way she was feeling.
But just in time she remembered the principle she'd read in Faber and Mazlish’s How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. (Gretchen says it’s a parenting book but the principles apply equally well to dealing with other adults. Well read on, because I think it applies to our inner dialogue as well)
Faber and Mazlish say: Don’t refuse to acknowledge someone’s feelings of anger, irritation, or reluctance; instead, name the feeling and articulate the other person’s point of view. Of course this is really hard to do, because the urge to correct a bad feeling is very strong: “you can’t really feel that way” or "you don't really want to do that" etc.
So Gretchen tried it out that morning. “You wish people would pay more attention to you? You’re feeling neglected?” And the sad little sibling nodded. “Come here,” Gretchen said, “let me give you a big hug.” As simple as it was, it did the trick. Both mother and child felt much happier.

Well I got to thinking, I'll bet I constantly deny my own "bad" feelings, just the way Gretchen was going to do in her "bad-parenting move." I'll bet a lot of my own inner chatter comes from an inner parent scolding an inner child whose having some momentary silly feeling. And of course feelings pass but if you deny them then you get caught up in an argument with yourself and you really put yourself into a mess. Better to tell the inner child, "Are you feeling such and such? Let me give you a hug." I'm going to try that. Then I'll be freed up to practice being here now!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Immediacy Principle

Collage by Lani

"Immediate experience is everything. I will seek to overcome barriers that stand between myself and the recognition of my inner life, the reality of those around me, participation in society, and contact with the more than human world."

I'm going to play with these principles of the Burning Man web site, because they make so much sense. The best moments in life are the ones where that inner chatter, the monkey mind, just drops away and you are in the moment, experiencing everything around you with a feeling of your heart being wide open. So what ever will move me towards those experiences... well I'm all for them.

Adela sent me a couple of links the other day which I believe are perfect for this immediacy principle. Do you know about the slow food movement, or Adbusters Slow Down Week? There's a rebellion brewing about the fast pace of life today. So here are Adela's links: Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythm of Life by Waverly Fitzgerald is a wonderful book, which you can either download of purchase through But this website offers the Introduction as a free PDF file so you can read some of it for yourself. Very thoughtful. She has a wonderful stories and exercises to help the reader become more aware of their own natural rhythms. She has a great story about how she was preparing for a class, writing her lecture the day of the class (panic, panic) and she looked out the window and saw a crow hopping along the street being pursued by a cat. In the process of saving the crow, she stood with the crow as her daughter fed it, then continued watching the crow with a friend. Finally another friend arrived and took the crow away, having always wanted a pet crow. So she ended up having a little crow adventure and never got the lecture written.
Although I had spent a fraction of the time I thought necessary in preparation, the class went as well as any other and the students loved the story of how I spent my afternoon. My encounter with the crow shifted the way I perceived time. I realized that I was not making any progress, trying to corral time into neat little boxes on my schedule. Time was much more fluid and mysterious than I had imagined.

She's also got a wonderful website all about "living in season." You'll find lots of information here about senses, time, seasons, nature based holidays, and amazing links. She also has a blog with all her current activities.

So as part of my adopting the immediacy principle, I'm going to get slow starting right now! Stay turned.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Treasure in the desert.

Totally unrelated collage by Lani

While wandering the burning man web site, trying to imagine this coastal-loving, ocean-dependent maritimer wandering in the desert, I stumbled across some real treasure! They have the most wonderful principles! I think I'll just see if I can't translate them into puppet-maker principles, and give myself permission to practice them.

10 Principles

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

This is easy, I would turn it into "Any one may make puppets, crafts, and art, even me."

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

I love this one. I think I might say "I will practice art-as-gift from now on." And since art and life are one, then "I will also practice life-as-gift from now on."

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

This one is a mouthful. We spend so much time in this culture trying to figure out how to cash in on ourselves, we've lost track of who we are. It's sad. I would say "I resist the substitution of consumption for real life and art experiences, as attractive as eBay or art stores may be they will not take the place of life and art."

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

This one is good, too. "I encourage myself to discover, practice and rely on my inner resources because they are the best for me."

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

This one seems to grow directly out of the one before. "My self-expression comes from my unique gifts. I need to remember that others have their own unique gifts which give them their own point of view. I need to remember to respect that."

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

"I value creative cooperation and collaboration. I will strive to promote and protect social networks and methods of communication that support creative cooperation and collaboration."

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

"I will practice being a community member, responsible for public welfare."

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

"I respect the environment. I am committed to leaving no physical trace and to clean up after myself as much as possible."

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

"I am allowed to participate. In fact I invite myself to work, play, and make the world real through actions that open the heart."

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

"Immediate experience is everything. I will seek to overcome barriers that stand between myself and the recognition of my inner life, the reality of those around me, participation in society, and contact with the more than human world."

There, I feel totally wide awake, resolved and principled! But I'm not quite finished.
Then I wandered around in the essay section of the burning man web site and found more treasure. So here you are but do visit their website and explore the desert.

