Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Legacy of Edith Kramer

Information about The Legacy of Edith Kramer is up on the Routledge website. Very exciting for Susan Ainlay Anand and myself and all the wonderful contributors. (Feeling delighted and grateful)

Friday, June 16, 2017

#160 out of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Develope Your Interior Artwork.

"Interior Artwork2"  collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
Having spent the last two years working on The Legacy of Edith Kramer, I have grown increasingly interested in parts of Edith's legacy that were less familiar to me; Bauhaus, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, and the dark times leading up to World War II. I have been giving some thought about the importance of speaking out, of resistance and maladjustment to a culture of repression, bullying, supremacy and injustice.  So when How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky popped up on my Facebook feed, I got interested. 

Here are a few of the lessons in a nutshell, but for more, please go to his original work on line, for free (free stuff makes for the happy artist), Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1911).

Express your inner world, not the latest artistic trends.

Approach color as a window into the human soul.

By creating original work, you will further the cause of humanity.

"[Art is] ...the mysterious expression of the mysterious..." (from Autobiography, Wassily Kandinsky, 1918.)

The commonality here between Kandinsky and Edith, is the emphasis on the interior life. Edith talked about that we were losing touch with our inner life. That in order to be true to ourselves, in order to be original, we needed to be able to access our inner life. Being a student of Bauhaus via Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, the way to access the inner life was through a daily art practice.

So if you want to be able to look at the culture you are in and consider if it is aligned with your ideas of justice, creativity, humanity, and not just follow what the culture dictates, you will need to be able to understand your own thinking about these things. You will need to be able to access your interior life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#157 - 159 out of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life - Create meaning

"Don't ever lose heart"  collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
While creating my morning pages, every day, I try to be selective about what is playing in the background, often a dharma talk or current research on compassion and neuroscience.  So yesterday I was listening to Scilla Elworthy at the Dare to Care Youth Gathering - Empathy and Compassion in Society.

She was talking about having spoken at a rave (yes, as in music event) and she was asked what can we do with the world being in the condition it's in.  How do we keep from losing heart?  She suggesting a 3 step process:
#1. Find the one thing that breaks your heart, that has always broken your heart. The desire to heal this broken heart will give you energy to continue in spite of all odds.
#2. Find the things that crack your heart open with respect and joy. This can be people, books, ideas, art, friendship... many things. These things will help you heal the broken heart.
#3. What are your skills, your gifts? They can be used to help heal the things that break your heart. Using them in acts of generosity towards alleviating the sorrows you find in the world.

Just three things. Very simple, very easy. And you will find yourself able to create a happy, meaningful artist's life.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Workshop Alert

Susan Anand and I are heading to LA for the Expressive Therapies Summit.

MARCH 30 - APRIL 2, 2017



"Create Magic and Beauty"  collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
We will be working on various resilience strategies, all day, but the classes are separated so you can take one or both.  The first class will be a simple narrative and puppet-making class with it's roots in Neuroscience.  We will crate simple book structures to house our puppets and narratives.
In the afternoon we will be working with clay to create worlds and stories of possibility.  So important in today's uncertain environment.  Hope to see you there.

Friday, 3/31/17

10:00 am  -  1:00 pm
Paper Puppet People, Fairytales, and Neuroscience
Lani A. Gerity, DA, ATR
Susan Ainlay Anand, ATR-BC, ATCS

In this 3-hour workshop, we will provide permissive, easy-to-follow instructions for creating paper puppet people and simple book structures for eliciting pro-social responses. Based on Bruce Perry’s neurosequential model of treatment and educator Peter O'Connor’s work with survivors of traumatic events, participants will learn to weave story, drama, and art into fairy tales and personal narratives of cultural strength and group resilience. Examples of case material from various cultures will be used to illustrate these therapeutic activities that engage the brain from the “bottom,” where experiences are stored, to the cortex at the “top,” where we make sense of our experiences. Using this integrative model, we begin each session with positive tactile experiences and memories, then slowly add "higher” processes, such as humor and insight, that foster possibility and hope for our students, clients, and ourselves.

2:30 pm  -  5:30 pm 
Clay Worlds & Stories for Creating Resilient, Inclusive Communities
Susan Ainlay Anand, ATR-BC, ATCS
Lani A. Gerity, DA, ATR

In this 3-hour workshop, we’ll focus on the importance of fostering strengths and inclusivity through multidisciplinary expressive arts activities within a clinical or educational plan. We will review some of our work within social environments in need of resilience, particularly those that have struggled with depression, loss, and trauma. Building on the work of well-being and positive psychology experts Peterson and Seligman, and positive art therapy specialists Chilton and Wilkinson, we have developed easy-to-implement, fun processes that foster strengths and resilience through creative activity featuring clay and story. In our observations, which will be illustrated by case materials, working in small groups through storytelling, deep listening, and group creation helps to support a culture of resilience and inclusivity that clinicians, educators, and helping professionals of all types can use in their daily work with people of all ages and circumstances.