Curator's Statement : How I Fell From the Art World and Landed at Burning Man
By Christine Kristen who is an artist, writer, curator and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (which as a RPCV myself, I happen to think is way cool)

"Burning Man has in a sense given art back to the community. Participants don't have to go into a museum or gallery to look at the art in a detached manner; they can help build it, they can touch it, and they can play with it. In a sense we have a sort of informal art school happening in the desert, as artists share information with those who have never created art...
Burning Man does provide an alternative art making experience, a sort of bridge, if you will, between the completely community-based way of art-making I experienced in Africa and the self-oriented competitive world I experienced in New York. At least during one part of the year one can experience making art in this radically different way, which might change how one thinks about the process. We are already seeing artists who have worked in the desert return to their own communities and create art events in the Burning Man spirit. At the beginning of the twenty first century, people are hungry for authentic culture to which they feel connected, and what better way to connect than by creating it ourselves? The great lesson of Burning Man is that we can, indeed, create our own world."


Raw Vision article by Christine Kristen titled "Reconnecting Art and Life at Burning Man" had this treasure.

"In a community where the art is not intended to be sold or reviewed, but to generate community and interactivity, its aesthetic merit seems somewhat beside the point. In Black Rock City art is not a precious commodity to be marketed, dissected by critics, or locked up in a museum. It is a vital part of the community, whose shared experiences in its creation and its life on the playa give it meaning and value."

I'm thinking I may need to rethink this belief of mine that I'd shrivel up and blow away in the desert. I may need to visit Burning Man one day.

For BC art therapists and those near by...

For art therapists in or near British Columbia, there are some wonderful sounding symposiums and workshops coming up this month and in May. If you are interested in the overlap of aboriginal culture, ecology, and art therapy you might want to take a look at these.

A Voice in the Wind
The power point presentation and workshop is intended for the Voice in the Wind project, which is a combined sailing expedition around the North America continent with a series of arts and culture events coordinated in specific ports of call. The intention is to bring attention to global warming and environmental concerns through art and culture and an intense experience of being in nature.
Creativity, Ecology and Self Reflection

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour. (William Blake)

This power point presentation will explore the relationship between creativity and self reflection with a focus on the development of an ecological model of being. The principles, goals and practical applications of ecological approach to Art Therapy will be discussed.

Time: Tues. Feb. 12, 2008 @ 2 pm.
Place: Capital Theatre, Nelson.

Voice in the Wind Workshop

The voice in the wind project is focused on bringing attention to environmental issues through the use of the arts. This experiential workshop will use art, writing and reflective practice to provide an opportunity for participants to explore a personal voice in giving expression to ecological identity and a sense of belonging and place on the planet. The workshop will draw from eco psychology, art & poetry therapy, ecological identity work, gestalt therapy and phenomenology. Art making and techniques of free writing, distilling of themes, list poems in the form of rage poems and thank you poems, will be included in the exploration of metaphor theory and phenomenology. No art or writing experience is required.

Facilitator: Monica Carpendale BFA, DVATI, RCAT, BCATR is the Executive Director of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute and she is currently excited about the development of eco art therapy and the relationship between art and poetry in self exploration. Monica sees the development of an ecological identity as being fundamental for the health of not only the individual but of our homeland – the planet.

Time: Wed. Feb. 13, 2008 @ 1: 30 to 4pm.
Place: Kutenai Art Therapy Institute, #209 –601 Front Street, Nelson
Info & registration: 352 2264
Cost: $25

The Kutenai Art Therapy Institute
A Voice in the Wind OPEN Studio
Saturday Feb. 9th, 2008
at the
206 & 209 – 601 Front St.
Time 10 to 5 pm
By Donation

Bring boxes and photographs – of children and grandparents – nature and the environment (photocopies so that they can be used in the art) and creative recycled materials. There are a lot of materials available so don’t worry if you don’t have something to bring – bring yourself and your children and or grandchildren.

We will be making collage boxes for an installation at the Capital Theatre as part of the Voice in the Wind project and we will be making large size constructed creatures out of recycled materials. Come and join in at any point in the day.

Awakening the Heart through the Arts: Connecting Community Spirit

"My people will sleep for one hundred years. When they awake, it will be the artists who give them back their spirit." - Louis Riel

Symposium Dates: May 13 & 14, 2008

Mir Centre for Peace, Selkirk College, Castlegar, BC

This symposium will take the perspective of the medicine wheel to approach aboriginal issues in health with a focus on the value of arts and culture in prevention, rehabilitation and therapeutic treatment. The workshops & presentations will focus on all aspects of the medicine wheel looking at the essential needs of human beings as: a sense of spirituality, sense of mastery, sense of connection, and a sense of well-being. Aboriginal cultures have traditionally integrated arts and culture in healing practices and the contemporary use of Art Therapy has proved to be a very valuable method and traditionally appropriate in addressing many of the physical and emotional issues facing aboriginal communities today. The symposium is about establishing healing and reconnection through the arts and igniting a fire of compassion and community action and creativity.

The intention of the symposium is:

* To bring together aboriginal artists, art therapists, health professionals, front line workers, community & cultural leaders to share a vision of approaching health and healing in community through culture and the arts;
* To share knowledge, research, and techniques regarding the use of the arts in healing;
* To provide support and an opportunity for dialogue between professionals working in fields of health & education;
* To articulate a vision for a new approach to health and healing in community through culture and the arts.

The vision of the symposium includes:

* Inspiring speakers address the underlying disruptions to health and the need for the arts in healing,
* Experiential art therapy workshops,
* Panels & presentations on the arts and healing with physical, mental health and emotional issues: substance use, diabetes, suicide, trauma & abuse, grief, residential schools, FAS/FAD, ethical issues and dilemmas, etc.
* Cultural performances, sweat lodges and a feast

For more information please see the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute website or contact them directly: 1-800-580-6388 / 250-352-2264